Review: Ice-skating at Somerset House

There are a few activities which are compulsory if you are going to fully enjoy the run up to Christmas in London.

Amongst these are shopping on Oxford street with all of the pretty lights, attending a Christmas carol service (whatever your religion my happen to be), going to the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, and finally, going ice-skating one chilly evening at Somerset House.
I ticked this last one off the list on Friday evening and now, with the aid of seeing the Coca Cola Christmas advert for the first time this year on TV the other day, I really am starting to feel in the Christmas spirit.
For those of you who have never been aware of the ice-skating at Somerset House which takes place around Christmas each year, this really is a very fun way to spend an evening in the up-coming weeks. Plus its good exercise so there really is no excuse not to give it a try.
I went to one of the DJ sessions that they put on some evenings, and as you skate round and round a DJ plays actual decks to the side of the rink, all adding to the atmosphere. The music was a little…strange, but, hey, you’re ice skating; I’m not really sure what would be classed as ‘normal’ music for that kind of activity.
Another slight negative is the sheer amount of people they clearly think is a safe number to be shoved onto such a comparatively small area of ice.
I can get a little nervous when I go skating, as I’m not particularly experienced, and have enough trouble summoning up the courage to let go of the side of the rink as it was. Add into this equation hundreds of people kamakarzying towards you as you try to find a suitable time to enter the circle and it’s near impossible to ever actually get going.
And what doesn’t help the situation is the warden people who are there to try and help you. They skate around at a frightening speed, narrowly missing everyone they swish past and so I spent half the time  nervously trying to avoid the very people who were there to keep me safe.
So, I’ve just read this back and I seem to have come up with a rather large list of negatives for an activity I am recommending but this really is a fun activity and something a bit different to do on the run up to Christmas.
And, as long as you don’t break any limbs, you will leave the rink full of endorphins because actually skating is pretty hard work, exhilarated and feeling a bit strange when you try and walk in your shoes straight afterwards, with this wierd sensation that you should still be trying to skate forwards.
By Sophie Hudson

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