Roller skating in London: Where to go day or night, if you're a kid or a grown-up
Roller rinks, roller discos, roller-skating based workouts... whether you're a child or young at heart, roller skating is just plain fabulous. Here's where to do it in London.
Some of London's roller skating experiences are perfect for kids, others are strictly after-hours and some can help us get fitness into our week in a way we actually enjoy (rollerskating is an aerobic workout that burns around 250 cals every thirty minutes). Plus, there's no one way to skate, from disco jamming to skate park shredding. No matter your style or motivation, roller skating is lots of fun - and an excuse to wear full-body spandex. What's not to love? Here's our guide of where to skate - and watch skaters in action - around London.
Enjoying the fun at Roller Nation
London roller disco venues
Roller Nation, in Bruce Grove, has it all: roller disco club nights with different musical genres, family skate sessions every Saturday (for kids 5-14, and it's also a fantastic birthday party venue) and learn-to-skate sessions for adults with the fab teachers from Play Tone.
Fix8 roller disco is located in Wembley and suits skaters of all skill levels. Every Tuesday night, you can boogie and roll with adult skate nights to a mix of different tunes. Lessons for newbies or the more advanced are also available, and you can rent out the space for parties. Skating aficionados head here for the annual RollOn London four-day skating event.
A family session at Sk8citylondon roller disco
Sk8citylondon Roller Disco hosts family sessions, holiday-themed specials, half-term roller discos and evening skate nights at their venue in Byron Hall, Harrow. Don't miss their Summer Roller Disco (August 15 and 16), with both family-friendly and 18+ options.
Learn some roller skating and hooping skills with Play Tone
London roller fitness
Roller skating has lots of appeal as a fitness activity: it's fun, counts as cardio and you can wear a leotard and fishnets or sweats while you do it. Founded by Tinuke and Obie, who have Starlight Express and Marawa's Majorettes training and experience under their belts, Play Tone's classes at the Africa Centre in Southwark, Roller Nation in Bruce Grove and Dalston's Play Ground, appeal to all fitness and skill levels. In addition to skate-based classes where you can learn how to master those wheels, dance on them, and tone while skating, there are also hoop classes and hoop skate classes so you can perfect your circus tricks, too. You can also book in for Play Tone workshops, roller discos and parties.
The London Roller Girls, London Batter C Power vs Swansea Roller Derby. Credit: Juke Boxx 2018 via Flickr
London roller derbies
Maybe you're still thinking about Ellen Page's roller days in Whip It... or you're feeling the girl power from this year's women's sporting triumphs and are keen to try something new? London Rollergirls might just tempt you into the exhilarating sport of roller derby. In addition to the fundamentals training programme they run Saturdays at Brixton Recreational Centre, you can watch them in action at one of their games in London - they've got a triple header coming up at Crystal Palace this August. For juniors aged 12-18 interested in getting in on the action, the London Rollergirls also host junior bootcamps to build up skills - check the website for the latest info. For men's roller derby events, check out the England Men's Roller Derby and Southern Discomfort, a London-based men's derby team.
Photo: Unsplash/Jacqueline Martinez
London skating lessons and meet-ups
There are plenty of skate camps for the kiddos to sign up to like Zebra Skate in Clapham Common and Kensington and London Skate Crew in Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens (as well as kid's classes, they specialise in jam dance skating, quad skating and inline skating). For adults looking for that new challenge, Rollerski classes in Victoria Park get you ready for cross-country skiing season, on wheels.
If you're looking for casual skating excursions, try London Friday Night Skate, which offers beginners' skating sessions Saturday afternoons, intermediate skates Wednesday evenings and advanced skates Friday nights in Hyde Park.
Marawa Rose Gold Impala Skates at Play Tone
All the gear...
Kid or adult, remember that it's safety first when it comes to roller skating or blading: you'll need wrist guards, elbow pads, knee pads and a helmet.
Once you've gotten all the safety gear comes the fun part: skates that reflect your personality. Play Tone's online shop has Impala roller skates in all colours and prints, from holographic to jungle to rose gold, a collaboration with hula-hooping roller skater extraordinaire, Marawa the Amazing, as well as classic white and black skates from Rookie. Or get kitted out like a roller derby pro by Double Threat Skates, who provide the London Rollergirls with their footwear.
There's also super-cool French brand Flaneurz - they take your favourite trainers and Doc Martens and turn them into roller skates.