© David John - Flickr: DavenJohn


It’s Chriiiiistmaaas! Five alternative things to do on Christmas Day in London

Posted at 6:15 pm, December 24, 2013 in Arts & Entertainment, Food & Drink, Fun London, Outdoor London

Now, we know that most of you will be busy stuffing your face with turkey, stuffing, pigs in blankets (or devils on horseback?!), gravy, roast potatoes, chocolate, more chocolate, Christmas cake, mince pies, cheese, port… sorry, where were we? Anyway, if you don’t celebrate Christmas or are shunning the traditional Christmas Day routine of feasting and then passing out on the sofa in front of ‘Downton Abbey’ with your Christmas cracker hat still on, here are five alternatives you could try in London today:

Cheer on the brave swimmers in the Peter Pan Cup

peter pan cup © Serpentine Swimming Club

For most of us the idea of taking a dip in near-freezing water seems pretty crazy at any time, let alone on Christmas Day. But for the hardy swimmers of the Serpentine Swimming Club, the annual Peter Pan Cup means a 100-yard race in Hyde Park’s serpentine lido at 9am on Christmas morning. Luckily for the rest of us, it is too dangerous for non-members to take part (thank you health and safety!) so instead get your new woollies on and take an early morning walk through the park to cheer on the participants.

See the sparkling streets of London

oxford st lights

London’s streets are adorned with glittering lights and it’s safe to say they’ll probably be unusually empty today. Take a festive stroll around the capital’s most famous spots, soaking up peace and quiet – with sales season just around the corner we can guarantee they won’t be empty for long!

A Very Dickensian Christmas

Xmaseve Dickens © Andrea Artz

That’s right, Charles Dickens was such a massive fan of Christmas that his house (now the Dickens Museum) is even open on Christmas Day! Indulge in mulled cider and mince pies as you enjoy traditional Victorian festivities, film screenings, and readings from the author’s seasonal tales.

Take a guided walk

Royal Parks walk © Indusfoto

Whether you’re walking off your dinner or working up an appetite for it, London has lots of lovely locations for a Christmas Day walk. If you’d like a bit of history thrown in try the Charles Dickens Walk or Samuel Pepys tour, both meeting at the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree on Christmas morning.

Be amazed at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! exhibitions


Even if you’d never normally think of a trip to Ripley’s in Soho, there’s plenty to marvel at and it’s open 365 days a year. There are six floors of artefacts collected from across the globe with loads of interactive experiences including a Mirror Maze and LaseRace, and you can even see how you measure up to the World’s Tallest Man. Katie Berrington

Whatever you get up to today, we wish you a very Happy Christmas!

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