5 Places To Escape To In London When A Family Christmas Gets Too Much

Tabby Powell-Tuck Tabby Powell-Tuck


Christmas is great; family is great. No one’s denying that. But everyone deserves a break from time to time and no one’s judging you if that break needs to be taken at 9am in the morning. Public transport won’t be running on the day but this means the streets will be gloriously empty and the city will be looking more magical than ever. Have a Happy Christmas everyone!


1. The Peter Pan Cup

[Time Out]
Before you get too excited (because we know you’re just dying to jump on in), the Peter Pan Race is a strict spectator sport only. Leave all that flapping around in icy water to the Serpentine Swimming Club and enjoy the 150 year old spectacle from the sidelines in Hyde Park. The race starts at 9am on Christmas Day – and a brisk walk across the park afterwards will be just what you need to work up an appetite before the big feast that awaits you. No matter how much your fam are already starting to grate on you, please refrain from pushing anyone in the water. It’s normally about 40 degrees F – in other words, they could die.

Serpentine Lido, 9am Christmas Day. 


2. Pop off for a skate at JW3

[Blake Ezra Photography]
The choice of places to ice skate in London at Christmas is pretty spectacular, but unfortunately for wannabe Torvill and Deans, most of them close on Christmas Day. Not JW3, however, which will open for skating from 10am, with further sessions at 11.15am and 12.30pm. Get a bit of air if things get too stuffy whilst the turkey’s cooking.

341-351 Finchley Road, NW3 6ET


3. Christmas Day Bike Ride

[Get West London]
The city will be empty of buses on Christmas Day so what better time to hop on a bike and get a three hour bike tour of London? The annual event, led by London Cycling Campaign, starts at 10am at Cutty Sark Gardens and finishes with a Lebanese meal at one of Edgware Rd’s restaurants.

See here for more details. 


4. See the streets of London sparkle

[Instagram: Mutikxo]
With no buses on the roads, the Christmas lights in London will be looking even more spectacular. Regent St, Carnaby St and Covent Garden all have wonderful displays to offer but Sloane Square has some beautifully minimalist balls of light dotted around in trees. London will have never looked so calm, trust us.


5. Go for a winter walk

[Capturing Adventure]
If you’re feeling a bit cooped up, a long walk along one of London’s gorgeous walking trails that stretch out way beyond the centre is definitely your answer. Check out our list of 5 London Winter Walks That Will Whisk You To Wonderland and breathe in that nice, fresh outer-city air. Peace, at last.


Psst. Do remember no public transport will run on Christmas Day in London. Get on yer bike. 

Tags: Christmas
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