What Can You Actually Do In London On Christmas Day?

Staying in the big city for Jesus’s birthday? Here’s a few things you can do to keep you busy…


1. On yer bike!

[Flickr | (Mick Baker)rooster]
Tubes won’t be running so you’ll have to rely on Boris to help you get around. (His bikes that is… though you could call in a favour and ask for a piggyback). It might actually be quite pleasant as the roads won’t be frantically busy, so it’ll be far less terrifying. See how to hire a bike in London.


2. Go to the pub

Lots of pubs will be open on Christmas Day for you to fill your boots with turkey and sprouts, including London’s most christmassy boozer.


3. Watch people diving into the Serpentine Lido

[Serpentine Swimming Club]
Sounds like a laugh, right? While most of us are keen to unload our stockings on Christmas morning, others are eager to jump into a freezing cold lido in Hyde Park. The 100 yard swimming race has happened every year since 1864 and it became the Peter Pan Cup when novelist, J.M. Barrie donated the first prize cup in 1904 (the same year Peter Pan hit the stage). Unfortunately only members of the Serpentine Swimming Club are able to enter the race, so you’ll have to settle with spectatorship we’re afraid.

Hyde Park, W2 2UH


4. Wander empty(ish) streets

A photo posted by shernee remoroza (@sherness016) on

Who’d have thunk? If there’s anything at all exciting about being in central London on Christmas Day, it’s the peace. The lack of humans, to put it another way. The Christmas lights will still be twinkling, and you’ll be able to admire them without getting smacked around the knees by Primark bags or having to fight against angry swarms of shoppers and commuters.


5. Ripley’s Believe It Or Not is, believe it or not, open on Christmas Day

Weird, yes. A joke, no. We can’t imagine that there’ll be many people to join you if you decide to make a visit on the 25th, but it’s nice to know that it’s an option.

1 Piccadilly Circus, W1J 0DA


6. Go on a walking tour

Join London Walks on their Charles Dickens tour on Christmas Day, or take a walk with Golden Tours and pair it with a traditional Christmas lunch cruise on the Thames.


7. Or hop on a bus tour

[Hop On Hop Off]
HOHO (aptly acronymed) bus tours don’t stop to celebrate the birth of Christ. Instead it’s business as usual, taking cheery punters from hotspot to hotspot on a variety of different routes. You could even hop off at Ripley’s, just to see if you believe it or not.


8. Go to a traditional church service

[Flickr | Tony Hisgett]
Head to one of London’s beautiful churches for a traditional service on Christmas Day. St Paul’s, for example, is hosting services throughout the day, including congregational carol services.


Feature Image: Flickr – Jack Torcello

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