Fend off festive cabin fever with these Christmas Day outings in London

While spending quality time with family over Christmas is great, things can start to get a bit tense after three days holed up with telly, wine and chocolates on tap.

So if you’re a group that gets on better when there’s a little more space, freedom and fresh air to enjoy, we’ve got the round-up of festive events you need.

Here’s a quick-fire guide to what’s going on in London on Christmas Day.

Watch the Serpentine swimmers

Every Christmas morning members of the Serpentine Swimming Club gather for the Peter Pan Cup – a race in the chilly waters, wearing just a swimsuit. Though you can’t join in unless you’re a seasoned member, watching the festive splash is a great addition to a Christmas walk through Hyde Park. Be there 9am sharp to watch them enter the water.

Ripley’s Believe It Or Not

Though most London attractions are closed on Christmas Day, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not gallery of weirdness is one exception. Marvel at the mind-boggling curation of artworks, facts and challenges, before strolling through Piccadilly Circus at its most quiet.

Christmas ice skating

Take a guided walk

The London tour specialists at London Walks still hit the streets even on Christmas Day. Choose between the morning Samuel Pepys walk, which focuses on the diarist’s account of the restoration of the monarchy, or the afternoon Charles Dickens walk. Both tours begin under the Christmas tree at Trafalgar Square at 11am and 2pm respectively. No need to book, just turn up and pay when you get there, see more information at

Go ice skating

To celebrate the first night of Jewish Chanukah, the ice skating rink at West Hampstead’s JW3 opens on Christmas Day for the Chanukah Funukah festival, with plenty of family fun by way of bouncy castles, live music, food and crafts.

Tour the Christmas Lights

London’s busiest streets are also home to some of the best Christmas lights, so walk off the turkey with an early evening stroll down Regent Street, Oxford Street, Carnaby Street, Bond Street and The Strand, to take in the light show without having to elbow your way through.