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Things to do on Christmas Day in London

Feel like spending Christmas Day out and about? Here are our top picks for things to do in London on December 25

By Time Out London Things To Do

December 25 is the only day when everything in London grinds to a halt (apart from a few London restaurants offering a Christmas lunch you don’t have to cook). In 2019 the big day falls on a Wednesday. Public transport may come to a stop, but there’s no need to stay indoors in a turkey stupor. Get our of your PJs, put on your woollies and get out of the house to check out all of the things you can get up to on Christmas Day in London. There’s more going on that you think, and you won’t have to contend with any crowds.  

RECOMMENDED: Find more festive fun with our guide to Christmas in London

Christmas Day in London ideas and events

Go for a dip in Hampton Pool

Sport and fitness Hampton

Shake off that hangover and work up an appetite worthy of Christmas lunch with a morning swim in (mercifully heated) Hampton Pool, which is open from 8am to noon on Christmas Day. Waterproof Santa hat optional. 

Shiver in sympathy at the Peter Pan Cup

Things to do Quirky events

There’s nothing to make you feel snug and warm inside like seeing a bunch of brave/mad souls dive into icy water at 9am. The Serpentine Swimming Club’s Christmas Morning Race, held every year since 1864, is open to members only, so there's no risk of being tempted to join in/catching hypothermia on Christmas Day. 

Oxford Street Christmas Lights 2013
Oxford Street Christmas Lights 2013
© Ashleigh Arnott

See London's streets sparkle

You won't find many people on the street on December 25 but the capital's stunning Christmas lights will still be sparkling. Empty pavements and bus-free views will only make a tour of the capital's best crimbo decorations all the more magical.

Enjoy Christmas dinner in London's top restaurants

You can either keep things traditional and find one of London's top restaurants serving up fat turkeys with all the trimmings on December 25, or use the opportunity to graze in one of the capital's more international offerings. Whichever way you choose to take your Christmas dinner, here's our selection of London restaurants allowing you to sit back, relax and forget about the figgy pudding.

Walk off all the turkey and trimmings

There's no better way to walk off a big meal (or work up an appetite for one) than by taking a brisk stroll. Step outside this Christmas Day and soak up sights of festive lights, deocrations and maybe even a sprinkling of snow. Check out our guide to London's scenic walks, all perfect for a festive stretch of the legs.

Volunteer your time to help other Londoners

News City Life

There are heaps of charities supporting the homeless, elderly and those with disabilities, and although they need extra hands all year round in order to support the brilliant work they do, they’re always looking for more volunteers over Christmas. 

Deserted London
Deserted London
James Beard

Enjoy the peace and quiet

Have you ever walked around London on Christmas morning? It’s like stepping into a zombie movie before the plot kicks in. Here's how to embrace London without the crowds. 

Find more fun during the festive period

Things to do on Boxing Day in London

Things to do

Father Christmas may have been and gone, but the fun doesn't end there. Boxing Day in London is a great time to visit some of London's best attractions, who fire things up for the festivities. 


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