Free Festive Things to Do in London for a Magical Christmas

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London shines brighter than ever on Christmas Day with its iconic streets twinkling under the Christmas lights, legendary shopping destinations in full festive bloom and the sound of carols ringing out in the city. Here’s a list of some of the best free activities to enjoy and get in the festive mood this Christmas in the capital city!

The Peter Pan Cup on Christmas Day

For an incredible experience, plan your visit to catch the iconic Peter Pan Cup race in Hyde Park on Christmas Day! A historic festive tradition to add to your list, see brave swimmers compete as they dive and swim through the chilly waters. Head to Serpentine Swimming Club, the oldest swimming club in London for an experience of a lifetime! Remember only the club members can participate in the Peter Pan Cup and is a truly spectator sport, attracting people from all walks of life to cheer and get into the festive spirit.

The race commences at 9 am sharp so make sure to be there on time! Reserve a luxurious holiday stay at The Chilworth London Paddington Hotel, the perfect urban setting to relax and only steps away from the green expanse of Hyde Park for a breezy central London exploration!

Christmas Carols at St Pauls

There’s no doubt about the fact that listening to Christmas carols is one of the most cheerful and enlightening experiences during the holiday season! This year make an unforgettable addition to your itinerary, as you visit the St. Paul Cathedral for a truly special experience. Attend the free carol concerts hosted by the legendary landmark throughout December including a night of organ-led carols and family-friendly services all in the backdrop of the architectural marvel designed by Sir Christopher Wren.

Winter by The River in Southbank 

One of the many highlights of Christmas in London is the seasonal Winter by the River festival that pops up at London Bridge. Head to the South Bank of the Thames between Tower Bridge and London Bridge to take an immersive stroll through the lively market and explore the pop-up bars and karaoke rooms here for a great experience. If you’re looking for the perfect free night out opportunity, make sure to attend one of the free live choir performances in the Hay’s Galleria here until 1st January’24 and take an enchanting stroll along the river shining bright with the reflection of the glistening festive lights. After a day full of fun experiences, rejuvenate yourself at a spa near Paddington and call it a day!

Wander Around London’s Christmas Markets

There’s no better place to get a glimpse of London life during Christmas and explore a new side of the city than its Christmas markets. A plethora of world-renowned markets are returning to the capital this winter, including central London’s vibrant Leicester Square festive fair, the beloved Covent Garden Christmas market with a 60-foot tree at the centre of all the festive buzz, and the winery delights and live music performances at the Southbank Centre’s market along the Thames.

As you stay at one of the luxe hotels near Paddington Station London, browse around the beautifully decorated wooden chalets with hand-crafted gifts, keep warm with some hot chocolate and take some fresh sugary churros to go for a great experience!

See the London Christmas Lights

London’s Christmas light displays glisten throughout the city and add to the Christmas charm switch on from early November until the first week of January. Take the time to map out an evening just to absorb the spectacle of these light displays and soak in the city’s vibrant culture. Start with Oxford Street with thousands of stars shining bright under the night sky, Regent Street with its iconic Spirit of the Christmas Angels and Carnaby Street with its neon technicolour displays!

You can even take an open-top bus tour to get panoramic city views and check out the Christmas at Kew annual light show for the most unique and mesmerising experience. Here you go! Keep an eye out for top London hotels on special offers with breakfast and other premium amenities for some great Christmas adventures in the capital city!