If you’re celebrating Christmas Day in London, then you’ll be fortunate enough to see a very different side to the capital. While London is usually a city that never sleeps, with public transport running 24 hours a day, and most stores, restaurants and entertainment spaces open from morning to night, Christmas is the one day of the year that many things will finally close.
However, if you’re staying at the Park Grand Hotel Hyde Park, this doesn’t mean that you will be left without anything to see or enjoy in the city. There is still plenty to experience all over London, even on Christmas Day.
Read on to find out what you could get up to on this special day of the year.
Explore the city on foot or by bike
One of the most striking things about Christmas Day in London is the sheer absence of all of the usual traffic that forms much of the city’s landscape. You won’t see the usual red buses driving around, the busy crowds of commuters and tourists coming in and out of Tube stations, nor hear the sound of trains running through the day and night.
While cars still pass through the city, the roads are in general much more quiet. In fact, you’ll even find the streets surprisingly empty, as you’re unlikely to see busy workers rushing to get a snack on their breaks, or shoppers heading out for a bargain.
All of that stillness and quiet means that it’s the perfect opportunity to explore the enormous diversity and magnificence of London, whilst enjoying the rare peace, quiet and cleaner air for the day. When you’ve got luxury Accommodation in London, you’re perfectly positioned to enjoy a scenic stroll through central London to admire the capital’s stunning buildings and picturesque bridges cross the river. Take a closer look at the magnificent skyscrapers that tower over the city without having to get jostled by busy crowds. And once night falls, take a walk or cycle through the streets, to admire the beautiful Christmas lights, on display all across the capital.
Enjoy a bite to eat
While the vast majority of restaurants, cafés and bars tend to close for the day at Christmas, you’ll still find some Bars Near Hyde Park that will serve customers, especially if you’re staying in a hotel like the Park Grand Hotel Hyde Park. Because of the needs of guests staying within, many hotel bars and restaurants will still be open, although you may need to make reservations ahead of time.
A number of pubs across London will also often be open, either for the whole of Christmas Day, or more commonly, a few hours in the afternoon. So if you fancy a change of scene and a warm, inviting atmosphere, have a look to see which pubs around you have their doors open. If you’re in London ahead of the big day, it’s worth checking your favourite pubs to see if they have opening hours advertised.
If you fancy an alternative to the traditional Christmas dinner, head to Chinatown, where a vast majority of restaurants remain open and are consequently a popular spot for tourists. You’ll find plenty of traditional Chinese food on offer, with delicious feasts to enjoy.
And if you really want to find a restaurant to dine in, a number of them will still stay open for the day or evening. Reservations are usually booked up in advance, so it is a good idea to call up as soon as you can. With restaurants such as the space run by the famed chef, Heston Blumenthal, offering sumptuous special feasts for Christmas, the experience will certainly be one to remember.
Find some entertainment
Stuck for ideas of what to do with yourself or family on Christmas Day? While the majority of London’s many museums, galleries and entertainment venues are closed, a handful will still be open, or have parts still accessible to the public.
The Body Worlds exhibition, located in Piccadilly, is one of the few things open on the day. While the gruesome but fascinating exhibition of real human bodies might put you off from the rest of your Christmas dinner, it’s certainly a thought provoking and memorable experience.
Most of the city’s outdoor ice rinks are closed, but you will find one in Finchley, if you’re in need for something to do with energetic children. You can head to the JW3 Jewish Centre to visit their ice rink. The space also has an interesting museum to explore.
Another great activity to enjoy on Christmas Day is a fun guided walk or tour around London. There will be a number of privately operated bus tours for tourists, with many close to luxury Accommodation in London. You can often buy tickets in advance, or book at the time of travel, and they provide a scenic way to experience the magnificent architecture around the capital. If you fancy getting off the roads, take to the river instead, with a unique boat cruise down the Thames.
If you’ve been indulging yourself over the holiday season with tasty treats, and need to get a little more active again, Christmas Day is the perfect time to start setting healthier goals. Head to one of the city’s many Royal Parks, which are the perfect place for a scenic stroll, or if you’re feeling brave, prepare to take a dip in some very cold water.
In Hyde Park, members of the Serpentine Swimming Club take part every Christmas in the Peter Pan Cup, where they’ll strip down to their swimming gear for a race across the lake. Or if you prefer swimming in an actual pool, Hampton Pool in West London is open 365 days a year. It’s still an outdoor swimming pool, so you can expect to get pretty chilly, but it’s the perfect way of working up an appetite before getting stuck into all the Christmas leftovers and indulgent desserts.