What's Open In London On Christmas Day 2013?

By M@ Last edited 62 months ago
What's Open In London On Christmas Day 2013?

See a deserted Trafalgar Square.

Christmas Day can be a magical time to explore the capital. Not much public transport will be running, but if you can get into town by cycle hire, taxi or your own transport, there's plenty going on.

This is a growing list, and we'll add to it with any reader suggestions.

Dining Options

The following restaurants will all be open on Christmas Day. In addition, the kitchens at all large hotels should be open. For pubs, see below.

Pubs and Drinking

All of the following also offer dining options.

Attractions and Events

  • Ripley's Believe it or Not? is open, and a good chance to look around without the usual tourist crush.
  • The Peter Pan Cup is an annual Christmas Day swimming race in the Serpentine whose roots go back 150 years. This year's race starts at 9am.
  • The Charles Dickens Museum in Bloomsbury is open 10am to 5pm, with mince pies and mulled wine.


  • Fire in Vauxhall runs its annual Orange Christmas Day party from 10pm till 7am. Entry is free.
  • The Circle Christmas Party at a mystery West End location offers a "More Intimate, Extremely Plush & a Sophisticated Affair" for over-25s, from 9pm till 4am. Tickets £16.80 in advance or £20 on the doors.
  • Sugar Rush at Club 65 (Vauxhall) has a night of DJs from 11pm till 6am. Tickets are £11 at time of writing.

Guided Walks and Tours


  • Crisis is looking for volunteers to help out at homeless shelters over the seasonal period, including Christmas Day.

Christian Worship

Many churches will offer Christmas Day services, but for something bigger, head to St Paul's Cathedral for Holy Communion (8am), sung Eucharist (11am), or Festival Evensong (3.15pm). At Westminster Cathedral, Mass takes place at 8am, 9am and noon, with Morning Prayer at 10am and Solemn Vespers at 3.30pm.

Festive Cycling

Mithrasmas Mass 2013 is a festive cycle ride from Greenwich to Putney organised by London Cycling Campaign. The route starts at Cutty Sark Gardens at 10am and takes advantage of the Thames Path, normally bustling with pedestrians, but today much quieter. The ride finishes with seasonal cheers at the Duke's Head pub. It's a free ride, just turn up on the day.

With much quieter roads in central London, 25 December is a glorious opportunity to give the Cycle Hire scheme a go, or take your own bike for a leisurely spin.

For London gift ideas and seasonal events, browse our Christmas 2013 guide.

This is a growing list, and we'll add to it with any reader suggestions.

Last Updated 18 December 2013