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If you want to start your Christmas Day this year with some fresh, crisp, and possibly freezing, air, then consider combining it with some early morning entertainment.


Every Christmas Day since 1864, members of the Serpentine Swimming Club have made their way to the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park, stripped down to their swimsuits and dived into the freezing water for a bracing swimming race at nine o'clock sharp. Bonkers? Maybe. Fun? Definitely.

A distance of 100 yards is covered in the splashy dash and the winner is presented with a trophy known as the Peter Pan Cup. Swimmers are all ages and of all swimming abilities, and for visitors the event can be a wonderfully unusual way to start an exciting but familiar day.

Please note that only members of the club can participate in the swim (not that you'd want to dive in) - they actually do a lot of training for the special event in order to acclimatise to the freezing conditions. They do, however, welcome visitors to come along to offer support and enjoy the atmosphere.


If you'd like to do something a little different this Christmas Day, pop along to the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park and watch in astonishment as members of the Serpentine Swimming Club race in waters so cold you wouldn't even want to dip your big toe in, let alone your entire body. These, let's be honest here, are brave people. We should salute them.

Images courtesy of the Serpentine Swimming Club
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Why? It's utterly bonkers but highly entertaining.
When: Christmas Day
Where: The south bank of the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park.
Cost: Free
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