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Forget EastEnders and getting fat, don’t spend Xmas and Boxing days cooped up indoors. Here’s what else to do.

Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!

If you haven’t already checked out this London attraction, Christmas Day will be the best time, away from the maddening crowds.

Gawp at more than 700 weird and wonderful exhibits, including a two-headed calf, three shrunken heads from Ecuador and the blue-faced man from China.

Then make your way through the mirror maze and spinning tunnel just to finish off your hangover.

Christmas Day, 10am-midnight,m £26.95
1 Piccadilly Circus, W1J 0DA
Tube | Piccadilly Circus 
ripleyslondon.com

 

Hampton Pool

What is it with swimming on Xmas Day? Rather than the hardcore Serpentine race, this is a suitable-for-all, 36m heated (28˚C) pool overlooking a woodland area on the Bushy Park outskirts.

There’s also a 12.5m learner pool.

Get up early, work off last night’s booze then pack a picnic to eat on the grass for a Christmas with a difference.

Christmas Day, 8am-midday, £6.60
High Street, TW12 2ST
Station | Hampton 
hamptonpool.co.uk

 

1660 – The London of Samuel Pepys

This festive-themed walk around the traffic-free streets of London takes in the spirit of Xmas past. Learn about Samuel Pepys – diarist extraordinaire and chronicler of the 17th century.

For two hours, walk in his footsteps – where Pepys lived and worked, then head to Westminster Abbey to hear how the bodies of Oliver Cromwell and others were dug up so they could be hanged.

Learned guides will tell tales about the Plague, the Fire of London, and about Pepys’ career, which went downhill.

Much more interesting than an EastEnders omnibus.

Christmas Day, 11am-1pm, £9
Meet by the Christmas tree
in Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DN
Tube | Charing Cross 
walks.com

 

Windmill on the Common

This friendly boozer is opening up its doors on Crimbo Day, so swan in for a pint of ale.

Or, if you haven’t got your roast sorted, book now to tuck in to a four-course dinner with all the trimmings at £70.

Christmas Day, 11.45am-3pm, free
Clapham Common, South Side,
SW4 9DE 
Tube | Clapham Common

windmillclapham.co.uk

 

La Brasserie

Christmas dinner tastes even better when it’s prepared (and cleared away) by someone else.

Chow down on salmon, roast turkey and proper pud at this traditional, brasserie-style French restaurant.

Christmas Day, 12-3pm, 3.30-5pm, £52.50
27 Brompton Road, SW3 2AW
Tube | South Kensington
labrasserielondon.com

 

The Brook Green Hotel

You’re in London for Crimbo, so visiting a traditional boozer is a must.

With fireplaces and a tops bar menu, wile away the hours over a few pints or opt for the four-course Christmas roast for £60.

Christmas Day, 8am-3pm, free
107 Shepherd’s Bush Road,
W6 7PB 
Tube | Hammersmith

brookgreenhotel.co.uk

 

Cinnamon Soho

Spice up Christmas lunch at this Indian restaurant.

Munch mixed game balls with hot and sweet pumpkin chutney, Kadhai-seasoned duck, saffron-poached peer and sip spicy signature cocktails.

Christmas Day, 12pm-4pm, £40
5 Kingly Street, W1B 5PF
Tube | Oxford Circus
cinnamon-kitchen.com

 

More Christmas and Boxing Day events in London: From the Peter Pan Cup to the Charles Dickens Museum


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