Christmas Swim in the Serpentine

Published: 03/12/2021 By Allan Fuller

The tradition of swimming in Hyde Park's man-made lake at 9am on 25 December is over 150 years old. 

The annual 100-yard Christmas Day swim was first swum in 1864, and in 1904 the author JM Barrie donated a trophy, the Peter Pan Cup, to be awarded to the winner. 

Due to the risks involved in plunging into near-freezing water, this is not an event you can just turn up and take part in; the race is only open to members of the Serpentine Swimming Club, who swim in the lake  all year-round.