• Posted:Monday, October 26, 2009
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Chill your boots in London's Hyde Park this Christmas

Posted in: Travel
Chill your boots in London's Hyde Park this Christmas
I know that everyone has their own Christmas morning traditions. It's part of what makes the festive season that much more enjoyable. Some people roast chestnuts over an open fire, some sleep until two in the afternoon, while others run downstairs and open all their presents straight away. For my part, I get up and join my parents and sister in the kitchen for stockings and champagne, after which they all head off to church and I stay and play with the dog. (Sadly, I'm a non-believer.) Some people, however, do slightly strange things on Christmas morning, although this particular group could prove to be highly entertaining for those staying in London hostels at the end of December.

If that's you, you should perhaps consider heading to the Serpentine Lake in London's Hyde Park, to watch members of the Serpentine Swimming Club - some who come dressed in fun Santa hats - jump into the water to take part in their annual 100-yard swim.

The race itself is called The Peter Pan Cup, after novelist J. M. Barrie presented the winner with a trophy in 1904, a prize that replaced the gold medal initially given to the victor each year from 1864. So, you see, it is indeed a proper Christmas morning tradition and you could do worse than head down to the park to witness it. Temperatures are usually below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (four degrees Celsius) so expect to see some very blue Father Christmases clambering out of the water.

If you want to take part in some more normal swimming activities, a visit to the Ironmonger Row Baths could be fun as well as interesting, as - according to Time Out - the building still retains many of its original features from the 1930s.

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