The Peter Pan Cup: London’s Christmas Day Race You Must Know About


A legendary swimming race and one of London’s quirkiest Christmas traditions, the Peter Pan Cup has been contested every Christmas morning in the city since 1864! This long-standing tradition is also one of the world’s most prestigious and iconic festive sporting events. Be part of the splendid event and witness London’s festive spirit at its peak for yourself as you watch this incredible swimming race. Here are some fascinating facts about London’s Peter Pan Cup that you must know:

A Prestigious Annual Swimming Race Held on Christmas Day

The Peter Pan Cup is a true test of resilience and endurance as the participants brave through freezing temperatures and strong currents of Hyde Park’s Serpentine Lido. The Serpentine Swimming Club is also one of the oldest swimming clubs in the country and to watch the swimmers compete for the trophy is truly a unique event. Reserve your stay at The Montcalm at The Brewery London City, the most ideal urban retreat in central London and experience the charm of exclusive Christmas Day events near you.

A Long and Storied History Dating Back to 1864

With a long history spanning over a century, the Peter Pan Cup is undoubtedly, one of the most cherished and celebrated London traditions! The race was first held in 1864 and has been organised by the Serpentine Swimming Club ever since. The world-renowned 100-yard swimming race in Hyde Park Lido, near top luxury hotels for families, derives its name from the 1904 edition when playwright and author Sir James Barrie announced the race winner with a trophy.

Only Club Members are Eligible for Participation 

The Peter Pan Cup is a strictly spectator event and only the members of the Serpentine Swimming Club are allowed to participate. The exclusivity of the event adds an element of camaraderie to the race as the Serpentine Club’s close-knit community is bonded by the tradition and love for the historic Peter Pan Cup event.

The Race Distance and Tackling Freezing Temperatures

The limited distance of the race makes it an intense and thrilling competition. In addition to this, one of the most noteworthy aspects of the exciting event is that the participants brave the lido’s frigid temperatures sans the aid of wetsuits. Quite often, the swimmers must break the thin ice layer, covering the lake and dive in for the race to commence. Fuel yourself with a flavourful Montcalm Hotel afternoon tea after witnessing this iconic swim race that starts at 9 am.

The perfect blend of tradition and holiday spirit, the winner of the race receives a trophy shaped like the mythical character Pan. Also, participation is by invitation only! Despite the chilly winter weather, the Peter Pan Cup draws a massive crowd of spectators from all walks of life who gather to cheer for the dedicated swimmers.

Plan your visit and head down to watch the brave folk compete for the win at this spectacular event. Book your stay at one of the opulent hotels near Chiswell Street London for an impeccable experience exploring the vibrant city!