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The best festive swims 2018

by charlydove on 12th December 2018

It's a highlight in the swimming calendar seeing the swims that take place over the festive period. Whether it's Christmas Day, Boxing Day or indeed New Year's Day, it's a great way to dress up and raise money for charity. Here are just some of the Christmas Day and Boxing Day swims taking place in 2018. Please make sure you check registration deadlines and participant timings in advance.

SOUTH EAST

The Boxing Day Dip at Deal Beach has been running since 1981. So far £100,000 has been raised for good causes. The last day for registration is 16th December 2018. Dippers meet for the Folkestone Lions Boxing Day Dip at Sunny Sands Beach and fancy dress is encouraged! On the Isle of Wight, the 38th Ventnor Boxing Day Swim is scheduled to go ahead in Ventnor Bay with the whistle being blown at midday.

LONDON

The Serpentine Swimming Club race takes place on Christmas morning. Created for the Peter Pan cup, only members on the handicap list will be allowed to start. Kick off is at 9am.

EAST OF ENGLAND

The Round Table Christmas Day swim in Hunstanton, Norfolk has been established for 50 years. What better way to spend Christmas morning that frolicking in the sea with over a hundred other people! Registration for swimmers is at the Oasis Leisure Centre at 10:30am. The Lowestoft Christmas Day swim, organised by the Sentinel Leisure Trust, is in its 41st year and expected to be even bigger in 2018. Changing facilities and registration for registered swimmers only opens from 9.15am at the Claremont Pier. Around 400 people take the plunge in the St Elizabeth Hospice Christmas Day Dip in Felixstowe which takes place on Felixstowe sea front at 10am. The RNLI Southend on Sea Boxing Day dip is back having taken place on New Year's Day due to bad weather.

FINAL St Elizabeth Hospice Felixstowe - Christmas Day Dip 3

The Mundesley Boxing Day Dip has refreshments available at the boathouse from 10.30am with the dip taking place at 11am. The annual Christmas Day charity swim in Southwoldorganised by the local Rotary Club, will take place at 10:30am on Southwold Beach near to Gun Hill. The North Norfolk Beach Runners Boxing Day Dip is raising money for MIND (Norwich and Central Norfolk) this year. Please note the timing this year has reverted to 10.00am for the Fun Run (20 minutes out and back) to allow any runners time to get changed and ready for the main event at 11.00am.

WEST MIDLANDS

Blackroot Pool in Sutton Coldfield has a Christmas Day Swim at which takes place at Sutton Park (accessed by Hartopp Gate on Blackroot Road). People will gather from 9.30am, in readiness to enter the water between 10am and 10.30am.

SOUTH WEST ENGLAND

Bude is home to the largest Christmas Day Swim in Cornwall which is a fund raising event for Bude SLSC. The Mike Moyle Memorial Christmas Day Swim sees hundreds of Santas head to Crooklets Beach to raise money for the Bude Surf Life Saving Club. Hot drinks and sausage rolls will be supplied so generous donations are needed!

FINAL bude-christmas-swim

Budleigh Salterton in East Devon offers a Jurassic Coast Christmas Day Swim. In 2017, participants met at the Steamer steps for a 10am start. Charmouth in Dorset has a swim on Christmas Day swim for the RNLI. Fancy dress is compulsory - wetsuits certainly aren’t! Attracting thousands of people, the Exmouth, East Devon Christmas Day Swim dates back to 1970. Usually starts at 11am.

In St Agnes, North Cornwall you can earn yourself hot mulled cider at the Driftwood Spars Inn beside the beach. Once a dare, this Christmas Day tradition has now been running 20 years. Starts at 11am Trevaunance Cove. Also kicking off at the same time is the Christmas Day Swim in Polzeath which over 400 people take part in. Wetsuits are strictly forbidden! In Sennen, Cornwall you can help uphold a 50-year-old tradition by joining 300 others for a festive dip. Usually starts at 11am on Christmas morning. The Sandford Parks Lido in Cheltenham has a long history of Christmas Day Swims. The Weymouth Lions Club Christmas Day Harbour Swim has over 400 swimmers taking to the water in Weymouth with thousands watching from the harbour. Registration will start at 9.45 with the swim taking place from 11am.

FINAL Weymouth lions

Sidmouth in East Devon has a Boxing Day swim. This icy dip has been taking place since 1985 and now attracts hundreds every year. Fancy dress is optional - entrants will be judged before 11am. Wetsuits are permitted at the St Ives Boxing Day Swim at midday on Porthminster Beach. In Gwithian, Cornwall you can join over 400 people and take the plunge into the chilly waves on Christmas Day. The Lions Club of Paignton holds its annual Walk Into The Sea on Boxing Day. In Torquay the Boxing Day Dip takes place at Corbyn Head Beach which is opposite the Grand Hotel.

NORTH EAST

The Hartlepool Round Table Boxing Day Dip takes place at Seaton Carew. Registrations and bookings take place at The Marine Hotel in Seaton and there's a new Parade Route. In South Shields, there's the St Clares Hospice Boxing Day Dip. Meet up is 11am at Dunes Adventure Island on Sea Road.

The Boxing Day Dip at Seaburn Beach in Sunderland has become part of history. A great opportunity to dress up, take a dip in the North Sea and raise money for charity. The Whitby District Lions event on Boxing Day sees over 150 dippers run into the cold waves. The event kicks off at 10am in Whitby.

WALES 

The Porthcawl Christmas morning swim is a charity event in South Wales which has been established for over fifty years. Swimmer registration is from 10:30am with the swim starting at 11:45am.

FINAL porthcawl-swim-2013-owen-richards47

The Lions Club of Llandudno has run its Boxing Day Sea Dip for over 25 years. It regularly sees over 100 dippers taking the plunge into and icy Irish Sea. Registration for dippers can take place on the day in the St George's Hotel or you can collect a registration form from the Lions Shop in Madoc Street, Llandudno.

Tenby FINAL_

The Tenby Boxing Day swim is ranked one of the Britain's top ten winter dips. Organised by the Tenby Sea Swimming Association (TSSA) it attracts hundreds of bathers and thousands of spectators to the North Beach. The 2017 Tenby Boxing Day Swim saw 650 dippers who were cheered on by one of the largest-ever crowds in the event’s history. The 48th Tenby Boxing Day Swim takes place on the North Beach on Boxing Day. Fun on the beach starts at 11am with a canoe race, crazy raft race, and fancy dress parade.

FINAL tenby boxing day swim 2

IRELAND 

The Christmas Day swim in Sandycove was back in 2017 in aid of the RNLI. It took place from 1pm to 2pm at the slipway across from Clontarf Yacht & Boat Club, Clontarf, Dublin 3. Details for the 2018 event to be confirmed.

SCOTLAND 

The 33rd Burghead Boxing Day swim will take place at Burghead Harbour with the first Swimmer entering the water at 2.30pm. Hot food and drinks will be available and all are welcome to take part.

As with all outdoor events, please make sure you check all the details before you leave home. If you're participating in a Christmas Day, Boxing Day or even New Year's Day swim, we'd love to see your photos. Do share them with us either on TwitterFacebook or Instagram.