Where to find the best festive swims

on 18th December 2017

Fancy challenging yourself to jump into icy water over the Christmas break? All in the name of fun of course. Why not join a festive dip, dress up and raise money for charity while you're at it. There are Christmas Day and Boxing Day swims taking place all over the UK, here are a few of our favourites.


The Boxing Day Dip at Deal Beach has been running since 1981. So far £100,000 has been raised for good causes. You can catch all the action from 10:15am. The Lions Club of Folkestone Boxing Day Dip takes place at Sunny Sands Beach. Meet at The Mariners Public House on the Stade after 11am for registration and fancy dress judging before the dip at 1pm. On the Isle of Wight, the Ventnor Boxing Day Swim is run to local support charity P.A.T.C.H. and starts midday on the seafront.


The 154th Serpentine Swimming Club race takes place on Christmas morning. Created for the Peter Pan cup, this blue ribbon event is for members who have competed during the year. Kick off is at 9am.


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! Swimmers parade into the sea at 11am. The Lowestoft Christmas Day swim, organised by the Sentinel Leisure Trust, is in its 40th year and expected to be even bigger in 2017. On the day registration opens at 9:30am at The Claremont Pier with the dip at 10am. Around 400 people take the plunge (from 8.30am) in the St Elizabeth Hospice Christmas Day Dip in Felixstowe.

FINAL St Elizabeth Hospice Felixstowe - Christmas Day Dip 3

The Mundesley Boxing Day Dip takes place at 11am (meet at the Lifeboat Station) with money raised going to local causes. The annual Christmas Day charity swim in Southwold, organised by the local Rotary Club, will take place at the beach below Gun Hill at 10:30am. The North Norfolk Beach Runners Boxing Day Dip is raising money for the Stroke Association this year. Meet at the Cromer Pier at 9am for a warm up run with the countdown to the dip at 10am.


Blackroot Pool in Sutton Coldfield will be running its Christmas Day Swim at Sutton Park. People tend to start arriving at 9.30am in time for the first race which kicks off at 10am.


Bude is home to the largest Christmas Day Swim in Cornwall. 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. Registration starts at 9.45am, be at the start line for 10:55am! There is hot chocolate, mulled wine and sausages afterwards.

FINAL bude-christmas-swim

Budleigh Salterton in East Devon offers a Jurassic Coast Christmas Day Swim. Meet at the Steamer steps and start at 10am. Charmouth in Dorset has a swim on Christmas Day swim for the RNLI. Fancy dress is compulsory but wetsuits certainly aren’t! There’s mulled wine on offer afterwards though. Attracting thousands of people, the Exmouth, East Devon Christmas Day Swim dates back to 1970. Meet near the clock tower on the beach 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. Meet at 11am. Also starting at the same time at 11am is the Christmas Day Swim in Polzeath which over 400 people take part in. Wetsuits are forbidden! In Sennen, Cornwall you can help uphold a 50-year-old tradition by joining 300 others for a festive dip. 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 saw over 400 swimmers take to the water in Weymouth last year (£20,000 raised) with thousands watching from the harbour. The event is capped at 500. Registration from 9.45am with the first swim at 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 welcome! Meet at the Esplanade at 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. Takes place from 7am to 11.45am on Boxing Day. The historic Charlestown Harbour has a Boxing Day swim which is organised by the Charlestown Rowing Club, the event sees hundreds of swimmers taking a frosty dip for local charities. Kicks off at 11am. The Lions Club of Paignton holds its annual Walk Into The Sea on Boxing Day at midday. In Torquay the Boxing Day Dip takes place at Corbyn Head Beach which is opposite the Grand Hotel (times vary).


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. The Marine Hotel will be open from 10am and serving breakfast buns and hot drinks for Dippers and spectators wishing to meet up with family and friends early. In South Shields, there's the St Clares Hospice Boxing Day Dip. Meet up is 11am at The Dunes on Sea Road, walking to the Littlehaven Beach for the dip at 12 noon. A hot cuppa and refreshments are available afterwards.

The Boxing Day Dip at Seaburn Beach in Sunderland has become part of history. Now in its 43rd year, it's 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 has been running for 45 years and sees over 150 dippers run into the cold waves. The event kicks off at 10am in Whitby.


The Porthcawl Christmas morning swim is a charity event in South Wales which has been established for over fifty years. This year the focus is on Macmillan. The dip is a key event for Porthcawl and Bridgend which sees visitors from all over the world - often around 1,000 people head into the sea.

FINAL porthcawl-swim-2013-owen-richards47

Registration starts at 10:30am and you get a free commemorative mug too! Swimmers head to the sea at 11:45am. Fancy dress is encouraged but it's not mandatory. The theme this year is 'Father Christmas' in memory of Jack Bridge, who was the event's original Santa.

FINAL Lyme Lunge

The Lions Club of Llandudno have run their Boxing Day Sea Dip for over 25 years. It regularly sees over 100 dippers taking the plunge into and icy Irish Sea. Registration is from 10am in the St Georges Hotel with the fancy dress parade following. The dip takes place at 11:30am. The Bangor Boxing Day Swim takes place at Ballyholme Yacht Club at 10:45am for an 11am plunge.

Tenby FINAL_

The Tenby Boxing Day swim is in its 47th year and is ranked one of the Britain's top ten winter dips. Organised by the Tenby Sea Swimming Association (TSSA) it attracts hundreds of bathers (over 700 last year) and thousands of spectators to the North Beach. The fun on the beach kicks off at 11am with a canoe race, crazy raft race and fancy dress parade. The stampede begins at 11:30am with a beach bonfire, hot soup and medal on their return.

FINAL tenby boxing day swim 2


The Christmas Day swim in Sandycove is back in 2017 in aid of the RNLI. Taking place from 1pm to 2pm at the slipway across from Clontarf Yacht & Boat Club, Clontarf, Dublin 3.


The Burghead Boxing Day swim has been running for 30 years. Registration is from midday.


If you're taking part in a Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year's Day swim, make sure you enter the #ZoggsFestiveDip photo competition. All you need to do is share a festive dips photo tagging Zoggs UK on TwitterFacebook or Instagram with the #ZoggsFestiveDip hashtag. Find out more here.