Where to find the best festive swims

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).