Swimmers brave the cold for Christmas Day dips in sea

UK sea temperatures hover around 10C in December, but the chilly conditions haven’t deterred scores of people from going for Christmas Day dips.

Donning a variety of Christmas hats, costumes and more, both humans and pets braved the cold waters up and down the country this morning.

Congregating at Portobello Beach in Edinburgh, swimmers wore full elf outfits and tutus to jump into the water.

People also gathered at Tynemouth Beach in the North East, where similar Christmas costumes were worn by hardy swimmers.

A group of women braved the chilly water together, holding hands as they entered the water.

However, due to bad conditions, the dip at Felixstowe, Suffolk was called off at the last minute, leaving many disappointed spectators and swimmers.

In a series of tweets, St Elizabeth’s Hospice, which was hosting the event, said its Christmas Day Dip was being postponed due to windy weather.

The organisation tweeted it had been advised the safety of participants could not be guaranteed due to the adverse conditions.


It tweeted: ‘We are so disappointed that we have to make a change like this so close to the event date.

‘It is not a decision we have taken lightly and your safety will always be our number one priority’.

The hospice added that it knew the postponement would be a ‘huge disappointment to many’ and that ‘attending the event is a family tradition and so many people were braving the cold in memory of their loved ones’.

Saying it was ‘truly sorry’ for the delay to the ‘iconic Christmas Day challenge’, the charity confirmed that those who intended to take part will have their registrations automatically rolled over to the new date once confirmed.

It later posted that the advice came from Felixstowe volunteer coastal patrol rescue service.


Before the cancellation, two swimmers wearing full clown costumes did take the plunge for a splash in the sea.

Among those who arrived for the Felixstowe swim were people dressed as turkeys, penguins and elves.

Elsewhere across the country – other festive dips were called off ahead of time due to fears over coronavirus infection rates.

Among those to be cancelled were a number along the Norfolk coast, including the traditional Christmas Day swim at Hunstanton and the Boxing Day Dip at Cromer which has been postponed.

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