Christmas, Boxing Day & New Year’s Day Swims

Five Brrrrrilliant Wild Swims for Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day

The prospect of sprinting headlong into the ocean during the bitter depths of winter is enough to give most of us the shivers, however, for many this is all just part of a longstanding festive tradition.

With a plethora of health benefits attached to it, wild swimming is enjoying a surge in popularity – in fact, some GPs are even prescribing it!


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If you’ve booked a stay in one of Toad Hall Cottages’ coastal retreats this Christmas, and you’re keen for a bit of outdoor adventure, then don’t forget to pack your bathers.

Here are a hearty handful of Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day dips taking place up and down the magnificent South West peninsula…

Christmas Day

Charmouth, Dorset

Line up alongside hundreds of other salt water thrill seekers on the shores of Charmouth. This annual Christmas Day dunk is one of the highlights of the local festive calendar. Fancy dress is a must, and all abilities are welcome. Be there at 10.30 am for the 11 o’ clock dip!

Have a very merry Christmas in a Dorset holiday cottage.

Boxing Day

Charlestown Harbour, South Cornwall

This mid-morning plunge is watched by hundreds of people and is always followed by a jolly gathering/knees-up at the local pub. This year’s swim – organised by the Charlestown Rowing Club – is set to commence at 11.30 am and will help raise vital funds for the club’s chosen charity, Hospice South West. Registration and sponsorship forms are now available.

Book your Christmas break in South Cornwall.

West Bay, Dorset

Every Boxing Day, hundreds of people head to West Bay in their finest fancy dress for the ‘West Bay Wallow’. Registration for the charity event opens at 10.30, and the wallow commences at midday sharp. Click here for further details.


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Sidmouth, East Devon

Travel to the Sidmouth shingle for a spot of briny bathing at the eastern end of this popular seafront. This is one of the more eccentric Boxing Day dips, so expect to see plenty of Santa hats, lederhosen, Mexican bandits and all manner of other fancy dress costumes. Join the heroic hordes for an 11am dash across the pebbles. To keep abreast of all the latest news and info regarding the annual Sidmouth Boxing Day Swim, visit or follow its Facebook page.

Take a look at our East Devon holiday cottages available this Christmas.

New Year’s Day

Looe, South Cornwall

Join the merry gathering at 11am on Looe Beach for a revitalising dip to kick off the New Year. Registration is at 10am in the Lifeboat Station, and you can grab a well-earned mug of tea and a mince pie after you’ve braved the waves. What better way to shake off the overindulgence from the night before! Visit the Looe New Year’s Day Dip Facebook page for more information.


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Celebrate the New Year in lively Looe.

For more information on Wild Swimming visit The Outdoor Swimming Society and for the latest safest advice on swimming in the sea, visit the RNLI.

Stay Safe & Always Respect the Water!