Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Winter Dips And Swims In Britain

Our marvelously creative colleagues from the Outdoor Swimming Society continue to out-do themselves as they nurture a wonderful outdoor swimming society throughout Britain.

They produced an informative and easy-to-navigate Guide to Festive Dipping with the following swims that are held on either Christmas Day or Boxing Day. The swims - and other swimming locations can be researched here and below:

Boxing Day Swim - Guernsey: An annual swim in the English Channel attended by over 200 swimmers in Cobo Bay, Guernsey by Beau Sejour Barracudas Swimming Club.

New Year's Day Swim - Gyllyngvase beach: Traditional New Years Day swim at Gyllyngvase Beach, a stunning white sand beach, famous for surfing, waves and phenomenal outdoors activities.

Christmas Day Swim - Boscombe Pier: The Bournemouth Spartans Winter Sea Swimming Club hosts a very popular Christmas morning swim in the English Channel where crazy outfits are an intergral (and optional) part of the fun.

Christmas Day - Charmouth: A fancy-dress swim on a windswept, sandy beach with rocky bits in aid of Lyme Regis RNLI, hosted by The Royal Oak.

Boxing Day Swim - Sidmouth: Nearly 200 swimmers registered for the free swim where fancy dress is traditional; host by Sidmouth Lifeboat.

Christmas Day - Exmouth: Sandy and relatively sheltered ocean swim, especially at low tide by the sand bar.

Christmas Day Swim - Budleigh Salteron: Fancy dress is worn by some and the Exmouth lifeboat stands offshore in silvery calm sea (see photo above from the Exmouth Journal).

Christmas Day Swim - Hampton Pool, Middlesex: a 1.5K swim on Christmas Day.

Christmas Day Swim - The Serpentine: Open to Serpentine Swimming Club members only who participate in at least three Saturday winter series swims in the Hyde Park venue.

Boxing Day Swim - North Beach, Tenby: Run by the Tenby Sea Swimming Association, each charity swim is themed.

Boxing Day Swim - Pembrey Country Park: The just-for-fun Walrus Dip at Cefn Sidan Beach, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire (Pembrey Country Park) has been going for over 20 years with a few hundred swimmers dressed as anything from Vikings to walruses.

Christmas Day Swim - Porthcawl: An ongoing event for 40 years with hundreds of swimmers and thousands of spectators.

Christmas Day - Sandford Parks Lido, Cheltenham: Dip takes place at Sandford Parks Lido in Cheltenham.

New Year's Day Swim - Jesus Green Lido, Cambridge: Britain's longest lido hosts a New Year’s Day swim that is postponed this year for maintenance.

Christmas Day Swim - Felixstowe: A charity swim for St. Elizabeth Hospice that raised over £19,000 last year. St Elizabeth Hospice's community fundraiser Patsy Johnson said, "Christmas is a lovely time of year to give something back and remember a loved one. Why not come along first thing, do your dip with friends and family watching, then go home to open your presents and enjoy your Christmas dinner? What a great way to start the festivities." Mulled wine and minced pies are served.

Christmas Day Swim - Aldeburgh, Suffolk: On December 7, 1988, an earthquake hit Armenia, killing over 45,000 and reducing many cities into rubble. In Leiston, a group of swimmers started a swim in the North Sea, off the coast of Aldeburgh, that has now become an annual event.

New Year's Day - Abersoch, North Wales: The Abersoch RNLI New Year’s Day Dip has over a 1,000 spectators and at least 180 swimmers raising money for the Abersoch RNLI Lifeboat, many in fancy dress.

Christmas Day Swim - The Forty Foot: Dun Laoghaire Harbour, South of Dublin, is probably the oldest and most famous swimming hole in Ireland. Christmas Day has hundreds, all jumping off the rocks into the Irish Sea.

New Year's Day - Isle of Man: The New Year's Day Dip on Peel Beach has been raising money for charity by the brave and the foolhardy dipping in the Irish Sea in the icy January water around the Isle of Man.

New Year Day Swim - 24th Annual 'Loony Dook': A swim since 1985, over 3,000 spectators witness 600 'Loonies' (many in fancy dress) plunge into the freezing waters of the Forth at South Queensferry

New Year's Day - YeAABA Swimming Club: Over 2,000 spectators meet at Broughty Ferry to watch over 300 swimmers wade into the Tay, occasionally breaking the ice with the Ye Amphibious Ancients Bathing Association (the Dundee sea swimming club).

More photos from the Exmouth Journal of the Christmas Day Swim - Budleigh Salteron can be seen here.