CHALLENGE,  Cold Water Swimming,  FEATURES,  NEWS

The Festive Dip List 2023

What better way to clear your head after Christmas than to run full pelt into the sea? Plan your swim with our Festive Dip List 2023, created with support from WaterAid’s Winter Dip challenge. All you need to do now is work out your fancy dress. 

It’s winter dip season and what better way to kick it off than with the official Winter Dip challenge from WaterAid! Every winter, people all over the UK embrace the thrill of cold water swimming – and this festive season, WaterAid are asking you to gather your friends and family and head out for an exhilarating Winter Dip. By taking part you’ll be helping to reach the 1 in 10 people around the world who still don’t have clean drinking water close to home.

To help you plan your frosty frolics, we’ve compiled our Festive Dip List 2023 featuring organised events all over the country.

Christmas Day dips, 25 December 2023

Macmillan White Christmas Dip, BOSCOMBE 
Description: Join us for the UK’s biggest charity Dip, from 9:45am Christmas Morning at Boscombe Pier
Time: 9.45am
Price: £7.50
More info

BUDE Surf Lifesaving Club Christmas Day Swim, Crooklets Beach 
Description: The annual Mike Moyle Christmas Day Christmas Day swim commences at 11am on Crooklets beach, Bude and attracts thousands of people every year. Everyone is welcome (children aged under 14 must be accompanied in the water by an adult.) the only rule is …NO WETSUITS!
Time: Register by 10.30am, swim at 11am
Price: £10
More info

Christmas Day Swim, EXMOUTH 
Description: Spectators can even watch this event from the comfort of a boat.
Time: 10.45am
Price: Free
More info

Christmas Day Dip, FELIXSTOWE 
Description: An annual tradition where hundreds of dippers in festive outfits plunge themselves into the icy cold North Sea at Felixstowe to raise vital funds for St Elizabeth Hospice. 
Time: 8.30am for a 10am dip. 
Price: £15 before midday 21 Dec; £20 on the day. Proceeds to St Elizabeth Hospice.
More info

Loughrea Icebreakers Christmas Day Swim, GALWAY, Ireland
Description: At 11.30 am, a large number of hardy souls will descend upon the crisp, clear waters of Loughrea Lake in an effort to raise money for CASA LOUGHREA in association with Loughrea Lions Club.
Time: 11.30am
More info

Christmas Day Swim, HUNSTANTON 
Description: The Hunstanton Christmas Day Swim with everyone taking the plunge at 11am on Sunday 25th December at the town’s central promenade. This is one of Norfolk biggest events over the festive season with hundreds of people taking part.
Time: 11am (registration 10am-10.30am; 10.50am fancy dress costume judging; 11am swimmers’ parade and swim; 11.15am free hot soup from outside the Marine Bar for all swimmers and warm showers at Alive Oasis) 
More info

Christmas Day Swim, LOWESTOFT
Description: Lowestoft’s 44th Christmas Day Swim, for charity. 
Time: Registration at Flying Fifteens from 8.30am. Swim at 10am sharp! A quick warm up on the prom, followed by a jog into the sea for your dip.
Price: minimum £5 donation.
More info

The PORTHCAWL Christmas Morning Swim
Description: Since 1965 the Porthcawl Christmas Morning Swim has been raising thousands of pounds for local charities and organisations.
Time: 10.30am
Price: Free, fundraising encouraged
More info

WEYMOUTH Christmas Day Harbour Swim
Description: The 70-metre-plus distance starts from the Cove on Trinity Road and finishes across the water opposite the Harbour Master’s office on Custom House Quay. 
Time: 9.30am
Price: £12
More info

Boxing Day dips, 26 December 2023

AYRSHIRE’S Boxing Day Dip
Description: How many times have you said you want to try something new? It’s time to get your feet wet and join us all on Monday 26th December at 11am for a refreshing dip in the Ayrshire Sea. Silly fancy dress encouraged. 
Time: 11am
Price: Fundraising encouraged 
More info

West Bay Wallow, BRIDPORT
Description: A charity fancy dress swim at midday on Boxing Day. Originally off East Beach, but from 2009 held within the safety of the marina (outer harbour).
Time: 12pm; sign in one hour earlier at the main slipway.
Price: Free
More info

CROMER Boxing Day Dip
Description: Similar to previous years, it will start with a Fun Run at 10am with the dip taking place at 11am on the right-hand side of Cromer Pier.
Time: 10am Fun Run, 11am dip
Price: Free
More info

DEAL Rotary Icebreakers 2023 Boxing Day Dip
Description: From the original idea of the Deal Icebreakers 1981,The Rotary Club of Deal and The Deal Rotary Pirates are continuing the tradition of a Boxing Day Dip with money raised going to local charities.
Time: 1.30pm
Price: Early Bird’ registration £7.00 until midnight Sat 23 December; £10 on the day. 
More info

FOLKESTONE Lion’s Club Boxing Day Dip
Time: Registration starts 9.30am at The Mariner Public House; fancy dress judging 10.30am; dip at 11am. 
Price: £10 per person or £25 per family of four. 
More info

FRASERBURGH RNLI Boxing Day Harbour Swim
Description: Are you up for the challenge of a 52-metre swim across Fraserburgh Harbour in the chilly North Sea? Wetsuits aren’t mandatory but are advised. 
Time: 12pm
Price: Free, fundraising encouraged
More info

HARTLEPOOL Round Table Boxing Day Dip
Description: What better way to clear your head after a Christmas of over indulgence than to run into the North Sea and raise money for causes close to you?
Time: Registrations 10am-11.25am; dip at 11.30am. 
Price: £5
More info

LLANDUDNO Lions Club Boxing Day Dip
Description: The Lions Club of Llandudno have, for over 25 years, organised the annual Boxing Day Sea Dip. The dip regularly sees over 100 dippers taking the plunge into an icy Irish Sea. With a temperate of 9 degrees Celsius, as soon as the dippers are in – they’re out again!
Time: Registration from 10am; dip at 11.30am 
Price: Free, fundraising encouraged
More info

PAIGNTON Walk Into the Sea 
Description: Each year hundreds of fundraisers don optional fancy dress and at the starter’s command swiftly walk into the chilly waters of the English Channel where fun and frivolity begins.
Time: Registration opens 10am; fancy dress judging 11.45am; dip at 12pm
Price: Free with sponsorship
More info

REDCAR Rotary Club Boxing Day Dip
Description: The Boxing Day Dip is back for 2023, when the brave face the freezing North Sea! Whether you’re there purely for the fresh air, fancy dress or to raise money for a good cause, it’s a great morning out!
Time: Registration online or 10.15am-10.55amam on the day at The Hub; dip at 11am
Price: £10
More info

Description: Back by popular demand – the Southend RNLI Boxing Day Dip makes a return for the 8th year running! So why not brave the cold, clear the head and take a dip on Boxing Day for an incredible charity. Simply pluck up the courage to take the dip in the 5-6C waters of Southend, whilst raising money for the RNLI.Time: Registration from 10.15a; dip from 11am.
Price: Enter in advance for £6 (includes free hot drink and mince pie); £25 on the day
More info

Description: The popular event returned after a three-year lockdown-enforced absence last year, with dippers raising an estimated £40,000 for a huge range of good causes across Wearside.
Time: 10am for a dip at 11am
Price: £10
More info

TEIGNMOUTH Boxing Day Walk in the Sea
Description: The Teignmouth Festive Walk in the Sea has been held annually on Boxing Day for 15 years to raise funds for the RNLI.
Time: Registration 10am; fancy dress competition 10.45am; warm up 10.50am and dip at 11am.
Price: Registration is online or can be made on the day with a suggested donation of £5 per adult.
More info

TENBY Boxing Day Swim, North Beach
Description: Named as one of Britain’s top ten barmiest winter dips, TENBY’s famous Boxing Day Swim has been an institution in the small West Wales town for decades and last year featured in the ITV Wales series The Harbour, which was filmed in Tenby and shows a year in the life of the seaside community.
Time: 11am; swim at 11.30am
Price: £5 or donation.
More info

SWANAGE Boxing Day Swim
Description: The Boxing Day Swim on Swanage Beach is an annual tradition, which sees dozens of swimmers head to the water for a fun, festive dip. Fancy dress isn’t compulsory, but there are prizes up for grabs for the best Christmas costume.Time: 11am
Price: Free, donations welcome
More info:

VENTNOR Boxing Day Swim, Isle of Wight
Description: Join 100’s of people who brave the cold winter waters for a dip in the sea this Boxing Day!
Time: 12pm
Price: Free, donations welcome
More info

WHITBY Lions Boxing Day Dip
Description: It has become somewhat of a tradition in our beautiful little seaside town to enjoy a rather refreshing dip in the North Sea on Boxing Day morning. It’s certainly a unique and memorable experience that will raise lots of money for local charities. Fancy dress is a must, for many dippers, with prizes available for the best! In previous years, we have had some fantastic costumes such as dinosaurs, Batman and Robin, Christmas trees and even a team of traffic cones and a fancy dress wedding proposal!
Time: Registration 10am; fancy dress judging 10.30am; immediately after judging, everyone runs into the sea.
Price: £10; all dippers MUST be registered
More info

New Year’s Day, 1 January 2024

ABERSOCH RNLI New Year’s Day Dip
Description: A dash into the sea under the guidance of our Abersoch RNLI volunteer crew and local Coastguard teams. The theme for this year is ‘Movie Stars’ and we are looking forward to seeing the usual array of imaginative costumes.
Time: Registered participants check-in on the Main Beach from 12.30pm, ready for a 1pm dash into the sea.
Price: Pre-register online with a minimum registration fee of £10 per adult and £5 per child.
More info

Dare to Dip, BANGOR, Northern Ireland
Description: Shake off the excess of Christmas and make a fresh start to the New Year by taking a chilly dip at Crawfordsburn Beach. An invigorating, fun-filled swim and help us raise much needed funds for Cancer Focus NI. Fancy dress is encouraged.
Time: Mass Dip at 12pm; make sure you’re on the beach and ready by 11.45am
Price: £15
More info

The New Year’s Day Dook, BROUGHTY FERRY
Description: The New Year’s Day Dook is a tradition handed down by the fisher folk of Broughty Ferry – some of whom bathed in the waters of the Tay every morning except on the Sabbath. This tradition dates back to 1891 as recorded in the first official minutes of the Club. The 1st of January was special, as it heralded in Neer’ Day i.e. the first day of the New Year, when the community congregated to celebrate together.
Time: 2.45pm at Broughty Ferry Harbour
Price: £15 adults, £10 aged 5-16
More info

New Year’s Day Dip, CLEVEDON Marine Lake
Description: Spectators are very welcome. The bucket collection will be for Marlens, the charity behind the management and further development of Clevedon Marine Lake.
Time: 11am
Price: Free
More info

Description: New Year’s ‘Dookers’ will need to register individually to enter this event. While there is no entry fee, we welcome your donations which help us to train and equip our crew to save lives at sea.
Time: ‘Dookers’ should arrive at Rhu Marina at 11.30am to ‘check in’. Safety briefing 11.50am for a 12pm dip.
Price: Free, donations welcome
More info

New Year’s Day Dip, Derwentwater, KESWICK
Description: Start the New Year as you mean to go on and raise money for a wonderful, local charity! Join us on New Year’s Day for a Fancy Dress Dip in Derwentwater, followed by hot chocolate and cake courtesy of local outdoor retailer Alpkit of Keswick. This promises to be a fantastic community event and one that we hope will become a firm fixture on the Lake District Calvert Trust fundraising calendar.
Time: 11am at Beyond The Boat Landings, Keswick
Price: Free, donations welcome
More info

LYME REGIS Lunge, Dorset
Description: The Lyme Lunge is an annual fancy dress swim which takes place on New Year’s Day. Organised by Lyme Regis Rotary Club, the event takes place on the sandy beach from 1pm and aims to raise as much money as possible for charity. This year’s main beneficiares are The Alzheimers Society and Asthma + Lung UK alongside Rotary charities.
Time: 1pm at Sandy Beach, Lyme Regis
Price: Free, fundraising encouraged
More info

New Year’s Day Dip, MINEHEAD
Description: Join hundreds of people taking the plunge for St Margaret’s on Minehead Beach and experience the exhilaration of a sea dip. Take this opportunity to get involved and have some fun – and why not dust off your favourite dressing up outfit too!
Time: Registration opens at 9am; safety briefing 9.50am; dip at 10am.
Price: Adults £10, children aged 12-17 £7. All pre-event bookings get a bobble hat!
More info

New Year’s Day Dip, MORECAMBE
Description: Swim, Splash or Stroll in Morecambe Bay on New Year’s Day for your hospice! We have the dip (fancy dress optional) and the 500m swim.
Time: Registration opens at 11.30am for the start at 1pm.
Price: £7 for the dip; £12 for the 500m swim (strong swimmers, used to cold water)
More info

PWLLHELI Trochfa Dydd Calan / New Year’s Day Dip
Description: All wishing to take part are asked to registered online prior to the event and then sign in and receive your wrist band on the day, although on the day registration will be available.
Time: 12pm at Traeth Bwlch, Morfa Nefyn. Registration opens at The Cliffs free house from 9.45am.
Price: £10 adult; £5 child, which includes a medal. All proceeds will go to help Porthdinllaen Lifeboat continue to save lives at sea.
More info

New Year’s Day Swim, SALFORD QUAYS
Description: Start the New Year with a bang/splash at this long established open water event in Dock 9, MediaCityUK. The great venue, friendly atmosphere and iconic backdrop makes for a memorable experience.
Time: Registration 10-15-11am, swim in two waves from 11am
Price: £25 adult, young people (7-15yrs) £5
More info

New Year’s Day Swim, SAUNDERSFOOT
Description: Thousands of people take to the water wearing fancy dress on New Year’s Day morning in Saundersfoot as they take part in the annual New Year’s Day Swim.
Time: 12.30pm
Price: £5 adults, £3 for under 16s, includes a medal
More info

New Year’s Day Dip, South Bay, SCARBOROUGH
Description: It has been going for over 20 years, and more than a hundred people generally take part.
Time: Registration 10.30am-12.15pm near the Lions minibus, with changing facilities at Scarborough Rowing Club. Fancy dress costume judging 12.30pm; dip at 12.45pm
Price: Sponsorship encouraged
More info

New Year’s Day Dip, WINDERMERE
Description: Beginners and seasoned pros are most welcome on this short course (max 40m around a jetty). Swimmers can do this course multiple times if they wish.
Time: 10am, booking essential
Price: Free; wetsuit hire available at £5.
More info

How to sign up to the Winter Dip Challenge with WaterAid

  1. Sign up here
    Register for your Winter Dip to kick off your challenge.
  2. Set up your fundraiser
    Once you’ve registered, you’ll be prompted to set up a Facebook or JustGiving fundraiser – it’s quick and easy to do, and a secure, hassle-free way to collect sponsorship.
  3. Join the group and spread the word
    Join our Facebook group and share your fundraiser with your networks – you might even convince some to join you!
  4. Take the plunge!
    Get your woolly hat and warm drink ready – and make sure you’ve checked all our tips to keep your dip safe and enjoyable. Read about Winter dip safety.

Did we miss an event? Event organisers, if your event is not listed please email details to

Photos: WaterAid/Coral Evans

Jo is the Gear Editor for Outdoor Swimmer and also writes news and features for the website. A keen open water swimmer and long-distance walker, she loves seeking out lakes and lidos close to her home in the Mendip Hills, Somerset. She is the author of The Slow Traveller, editor and founder of independent magazine, Ernest, and has previously tested outdoor clothing and kit for BBC Countryfile Magazine, BBC Focus and Ernest Journal.