Thousands of us take part in Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year charity swims all over Wales. You can either take part or watch from the sidelines. We can't promise it won't be a bit nippy. But it will be a lot of fun!  Check out these chilly festive swims across Wales. 

Porthcawl Christmas Day Swim

This annual splash was dreamt up in 1965 by a couple of members of the local Chamber of Trade. The plan was for one of them (dressed as Coco the Clown) to push his colleague (dressed as Father Christmas) off the pier. The locals enjoyed the spectacle, and now 1,000+ swimmers take part, raising thousands for local charities. Fancy dress is still a popular sartorial option.

When: 25 December, event starts 10.30 am, enter the sea 11.15 am

Where: Porthcawl Beach, Bridgend 

Check out the Porthcawl Christmas Day Swim Facebook page for more information.

people in fancy dress in the sea.
people on beach in fancy dress.

Porthcawl Christmas Day Swim, Vale of Glamorgan

Tenby Boxing Day Swim

Here's another long-standing swim, which has been running for five decades on Tenby's North Beach (that's the one with the big rock). Around 700 swimmers take part, with thousands of less-hardy souls cheering them on. 

Fun on the beach starts at 11am with a canoe race, crazy raft race and fancy dress parade. The stampede for the sea is signalled at 11.30am, and swimmers can look forward to a beach bonfire, hot soup and a commemorative medal on their return. 

When: 26 December, from 11am

Where: Tenby North Beach, Pembrokeshire, West Wales

Find out more about the Tenby Boxing Day Swim.

Swimmers jumping in Santa Claus / Father Christmas costumes.

Tenby boxing day swim, West Wales

Llandudno Lions Club Boxing Day Dip

There are prizes for the first brave female and male to enter the water and also for best fancy dress at this popular annual dip. The water is usually a bracing 9°C, but a bowl of hot soup back at the St George's Hotel should revive the spirits. Sutable footwear to be worn.

When: 26 December, check in 10 am, into the water 11.30 am

Where: St George's Hotel, Llandudno, North Wales

Find out more about the Llandudno Lions Club Boxing Day Dip.

Pembrey Country Park Walrus Dip 

The annual Walrus Dip is held at the vast dune-backed beach at Cefn Sidan. Fancy dress is strongly encouraged, and swimmers should get there in plenty of time – the tide goes out a long way here, so it may be a 10-minute jog to the water's edge. The event once had to be cancelled when the sea froze over, but don't let a piffling detail like that put you off!

When: 26 December, dippers and spectators to arrive by 10.30am, be at the starting line for a 10:45 dip. There's likely to be a 10 minute walk to the sea

Where: Cefn Sidan, Carmarthenshire, West Wales

Find out more about the Pembrey Country Park Walrus Dip.

The Mayor's New Year's Day Dip

Newport Boat Club in Pembrokeshire is your host for this chilly dip into the estuary at Parrog (and yes, the mayor really does take part). Mercifully, it's just a short dash back up the slipway for a mug of soup and a hot shower in the Boat Club. 

When: 1 January

Where: Parrog, Pembrokeshire, West Wales

Find out more about The Mayor's New Year's Day Dip. - details TBC.

Saundersfoot New Year's Day swim

This massive splash seems to get bigger and more elaborate every year - in 2017 more than 1,800 took part. The crowds were also entertained by the Cold Cup (a fancy-dress horse race over obstacles for local pub teams), fireworks and a mass dance warm-up. Previous year's fancy dress included a team of warriors who arrived on the beach inside a giant wooden Trojan Horse. As for the swim, the rules clearly state: 'Your head must go under! If, however, you are 80+ we'd expect you to go no further than your knees.' So there. 

When: 1 January, 11:30 am, with the dip at 2:00pm

Where: Saundersfoot beach, Pembrokeshire, West Wales

Find out more about the Saundersfoot New Year's Day swim

Whitesands New Year's Day Charity Swim

A local charitable organisation, The St Davids Penknife Club, run this annual swim on Whitesands, a favourite local surfing beach on the westernmost tip of Wales. When your teeth stop chattering, you can begin to appreciate the glorious scenery.

When: 1 January, 11am registration, noon swim

Where: Whitesands, Pembrokeshire, West Wales


beach with water on sand and hill.

The breathtakingly beautifully Whitesands beach, Pembrokeshire

RNLI Porthdinllaen New Year's Day Dip

Of all our seasonal swims, this one may well scoop the 'prettiest location' prize. It's held on the beach at stunning peninsular Porthdinllaen, where the local boozer, the Ty Coch, is often hailed as one of the world's best beach bars.

When: 1 January, 11.00 am

Where: Morfa Nefyn, Llŷn Peninsula, North Wales

Find out more about the RNLI Porthdinllaen New Year's Day Dip on their Facebook page, details TBC.

Image of buildings on the beach, backing onto green hills.

Porthdinllaen beach, Llŷn Peninsula, North Wales

Abersoch RNLI New Year's Day Dip

There's usually a fancy dress theme at the Abersoch New Year's Day dip. Whatever the costume, all swimmers will be dashing across Abersoch's main beach.

When: 1 January, 11.30 am. All people taking part must be registered.

Where: Abersoch, Llŷn Peninsula, North Wales

Find out more about the Abersoch RNLI New Year's Day Dip.

Boats on sandy beach.
Sea at dusk, with small island and birds.

Fishing boats at Abersoch, North Wales

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