Festive swims around Cornwall

Large group of people in festive hats going for a sea swim in Cornwall on a misty day.

Every Christmas Day and Boxing Day there are brave souls all around Cornwall who swim in the sea for charity. Here are a few events for anyone who wants to offer moral support or brave the waves themselves!


St Agnes

11am down at Trevaunance Cove -swimwear only! Followed by a good old get-together in the Driftwood Spars Inn and plenty of hot mulled cider! The tradition started with a dare issued by a previous landlady – she offered about five lads a free pint if they went in the sea with just their swim shorts on, and it’s grown from there – a few hundred take part now!


12.30pm, Coverack Harbour. Ever since a local doctor made a bet with a friend that he would swim across the harbour of this pretty fishing village on the Lizard peninsula, it has been a tradition for villagers and friends to enter the cold December waters. The fundraisers go in without wetsuits for a charity swim and the money goes to Cancer Research. Those who go into the water can warm themselves by a roaring fire with mulled wine in the fisherman’s rest at the top of the slipway when they emerge from the sea. The event is organised each year by Carol Lawrence, the chair of St Keverne and Coverack Cancer Research committee. www.coverack.org.uk

Pic by Robin Hobson on 25th December 2015. Robin runs the Coverack Windsurfing Centre


11am, Crooklets Beach . The Bude Surf Life Saving Club Christmas Day Swim is a sponsored event raising money to help Bude Surf Life Saving Club. More than 500 people generally plunge into the sea with no wetsuits. It is a fantastic community event, with mulled wine, hot chocolate, mince pies and hot showers afterwards. Participants are encouraged to either raise sponsorship or give a £10 donation. Children aged under 14 MUST be accompanied in the water by an adult. www.budeslsc.co.uk


11am Hayle Bay, Cornwall. Over four hundred people take part. Wetsuits are strictly forbidden. Find out more here: www.classicguide.co.uk/attractions/polzeath-christmas-day-swim

Sennen Cove

11am, opposite Sennen Surf School, Sennen, Cornwall. Join the crowds venturing into the water at the very end of the UK!


Poldhu (near Helston)

No matter how hard the winter storms are blowing, this beach has a cafe which is open 363 days each year, offering hot chocolate and snacks. Every year Ross and Natalie Hocking who run the Poldhu Beach Cafe organise a Boxing Day swim for charity. Visit www.poldhu.com for contact details and news.

St Ives

12pm Porthminster Beach, St Ives. Join in the fun from 12 noon on Porthminster Beach. If you don’t fancy a dip yourself, then please come and cheer on the swimmers. There’ll be hot chocolate and bacon butties from the beach café to keep you warm.  www.stivesindecember.co.uk/St-Ives-in-December-Events/boxing-day-swim


11.30am Charlestown beach. Charlestown Rowing Club annually nominates a local charity to benefit from its fund raising events, the main event being the Boxing Day Charity Swim, attracting hundreds of visitors to the harbour. Since starting this event in 1991, to date, Charlestown Rowing Club has donated over £24,000 to local charities, including – Churchtown Outdoor Activity Centre for the disabled, the RNLI, Cornwall Hospice Care, the Community Hall and others. charlestownrowingclub.org

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