Christmas traditions in the East of England. Christmas swims in Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex and Hertfordshire.
We all have them. Christmas traditions are what make the festive season fun. Whether it’s baking, playing board games with the family or new pyjamas on Christmas eve (yes, I still do this at the age of 32), traditions create lasting memories.
If you’re feeling brave this year, why not join in one of East Anglia’s biggest Christmas traditions; a fresh dip in the north sea. Wrap up warm and join the hundreds of participants on the beach, before shedding the layers and plunging into the icy water. Do it for fun or raise money for charity, either way it’s a Christmas experience you’ll never forget!
Find a Christmas or New Year swim near you:
Felixstowe, 25 December, 8.30am-11am
Where: Felixstowe Sea Front (opposite Mannings Amusements), Sea Road, Felixstowe, IP11 2DN
Now in its 16th year, the event raises money for St Elizabeth Hospice. Over 500 take part. Take a dash into the sea as the crowds cheer you on! Sign up at www.stelizabethhospice.org.uk/event/christmas-day-dip-2019
Hunstanton, 25 December, 10.30am
Where: Hunstanton Central Promenade, PE36 5BD
Held on the main beach for over 50 years, hundreds join in the swim and spectate from the shores. For a registration form, visit Hunstanton Round Table Christmas Day Swim. Present the registration form at the Oasis Leisure Centre at 10.30am on Christmas Day.
Lowestoft, 25 December, 10am
Where: meeting point at the Lord Kitchener’s Garden in a marquee, on the Green Space
Brave the North Sea on Christmas Day and help raise money for multiple local charities. The event is in its 42nd year and has raised £52,000 this year alone! On the day registration will open from 9am in the marquee with the swim starting at 10am sharp. www.sltrust.co.uk/xmasdayswim/
Cromer, 26 December, 11am
Where: The Promenade, Cromer, Norfolk, NR27 9HW
Organised by the North Norfolk Beach Runners, be brave and take the leap into the sea. This year’s event raises money for MIND (Norwich and Central Norfolk). Participants are asked to pay as much as possible for entry. www.deepdalebackpackers.co.uk/events/1853178616/
Mundesley, 26 December, 11am
Where: Esplanade Bus Shelter, Mundesley, Norwich NR11 8BG
Put on your Santa hat and join the thousands of participants that take part in this annual event. A charity bucket collection will be supporting the Mundesley Jaguar Explorer Scout Group and the North Norfolk Surf Life-Saving Club. www.nearbyevents.co.uk/event/charity-events/mundesley-boxing-day-dip-2018/
Mersea Island, 26 December, 11.30am
Where: Monkey Beach, by the houseboats
Either join in or watch from the beach as swimmers take a dip into the sea to raise money for RNIL. There’s hot soup for the dippers! Entrants can be sponsored or donate a minimum of £5 to enter. Registration at 10.45am. www.westmersealifeboat.org/category/events/
Southend RNLI, 26 December, sign in 10.15am, dip at 11am
Where: Jubilee Beach, Marine Parade, Southend on Sea, Essex
In aid of RNLI, pop on your wetsuit or swimwear if you’re feeling brave and jump into the sea. Entry in advance is £5 (includes free hot drink and mince pie) or £25 on the day. www.southendlifeboat.org/boxingdaydip/
Polar Bear Plunge, 1 January
Where: Sub-Aqua Club, Cotton Mill Lane, St Albans
If you miss out on a Christmas Day dip, take the plunge into the icy waters at the Sub-Aqua Club on Cotton Mill Lane on New Year’s Day. The event is in aid of charities Earthworks, Small Acts of Kindness and Age Concern. www.facebook.com/PolarBearPlungeStAlbans/