Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year Sea Swims in Cornwall 2022
Every year we marvel at the fearlessness of those who charge into the sea for a celebratory (albeit brief) plunge into the Atlantic Ocean during Christmas and New Year. For many of us a log fire, a good glass of wine and the occasional blustery walk is enough – but in some places the tradition of an icy dip is the traditional way to mark the occasion.
These festive swimming events, which are organised all over Cornwall, have sometimes been a tradition for over 50 years and the list of beaches taking part is forever growing.
Whether you’re happy to be a bystander or someone that is more than happy to run headlong into the icy water, we’ve got a comprehensive list of places to go.
Christmas Day Swims in Cornwall
On Christmas Day, some would say that there is no better way to work up an appetite.
At Crooklets Beach, Bude everyone heads into the water at 11.00 am and no wetsuits are allowed! This year the Mike Moyle Memorial Swim organisers are aiming for 600 sponsored swimmers take the plunge to raise money for the Bude Surf Life Saving Club.
Sennen Cove is also at 11.00 am and wetsuits are not allowed but fancy dress is encouraged.
Trevaunance Cove, St Agnes is the same with an 11.00 am start. The story goes that it started with a dare over 20 years ago when a pub landlady offered a free pint to five lads if they ran into the sea in just their boxer shorts. Now a few hundred take the plunge at on Christmas day.
Hayle Bay, New Polzeath is another big event with over 400 people. Again, no wetsuits are allowed.
Watergate Bay in Newquay centres their swim around the Extreme Academy Surf School where they’ll then serve hot chocolates to help everyone warm up!
Cadgwith Cove on the Lizard Peninsula starts at 12.00 noon and is a smaller gathering. The Cadgwith Inn will also be serving snacks from 11:30 am to 2.00 pm.
Coverack in the St Keverne Parish’s Christmas swim also began as a bet between a doctor and and his friend that he would swim across the harbour. Since then, locals and visitors dress in their swimming costumes and raise money for Cancer Research.
Porthtowan Beach swim starts at 11.00 am. Everyone is welcome to join in and free mulled rattler is usually served at the Victory Inn from 12.00 noon.
Boxing Day Swims in Cornwall
Organised by the Charleston Rowing Club, the Charlestown Beach swim starts at 11.30 am and raises money for a local charity and has so far raised £24,000 for the RNLI, Cornwall Hospice Care, Churchtown Outdoor Activity for the disabled and lots more.
Perranporth Beach, Newquay starts at 10.30 am and there is a no wetsuit policy.
Poldhu Beach on Lizard Peninsula starts with a warm-up at 10.30 am. The Cafe will be open on Boxing Day from 10.00 am until 2.00 pm for hot drinks, mulled wine, mince pies and a reduced hot food menu.
Porthminster Beach, St Ives starts at 12.00 noon and wetsuits are allowed! There is a £1 donation to charity. For supporters and cheerers, Porthminster Cafe will be serving festive hot chocolates and bacon butties to keep everyone warm.
New Year’s Day Swims in Cornwall
Gyllygnvase Beach in Falmouth starts at 12.00 noon and again, wetsuits are allowed!
The Harbour Beach swim in Newquay starts at 1.30 pm. Arriving early is advised by the organisers as the quayside is usually crowded with spectators. The event raises money for Young Lives vs Cancer, supporting young people with cancer.
Finally, the Gorran Haven Beach swim starts at 11.00 am and raises funds for RNLI.
We hope that you have a wonderful time at these events – whether you are swimming or not. Don’t forget to tag us in all of your fabulous photographs with #CornishEscapes