12 fantastic festive swims in Devon this Christmas and New Year

The Great British tradition of the annual crazy dip in ice cold water over the festive season is alive and well in Devon.

Here we have rounded up ALL of the Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day events taking part around the county.

For some people the swim is the world’s best hangover cure, for others its about burning off the excess Christmas pud calories. And the new year events for many people mark the best way to end or start the year.

Teignmouth Pier Plunge – 2,000 people take part

This event gets bigger and better every year with over 200 revellers running into the sea towards the Teignmouth RNLI Lifeboat and over 2000 come to see this brilliant colourful fun event to help raise funds for the Teignmouth Lifeboat.

Boxing Day swim in the sea at Teignmouth

Registration is from 10.15am, fancy dress judging 10.45am, swim at 11am.

Prizes and trophies awarded for most money raised, best adult, child and group fancy dress and youngest entrant.

Participants are encouraged to raise sponsorship for the Teignmouth Lifeboat. Suggested donation is £5.

Torquay – Boxing Day Dip

The Dip will take place from Corbyn Beach opposite The Grand Hotel on Torquay seafront on Wednesday, December 26, 2018. Participants and supporters should aim to arrive for 10.30am ready to enter the sea at 11am. Tasteful fancy dress is encouraged.

Corbyn Head, Torquay boxing day dip

The Boxing Day Dip is an annual event organized by No. 200 (Torquay & Brixham) Squadron Air Training Corps and is enjoyed by its members and the public. It’s free but people can get sponsorship for charity.

Paignton – Boxing Walk Into the Sea

The Paignton Walk Into the Sea started on December 26, 1976 as a one-off. It has now become a major Christmas holiday attraction, with numerous charities benefitting from the event. Fancy dress at 11.45am and the swimmer with the best costume wins a highly coveted trophy.

Paignton Boxing Day Dip 2017

Entrance fee £5 for under 18s, £10 for adults.

The Lyme Lunge

Take part in the annual Lyme Lunge, a fancy dress dip for Charity in the balmy waters of Lyme Bay off the Sandy Beach, Lyme Regis on Tuesday 1st January 2019 @ 1.00pm. Join 400 plus swimmers and start the year with a whole lot of fun.

Hot soup, courtesy of The Harbour Inn, for all swimmers. Funds raised will go to the Dorset County Hospital Cancer Charity Appeal other Rotary Charities.

Tropical Heated Boxing Day Swim at Buckfastleigh Pool

The heating is going to warm the water up to 27 degrees and that’s the same as the Caribbean Sea.

Buckfastleigh Open Air Pool's Ice Gala
Buckfastleigh Open Air Pool’s Ice Gala

Sessions available for kids, families and more serious swimmers AND a very special night swim with glowsticks and fairy lights. There will be music and games as well as a range of cakes and hot drinks.

Last year’s Tropical Boxing Day Splash was a huge success and tickets for some sessions nearly all went – so get your tickets early and don’t miss out!

Tickets are £8 per person – please ensure you book the correct timed slot (lane swim, fun swim, general swim or night swim).

Sidmouth Town Boxing Day Dip

Outside Sidmouth Sailing Club on the Esplanade, at 11am with scores of people running into the sea to enjoy Sidmouth’s Boxing Day Swim, with many hardy swimmers wearing eye-catching fancy dress.

Sidmouth Boxing Day Swim

The Sidmouth branch of the RNLI collect funds and donations will also be made to Sidmouth Lifeboat, the surf lifesaving club and St John Ambulance.

Exmouth Christmas Day swim

This huge Christmas tradition has been happening since 1970. It gets underway at 11am on December 25 after all participants and spectators gather at the Exmouth clock tower.

Budleigh Salterton Festive Swim

This is the FIRST swim of Christmas Day in Devon and it starts at 10am from the bottom of Steamer Steps. Most people wear fancy dress.

Christmas day swim at Budleigh Salterton
Christmas day swim at Budleigh Salterton

The Exmouth lifeboat is on standby before speeding back the four miles to Exmouth for the 11am swim there.

Shoalstone Pool Last Swim of the Year

Last Swim of the Year, 31 December at 10.30am. Race followed by general swimming to brush off some of those cobwebs and clear your head ready for the New Year’s Eve revelry.

A £3 donation is requested and cake will be on hand to sustain you.

Woolacombe New Years Day swim

In Woolacombe the local surf life saving club hold their annual New Year’s Day sea swim on the beach.

Swimmers brace the cold for a New Year's Day swim at Woolacombe Beach
Swimmers brace the cold for a New Year’s Day swim at Woolacombe Beach

Dozens of brave adults and children dive into the water before making their way to the Red Barn pub for refreshments.

Westward Ho! New Year’s Day

Hundreds gather on the village slipway at 11am to watch dozens of swimmers in fancy dress take the plunge. The event includes a safety briefing warning of the dangers of hypothermia and cold shock before a group warm up exercise, last year led by a man in an afro wig.

Crowds gathered in their winter woolies to cheer on the 62 swimmers who took the plunge into the water off Westward Ho! slip way on December 26.
Crowds gathered in their winter woolies to cheer on the 62 swimmers who took the plunge into the water off Westward Ho! slip way on December 26.

Peter Sawyer who organised the Westward Ho! event on January 1 2018 said: “Westward Ho! is all about fun and having an amazing time so we’ve got everybody together to jump in the sea.”

Charmouth Christmas Day swim

The annual fancy dress swim at Charmouth in aid of the RNLI starts at 11am sharp at Charmouth.

Men in their Borat mankinis for the annual Christmas Day swim at Charmouth
Men in their Borat mankinis for the annual Christmas Day swim at Charmouth

Be there by 10.30pm to see all the fund-raisers in their (dry) fancy dress (optional). They don’t stay in the water a minute longer than they need to – it’s all over by 1 minute past 11. It’s in aid of Lyme Regis RNLI, kindly sponsored by The Royal Oak.

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Christmas in Devon

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