Brave the elements and get stuck into all that Cornwall has to offer, by embracing the salty, winter tradition of a festive sea swim!

If Christmas Day is a time of rest and relaxation, then what better way to prepare for the year ahead than with Boxing Day and New Year’s Day swims? Join hundreds of others for a thrilling kickstart to 2024.

There are even opportunities to raise money for a cause that matters to you.

The Boxing Day swim

1. Charlestown, South Cornwall

For a morning full of excitement and feel-good activities head to Charlestown beach. The event is organised by the Charlestown Rowing Club and is perfect for those who like to opt for a less crowded option.

The aim is to raise money for charity, with a goal being a minimum of £10 prior to arrival. If you haven’t done this, you can also donate on the day, but be sure to register before 10:45 am on the harbourfront, squeezing one last good deed into the year. The great thing about this event is while many other beaches' winter swims are notorious for no wetsuit policies, Charlestown allows you to wear one, they also advise wearing some form of footwear as the beach is quite pebbly.

2. Perranporth, North Cornwall

Perranporth is perfect for families who have some participating in the icy dip and others embracing cold from afar. The fun begins at 10:30 and has been an annual tradition every boxing day at the beach.

The event is full of laughter and potentially some shivers, but they can be fixed with a rewarding, spiced mulled wine served at the watering hole after your dip. If you are one of those family members, who prefer to stay on dry land or just want to see what the fun is about, enjoy a windswept walk along the coast path towards Holywell Bay this boxing day.

3. Porthminster, West Cornwall

In summer, this beach is renowned for its luscious white sands, and gentle, turquoise water, winter is no different, apart from the slight, tiny, barely noticeable change in temperature. The winter months turn a usually enjoyable swim, into a challenge to be proud of completing.

There is a requirement of a £1 donation towards charity, and the swim begins at 12 pm, so there is plenty of time to chill out and watch your favourite movies on Boxing Day morning, and still time to come home and enjoy the sales afterwards.

New years day

1. Newquay Harbour, North Cornwall

Newquay harbour to raise money for young lives versus cancer. The event has hundreds of people dipping into the cold waters to enjoy the first of the New Year. For those who are looking to get into a new swimming hobby or sealing the last of a tradition last year. This is the perfect first step to take a ‘dip’ into wild swimming. The challenge starts at midday, and fancy dress is encouraged, so get those fuzzy hats on and reuse any woolly jumpers you have, enjoy.

2. Gyllyngvase beach, West Cornwall

Another event taking place at lunchtime is in Falmouth. Swimming is the perfect way to shake off the winter tiredness and wake you up out of the New Year. Take your friends and family along to the event and begin 2024 feeling accomplished. After your brave feat take a trip along to the Gylly beach café and warm yourself up with a nice hot drink as you watch the waves roll out in front of you.

3. Readymoney cove, Fowey, South Cornwall

If big waves aren’t your thing, then this little beach in the south of Cornwall is perfect for you. Loved for its rippling water, gentle flow, and shallow waters it is a hidden gem. There is no specific organised event, but locals come and go to the beach throughout the day and head to one of the many pubs in the area for a celebratory pint. It’s a casual way to embrace a well-known tradition in Cornwall, allowing you to take the day easy, whilst finishing it in high spirits.