Things to do

Christmas Day dips

Not for the faint-hearted, festive swims take place across the county with many raising money for charity. It’s traditionally a time for turkey, presents and spending time with the family snuggled up indoors, but thousands brave the cold Cornish weather to take part in freezing festive swims - all in the name of charitable goodwill.

So if you’re feeling adventurous this Christmas, fancy ticking an xmas swim off your Cornwall bucket list and want to shake off the festive season’s indulgences with a bracing dip, here’s our pick of the best cold-weather Christmas Day swims.

Top tip: wetsuits are usually frowned upon, but festive frocks and Santa hats only add to the sense of occasion. However, if you’re thinking about taking the plunge, make sure you go prepared with a hot chocolate, mulled wine and plenty of warm, dry clothes.


Wetsuits are strictly forbidden at this icy dip where over 400 people leave the comfort of their homes to brave the Cornish seas, working up an appetite for Christmas lunch.

Take your pick of our holiday cottages in Polzeath.

Jump into the icy waves at Polzeath to work up an appetite.

Watergate Bay

Head into the icy waters for a quick dip in front of the Extreme Academy at Watergate Bay, before heading back up the beach to warm up with one of the Beach Hut’s delicious Xtreme Hot Chocolates.

Plan your next holiday to Watergate Bay.

The snowy sands of Watergate Bay make us feel very festive.


Take the early morning plunge into the chilly Cornish waves and join over 400 people in a flurry of swimsuits and Santa hats at Gwithian beach.

 Celebrate Christmas in Gwithian Towans.

Sunsets from Gwithian are second to none in Cornwall.


Celebrate Christmas in Cornish style and help to uphold this 50-year-old tradition by joining 300 other brave souls at the most westerly Christmas swim in the UK – the event starts at 11am on Christmas morning.

Stay in a Sennen holiday cottage.

Go west and embrace the wild seas of Sennen and Sennen Cove.

St Agnes

It’s a swimwear only affair at St Agnes’ Trevaunance Cove (and obligatory Santa hats of course).  This 20-year-old tradition that started as a dare from a pub landlady has formed the basis of a north coast Christmas tradition.

Enjoy a holiday in St Agnes.

Photo credit: St Agnes Unoffical Guide

Join the locals of St Agnes for a group swim on Christmas morning.


Organised by the Bude Surf Club, this annual Christmas Day swim starts at 11 am on Crooklets Beach. Warm up afterwards with free mulled wine, hot chocolate and even hot showers!

 Jump in the sea on Christmas day with a Christmas holiday to Bude.

Widemouth Bay offers epic views across the sea from Bude.

Stay in one of our stunning holiday cottages for Christmas and at any time of the year.

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