Fancy doing something a bit different on Christmas Day? Fed up of Turkey? Then swap it for Goose (pimples) instead!
Why not don your Speedos, wetsuit, swim cap (x2 for warmth), goggles or even fancy dress and hardily head off to one of these annual festive swimming events. Taking part in or being a spectator at one of these displays of English eccentricity is bound to make 2009 a Christmas to remember.
The Peter Pan Cup Christmas Morning Handicap Swim
Where: The Serpentine, Hyde Park, London. 9am.
Members of the Serpentine Swimming Club swim all year round and on Christmas morning they hold a 100 yard race. You must be a member of the club and have taken part in the entire Winter series as to swim without acclimatisation could prove fatal!
James Barrie the novelist presented the first Peter Pan Cup back in 1904.
52nd Hunstanton Round Table Christmas Swim
Where: Central Promenade, Hunstanton, Norfolk. 11am.
This chilly dip in The Wash was started in 1957 by the Hunstanton Seagulls Swimming Club and now attracts over one hundred entrants and thousands of spectators. It became a sponsored event back in 1971 and has raised huge sums of money for many charitable causes.
45th Annual Porthcawl Christmas Morning Swim 2009
Where: The Hi-Tide Inn, Porthcawl, Mid Glamorgan. 11.45am.
Arlon Owens and Jack Bridge founded this event back in 1965. The swim became a sponsored event in 1971. They have supported many local and national charities which are all detailed on their website. The popularity of the swim continues to grow with 930 entrants in 2008 including people from America and all over Europe.
Brighton Christmas Day Swim
Where: Albion Beach, West Pier, Brighton, East Sussex. 11am.
Brighton Swimming Club was founded in 1860 and is the oldest swimming club in England. They are the coolest crowd on the South Coast, taking a dip in the sea every morning regardless of temperature or rough waves. The Christmas Day Swim is just another one of those events which make Brighton so unique. Since 2007 lifeguards are present in the water dressed as Father Christmas or Reindeer. Non-members participate at their own risk.
Where: High Street, Hampton, Middlesex, TW12 2ST
They have a wonderful 36m pool maintained to a temperature of around 28 degrees all year round. On Christmas Day serious lane swimmers can pre-book a 30 minute session for £10 at either 6.15am, 6.45am. or 7.15am.
The general Christmas Day session takes place between 8.00am-12.00pm
Adult £6.50; concession £3.70; and junior (4-15) £3.20.
Keep swimming over the holidays!