Boxing Day Swim in Wales

December 4th, 2017

Why not try something different this Boxing Day and join in one of the many special Boxing Day dips that are taking place along the Welsh coast this festive season.

If your Boxing Day traditions usually involve a whole box of Christmas chocolates, loosening your belt and watching comedy repeats on television, then this could be the year to try something different. Up and down the coast of Wales, you’ll find the splashing and soakings of Boxing Day celebrations of a much more exhilarating variety.

Boxing Day is still an important celebration as part of the Christmas period, although it was once especially important for working class servants, as it was the only day off they were given during the festive period. They often had to stay at work on Christmas Day but could take the next day off to go home to their families. And while modern Boxing Day traditions are somewhat different, if you’re set for a Boxing Day with a true bang, then why not try one of the many Boxing Day dips that are taking place along the Welsh coast?

A typical Welsh Boxing Day might involve a fair amount of rain, drizzle, cloud or biting winds, or indeed all four; but the ice winter weather doesn’t put off the thousands of people that plunge into the seas of the Welsh coast every year, usually for a very good cause.

The Boxing Day Swim at Tenby is the oldest recorded charity Boxing Day dip in the country; 2017 will be its 47th year, although the story behind the swim can be traced as far back as 1910 when tragically a group of local children drowned on the beach. Arthur Dickinson, a businessman who’d recently moved from Yorkshire, gave swimming lessons to anyone who wanted them to try and prevent any future tragedies. When Arthur passed away his son-in-law Ozzie Morgan took over, but sadly the lessons stopped when he retired. It wasn’t until 1970 that Mr Morgan’s descendants formed the Tenby Sea Swimming Association (TSSA) to help local children with sea swimming skills, and the Boxing Day Swim was organised as a fundraising event.

© Crown copyright (2012) Visit Wales

It’s been a huge success ever since, with over 600 brave swimmers taking the plunge last year, and thousands of onlookers taking to the beach to support the swimmers. It’s very much a feel-good event that helps to bring together the local community, and helps to shake off the Christmas cob-webs.

So, if you fancy taking a dip this Christmas and trying a Boxing Day Swim in Wales, here’s our list of events around the Welsh Coast:

  • The Aberystwyth Boxing Day dip takes place on the main beach, between the band-stand and the pier. Check local press for further details and start times.
  • Details of the Tenby Boxing Day Swim can be found at tenbyboxingdayswim.co.uk
  • Join in the Walrus Dip at Pembrey Country Park, Carmarthen. carmarthenshire.gov.uk (or 01554 742424)
  • Take the plunge with the Deganwy Dip, Deganwy Castle Hotel, Llandudno. Contact Llandudno Lions Club for more information (0845 8339614)
  • A New Year’s Day Abersoch Dip is organised by the local RNLI. See rnliabersoch.co.uk for more information.
  • There is also a Christmas morning dip at Porthcawl. See christmasswim.org for more details.

Go on, be brave! And have a Boxing Day Swim in Wales this Christmas 🙂

© Crown copyright (2012) Visit Wales