Thinking of taking the plunge on Christmas Day? We would highly recommend it! 

There are so many reasons why one should throw themselves into frigid waters on Christmas Day. There’s a great sense of camaraderie, there’s adrenaline high of cold swim, there’s the warm cup of tea and a mince pie to look forward to afterwards and there are the bragging rights you will earn! And let’s face it, the latter is arguably the most compelling reason of all!

Christmas Day sea swims have become so popular in recent years, some of the more well-known spot resemble a festival. If that’s not really your vibe then head for one of our long beaches where you will have no problem finding a quiet spot.

We have rounded up a list below that has all bases covered. Good luck, and enjoy it!

Christmas morning is thought to be one of the most magical times of the year. After all of the stress and anxiety of picking out the perfect presents and getting everything organized, you are finally able to sit down on the couch with your cup of tea and maybe a Christmas biscuit.

12 of the best places for the Christmas Day swim:

1. Bundoran, Co Donegal

Christmas Swims Ireland
Image: Owen Murphy

The 2018 Christmas Day Swim in Bundoran will take place at 12:15 p.m. on December 25 on Main Beach, Bundoran. The event will raise money for Ozanam House/St. Vincent De Paul. Join the scores of people who show up to sprint into the freezing Atlantic before their Christmas meal!

2. Carlingford, Co Louth

If you’re looking for a bit more of a challenge this Christmas, Carlingford’s annual Christmas Eve pier to pier charity swim is organized by the Carlingford Sailing Club and encourages swimmers to swim from King John’s pier across to the south pier and back. The swim is approximately 300 metres in total, so it is not just a dip-in, dip-out! Wetsuits are not mandatory, but are highly encouraged.

3. Clontarf, Co Dublin

Christmas Swims Ireland
Image: Steve Rawson

This annual swim is organized by the Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club and raises money for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. Participants will gather at 1 p.m. and run into the waters from the slipway across the road from the Boat Club.

4. Skerries, Co Dublin

The Christmas Day swim in Skerries is held at 12 p.m. on the slipway across from the Skerries Sailing Club.

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5. Derrynane, Co Kerry

Christmas Swims in Ireland
Image: Caherdaniel

Swimmers gather at noon on Christmas Day to sprint into the Bay.

6. Fenit, Co Kerry

The Christmas Swim at Fenit is arguably the largest swim in Munster. Hundreds of people leave their warm houses to congregate on Lockes Beach at 12 p.m. Hundreds more people gather at the pier just to watch as Santa and Mrs Claus lead a chorus of Jingle Bells before signalling the stampede to the ocean!

7. Forty Foot, Sandycove, Co Dublin

Christmas Swims Ireland
Image: Lovin Dublin

The swim at Forty Foot is an all-day, ongoing event. Show up at any time to join the queue on the rocky platforms, watching as eager swimmers jump into the frigid sea! If you’re not too keen on jumping feet first into the cold waters, you can also go just around the corner to Sandycove itself to wade into the water at your own pace.

8. Galway Bay, Co Galway

The annual Cope Galway Christmas swim raises funds to support the homeless and vulnerable people in Galway. The swim will take place between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. in Blackrock, Salthill. Last year, over 450 participants braved the cold Atlantic waters to help support COPE. Registration is €10 for individuals and €30 for families.

9. Rosslare, Co Wexford

Swimmers gather on the sandy shores of Rosslare Strand on Christmas Day at 12pm to experience the thrill of the freezing waters of December.

10. Guillamene, Co Waterford

This Christmas, join the Newtown and Guillamene Swimming Club from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. to give a shock to your system as you dive into the ocean. This year’s event is raising money for Waterford Viking Halliwick Swim Club. After a quick dip, enjoy hot soup, tea, and coffee with friends and family, provided at the event.

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11. Gortglass Lake, Co Clare

Christmas Swims Ireland
Image: Gortglass Christmas Day Swim

Beginning at 12:30 p.m., join a hardy band of locals as they sprint towards the lake in celebration of Christmas Day.

12. Lough Lannagh, Castlebar, Co Mayo

Due to the extremely low temperatures of these waters, this swim is not for the faint of heart! Join in the queue to jump off the dock into the frigid waters, and come out with a bit of a shock to your system.


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By Heather Snelgar

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