Christmas in Ireland comes with some lovely, warming traditions but there’s a whole other icy side to the holiday season on the Emerald Isle! Christmas Day sea-swims have become incredibly popular on our island over the last little while and we honestly can’t think of a better way to end the year! Here are a few spots around the country where you can dip your toes or your entire self into some icy Irish waters!
The lovely folks behind The Happy Pear haven’t officially announced a Christmas Day swim, but Steve & Dave are down at Ladies Cove just about every morning for their Swimrise dip! They’ve garnered something of a cult following and really, we’re not surprised - what a glorious way to start any day - sea, community and sunrise!
Main Beach in Bundoran will be hopping at 12.15pm on Christmas Day as locals and holiday season tourists alike head for the waves in a traditional polar bear dip! This one is a bit of a fundraiser too, with all proceeds going to Ozanam House/St. Vincent de Paul.
One of the most picturesque places for throwing yourself into the freezing Irish Sea, The Forty Foot at Sandycove is hugely popular year-round, but especially on Christmas Day. Made all the more famous recently by a certain telecommunications company advertisement…!
Who says it needs to be a sea-swim to get the endorphins going? Castlebar’s Lough Lannagh is one of Ireland’s iciest lakes but each year, locals still line up to launch themselves off a wooden dock and into the depths! Join the queues and make sure you’ve got someone waiting for you with a warm towel and a hot cuppa!
From 10am ‘til 1pm on Christmas Day, hundreds of people head to Blackrock, Salthill to help raise funds for charity COPE Galway by immersing themselves! The charity supports homeless and vulnerable persons in Galway and this gives you all the more reason for a chilly Christmas dunking!
For decades, the Tralee Bay Swimming Club has hosted an annual Christmas Day Swim with some years seeing 800+ people take part! The event fundraises for the local RNLI Lifeboats - a hugely important outfit in Ireland and another great motivator for taking the plunge!
High tide is at 10.41am on Christmas morning in Howth, so head along to Bascadden Beach for the perfect wake-up call! This is one of the more popular spots in Dublin so you’ll be in good company with a couple hundred other Dubliners looking to end the year on a (chilly) high!