16 Christmas swims taking place around Ireland in 2023, and a bonus winter solstice swim

Hardy sea swimmers and seasonal dunkers — the countdown to the big one is on. The Christmas Day Swim has become a key part of the holiday calendar for so many. So if you like a jolly crowd around for your Christmas dip then check out our list of swims near you
16 Christmas swims taking place around Ireland in 2023, and a bonus winter solstice swim

Christmas day swims galore...check out this list.  Racing into the sea for the annual Dunwanway Christmas swim in aid of the Dunmanway cancer unit CUH at Inchydoney beach in West Cork. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Broadstrand Christmas Swim

It’s 48 years since a small group of locals took to the sea at Broadstrand on Christmas morning and started the annual tradition that has continued every year since then. A few have never missed the occasion each year whatever the weather. For decades this shared venture between Courtmacsherry and Timoleague has raised much-needed funds for the local branches of COPE and Cystic Fibrosis charities.

This year’s swim is at noon — and there will be a cup of soup or a ‘hot toddy’ afterwards.

Contributions are fully divided between COPE in Clonakilty and the Paediatric Cystic Fibrosis Unit at CUH. Courtmacsherry Development Association has organised for online donations here. Organisers wanted to salute “one of the shining lights of our swims — the late Sean Connolly, from Cregane, Timoleague, whose wit and wisdom graced the Wild Atlantic waters at Broadstrand for decades on Christmas morning”.

Dunmanway Christmas Swim

Dunmanway Christmas Swim
Dunmanway Christmas Swim

This year’s swim takes place at Inchydoney Beach on Christmas morning at 11am. The swim is in aid of the Dunmanway Day Unit in Cork University Hospital where patients receive chemotherapy. Locals have been doing the swim for this unit for 24 years now. They have raised more than €300,000 over the 24 years and plan to keep it going far into the future. Organisers said: “We raised more than €27,000 alone last year which we were so proud of! So many of our swimmers and volunteers have family and friends that have used the day unit and we are only thrilled to be able to give back to the unit and help them in any way possible.” Meet in the lower car park at about 10-10:30am.

Inchydoney Christmas Swim

This year’s swim is at 11am from the main beach in Inchydoney on Christmas morning. It’s in aid of local priest Fr John Kingston who has spent a lifetime in Mozambique. His mission is trying to keep young people in education at secondary level as a way of helping the next generations rise out of their current poverty. They depend on the funds from Christmas Swim to keep these pupils in school for another 12 months. Cash can be donated on the day, at Facebook or via their Go Fund Me Page. Donations can also be dropped into O'Donovans Hotel, Pearse St, Clonakilty.

Cork Harlequins Club Annual Christmas Eve Swim at Myrtleville

This one's actually taking place on Christmas Eve so don't miss it! It's at Myrtleville at 11am and is open to members, friends and family. 

It will raise funds for the club

Rosscarbery Christmas Swim

Rosscarbery Christmas Swim 2022
Rosscarbery Christmas Swim 2022

Meet at The Warren at 11am. In aid of Rosscarbery Social Services and Cancer Connect West Cork. Donation buckets on hand on the day.

Schull Christmas Day Swim — in aid of Cope Foundation

The annual Schull Christmas Day Swim in aid of Cope Foundation, will take place at noon at Schull Pier.

Participants are invited to register online by clicking here. This is the preferred method of registration but there will be limited registration from 11.30am on the morning of the swim for latecomers.

Organisers ask that all participants ensure they ‘warm up’ after the event by having a warm cup of tea and thermal clothing. Funds raised support people with an intellectual disability and/or autism across the city and county to live a life of their choosing.

Skibbereen Rowing Club Annual Charity Swim

All proceeds will go to the Special Classes of St Joseph's and St Patrick's National Schools Skibbereen. Held at Tragumna Beach at noon sharp on Christmas Day. This is the 46th year of the swim and a huge crowd is expected — it’s a great place to meet everyone home for Christmas, say the organisers. All swimmers and supporters welcome — fancy dress optional! Santa promises to visit on his way back to the North Pole. Last year more than 150 brave swimmers took part and were supported by crowds of locals and visitors alike. Bucket collection on the day

White Bay Christmas Swim in aid of Cork Simon Community

Christmas sunshine and swimming. Picture Dan Linehan
Christmas sunshine and swimming. Picture Dan Linehan

Christmas Day at noon at White Bay Beach (Cuan Bán), Glanagow.

On the go since 1994, friends and families from home and abroad take the plunge to raise money for people experiencing homelessness and turning to Cork Simon for help.

More details here.

Ardmore Christmas Swim 

The Ardmore Christmas Day Swim is a fundraiser in aid of the Youghal Lifeboat Station
The Ardmore Christmas Day Swim is a fundraiser in aid of the Youghal Lifeboat Station

The 27th year of this popular Christmas Day Swim. All funds raised in aid of Youghal RNLI — last year's swim raised more than €4,534.

This year's takes place at 12:15pm on Ardmore Beach. "We would love for some new faces join us and make that dash to splash!!"

Sponsorship Cards are currently available through their Facebook and Instagram or contact Siobhan on 086 2145833. Donations can also be made on the day at their bucket collection.

Billy Galgey  2023 Christmas Day Swim

Organised by Ian Galgey in memory of his grandfather, Waterford local Billy Galgey, this year’s swim will take place at 11:15 on the slip opposite Dooley’s The swim is in aid of Waterford Dragon Boat Club. Waterford Dragon Boat Club, founded in 2013, is a team of breast cancer survivors and supporters. Donate on the day or pick up a printed sponsorship card by getting in touch with any family member or Waterford Dragon Boat Club.

Dungarvan Lions Club Christmas Swim

There has been a Dungarvan Christmas Morning Swim for more than 40 years. Funds raised are donated to the Dungarvan Lions Club Christmas Appeal which provides fuel and food vouchers to people in Dungarvan and across West Waterford from Tallow to Kilmacthomas who struggle at this time of year. The Swim takes place at Clonea Beach (Hotel End) at noon “come rain or shine”. Bugler Dr Jim Stacey kicks it off and swimmers are welcomed back with cups of homemade soup provided by Aoife O'Brien. In keeping with tradition, this year’s swimmers will be led by Lions Club president Ron Twomey. Last year the club gave out more than €50,000 in vouchers. There is no pre-registration for this event. There will be collection buckets on hand on the day.

Michael Power Christmas Day Memorial Swim, Kilmeaden

Michael Power and some friends in 1983 decided to continue swimming up to Christmas, including Christmas Day — that was the first group swim held at Kilmurrin Cove. Kill, County Waterford. In December 1984, Michel Power died suddenly. The swim was then named in his honour. It has raised thousands of euro for various charities in Waterford city and county, and for charities nationwide.

This year’s swim is in aid of ACT for meningitis — this charity was selected as the parish of Kill and surrounding parishes were shocked last year by the death of a popular teenage girl. The 2023 swim starts at noon. Bunmahon lifeguards oversee the safety aspects of the swim, with Portlaw Red Cross also on duty.

This year’s swim will officially launch with a table quiz at Dunphy's Bar, Kill, on Friday, December 1 at 9pm.

Banna Strand Christmas Swim

This year’s swim is on Banna Strand, on December 25 at 12:30pm sharp. It will be the 40th Xmas Swim in aid of the emergency search and Rescue Unit, Banna Rescue. Banna Rescue is one of the 11 independent lifeboat teams in the country and the swim is the last fundraiser of the year.

“Fingers crossed there will be smiles all round, even those laughing off the chill through chattering teeth!”.

Lahinch Christmas Swim

Lahinch Christmas Swim is on December 25 at 12.15pm. It’s in aid of Cuan an Chlair Alzheimers Day Centre, based in Cahercalla, Ennis. Gather at the main slip and donations to buckets on the day.

Loughrea Icebreakers Christmas Day Swim 2023

The annual Christmas Day Swim takes place on Christmas morning at 11.30am at the Long Point Loughrea Lake, Galway. Proceeds are in aid of CASA Loughrea in association with Loughrea Lions Club.

“Take the leap and a experience a refreshing swim on Christmas morning in support of this nonprofit organisation whose goal is to give persons with disabilities a social outlet. For those who would like to donate, there will be a bucket collection on the morning.”

COPE Galway Christmas Swim

This one has been taking place since 1989 and this year’s swim is a hybrid event that actually takes place from December 20-26 — as well as the ‘live event’ on Christmas morning.

Registration costs $20 and includes a swim t-shirt. Meet at Blackrock Tower in Salthill on Christmas morning Share & tag on social media @COPEGalway #BraveTheCold #COPEChristmasSwim

And a Winter Solstice swim if you just can't wait for Christmas...

Galway Simon Community’s, Dip at Dawn Winter Solstice

Dip at Dawn Winter Solstice 
Dip at Dawn Winter Solstice 

This will take place on Friday, December 22, from 8.30am – 9.30am on Ladies Beach, Salthill, Galway. Registration opens on Monday, December 4.  100% of proceeds will go directly to Galway Simon Community who provide support and accommodation services to those experiencing, or at risk of homelessness in Galway, Mayo and Roscommon.

  • And if you have a Christmas swim you'd like us to include, click here

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