Challenge: Boxing Day Dip
Details: Find your nearest outdoor swimming location, be it a pond, the sea, a lake or a river and take a dip on Boxing Day (or Christmas Day or New Year’s Day). Be safe and have warm clothes to don when you get out. I joined the Heller family’s tradition of a Boxing Day Dip, which has grown out to include friends, and friends of friends, to be 50+ strong this year. I recommend swimming with other people – not only for safety, also for fun!
Where? The Angel at Henley on Thames – swimming from Red Lion Hotel (Oxfordshire) to the Leander Club (Berkshire). Or anywhere that suits. In London on Boxing Day: London Fields (outdoors but heated) is open 10-12, Parliament Hill lido 7-12, Hampstead Mens and Ladies 7.30-2.45 (check their websites in case changes from year to year).
Transport? Drive/ cycle (trains can be unreliable on Boxing Day)
When? Meet 11.30am on Boxing Day, ready to swim at midday
Bring? Swimming costume, towel, money for drinks, warm clothes to put on afterwards
Food & drink? The Angel pub
eXerK 52in52 story: The challenge was decided on before I heard about the Henley swim so it was great to be able to go join fellow intrepid swimmers. A lot more fun as a group and was great to bring along a few locals from the eXerK clan to join in with the fun.
It’s an informal no- wetsuit affair, with the 50+ bathers taking health and safety into their own hands swimming from bank to bank. There are lots of spectators helping people out the other side so although we had to take care with the current, and mind the temperature didn’t stop anyone from swimming, there wasn’t too much to worry about. The water was 10°C, relatively warm for December time. It was amazing seeing other people’s posts come in from around the world…and from garden ponds!
I think a new annual tradition! The Henley swim even made it onto the BBC