Where to Go for a Boxing Day Swim in Cornwall

December 12th, 2022

Festive (and icy!) swims take place across the whole of the UK over Christmas. However, there is nothing quite like a Cornish swim; with the plethora of incredible beaches on offer, Cornwall certainly has some excellent options.


If you fancy raising money for local charities by taking a dip and making a splash this Boxing Day or just want to spectate from the sidelines, here are the best places to head to!


St Ives, Porthminster Beach – The Family Sea Swim

  • Organisers: Porthminster cafe
  • Start time: 12 pm

St.Ives is one of Cornwall’s most idyllic and serene coastal villages, home to countless artist’s studios, fishing boats, cosy cafes and quaint independent seaside shops. One of the best ways to drink in the ambience of St.Ives is from the shoreline, and this holiday season, there is an opportunity to do just that with a community of like-minded individuals.


This year Porthminster cafe is running its annual Boxing Day sea swim in St.Ives to raise money for a local charity. The event asks swimmers to donate just £1 towards a good cause. The sea swim is set to commence at midday on Boxing Day. Whether you want to brave the chilly waters in your swimsuit or fancy popping on your thickest winter wetsuit, all are welcome. This can also be a family affair, as old and young are encouraged to take the plunge.


Once you have emerged from the icy waters victorious, feeling alive with adrenalin and exhilaration, you can warm yourself with a hot beverage and a classic bacon butty from the Porthminster cafe and chat with your fellow swimmers.



St Austell Bay, Charlestown Beach – The Sea Swim That Makes A Difference

  • Organisers: Charlestown Rowing Club
  • Start time: 10:45 am
  • Swimmers must be at least 11 years old

The beauty of taking part in this sea swim is that you are helping to improve your physical and mental health by tackling the freezing waves and helping to improve the local community.


If your focus for a Boxing Day sea swim is to raise money for good causes, then the Charlestown beach swim will be the one for you. To participate in the Charlestown Boxing Day swim, you will be required to raise at least £10 in sponsorship, which will be donated to the chosen charity of the year.


Hundreds of dedicated swimmers descend on St Austell Harbour to participate in one of the largest Boxing Day sea swims in the UK; it has been going since 1991 and, since its inception, has raised over £24k for local charities and good causes.


It is worth noting, however, that to partake in this particular sea swim, there is an age restriction of 11 years old.


If sea safety is a concern for you, then there is no need to worry as the St Austell sea swim event is supported by CTC Medical Services, St Austell Coastguard and St Austell Community Fire Station – you’re in safe hands!


Perranporth Beach, Newquay – The Sea Swim For The Bold And Brave

  • Organisers: Perranporth Surf Life Saving Club
  • Start time: 10:30 am
  • No wetsuits allowed!

Perranporth Boxing Day sea swim is located a little further south of Newquay on the north coast of Cornwall and is a beloved bay among locals and water sports enthusiasts.


The event is run by the Perranporth Surf Life Saving Club, who insist that you brave the Atlantic waters like a warrior and leave your wetsuit at home to feel the actual effects of cold water swimming. For those with enough guts to take on this challenge, refreshments are available afterwards to warm your cockles and reward your determination.


The meeting for the event usually starts at 10:30 am, with a start time for ascending into the Atlantic waters at 10:45 am.



Poldhu Beach, Lizard Peninsula – The Beach Swim With Mulled Win

  • Organisers: Natalie and Ross from the Poldhu Beach Café
  • Start time: 11 am

Each and every year, the owners of Poldhu Beach café, Natalie and Ross, organise the Boxing Day swim at Poldhu beach to raise money for the southwest children’s hospice. Swimmers are encouraged to dress up in festive gear, and it is not uncommon to see a hoard of Santas bounding into the surf!


For all those brave enough to take on the December waters, Natalie and Ross have offered swimmers the option of a hot beverage; they have tea, coffee, hot chocolate and even mulled wine!


Please note that lifeguards do not patrol this beach on Boxing Day, so enter the sea at your own risk.


Will you be heading out for a swim this Boxing Day or just visiting one of the beaches for entertainment? Let us know!


If you plan to stay with us this holiday season, you can warm yourself up after taking the plunge at one of our hot tub cottages in Cornwall.


Furthermore, you can explore our guide to family-friendly days out in Cornwall this Christmas so you can make the most of your time with your family in the beautiful South West.