‘Come on in the water’s lovely’: round-up of Christmas and Boxing Day Norfolk swims

Fearless or foolhardy? - take your pick as hundreds of swimmers line up for traditional Christmas and Boxing Day dips off Norfolk's freezing beaches.

The annual ceremonies will see plucky plungers heading into the North Sea to raise money for a range of good causes, and the message from organisers is that 'wet suits are for wimps' - but fancy dress is fun.

This year's Lowestoft Christmas Day swim starts at 10am, half an hour earlier than last year, from outside Hotel Hatfield.

Hundreds take to the waters of The Wash at Hunstanton each Christmas Day, while thousands more watch from the Prom.

The dip has taken place for around 50 years. These days it's run by Hunstanton Round Table, which organises a collection on the day for local charities.

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Swimmers assemble at 10.30am and the swim starts at 11am. To register to take part, call 01485 532543.

Cromer's Boxing Day event has particular poignancy for organisers the North Norfolk Beach Runners this year.

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They will be collecting cash for Big C, the Norfolk cancer charity, in memory of a club member.

Jeff Dodds, from Holt, died in July, aged 50, from a brain tumour. Mr Dodds, who was married to Lottie and had two young daughters, Lucy and Zoe, was a script writer who had worked on TV classics including Peak Practice, The Bill, London's Burning, Casualty, Holby City, Midsomer Murders, Crossroads and Heartbeat.

Those taking part in the dip should meet on Cromer Pier at 10am for a warm-up jog in preparation for running into the sea at 11am.

Organiser Clive Hedges invited anyone who wanted to join in to go along but warned: 'We would like to think paddling doesn't count. You've got to get your head under the water. In Cromer we do the double dip - in and out, then in again.'

MEP Richard Howitt will be among this year's Cromer dippers. The Euro MP is a member of the MEPs Against Cancer group which supports goals aimed at cutting cancer by 15pc by 2020.

Bucket collections will take place during the event but anyone who would like to be sponsored to take part can find details on the club's website: www.nnbr.co.uk

The club hopes to raise about �2,000 with the spectacle.

Overstrand's Boxing Day swim takes place at 11.30am from the bottom of the gangway. Mulled cider will be available and there will be a bucket collection with proceeds going to the upkeep of the children's play equipment in the village.

At Mundesley the action is timed for 11am on Boxing Day at the lifeboat house on the promenade. Proceeds from the bucket collection will be split between the independent inshore Mundesley Lifeboat, and Mundesley Youth and Community which supports activities in the village.

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