“Warmest December” draws more people to Christmas day swims

Holly and Ross took part in the swim with their children Oddy (10), Axel (9), Johnny (7), Tallulah (

Holly and Ross took part in the swim with their children Oddy (10), Axel (9), Johnny (7), Tallulah (6), Isis (3) and Forrest (5 months). Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

The unseasonably warm weather has brought hundreds out onto our region's beaches for a traditional Christmas day swim.

So far this month, temperatures are up 4C (39F) on the 1981-2010 average, with some forecasters saying it could be the warmest ever recorded in the last 350 years.

• In Lowestoft hundreds gathered at the Claremont Pier before running down the Sotuh Beach in fancy dress and taking a paddle in the sea.

The town's warmest Christmas Day on record was in 2003 when the mercury soared to 10C (50F) and this year could surpass that.

Sentinel Leisure Centre hosted the swim to raise money for local charities.

This year's beneficiaries were Access Community Trust, D.I.A.L, East Coast Hospice, Lowestoft Thursday Club, Lowestoft Live Arts, Waveney Domestic Violence & Abuse Forum, Brian Gallagher Soccer Fund, Lowestoft Lions, St John Ambulance and Lowestoft Lifeguard Volunteer Corps.

• In Southwold the Christmas swim was back for another year on the town's Gun Hill Beach.

Most Read

The event was organised by the Southwold and District Rotary and this year the charities supported were the Alexis Ruthven Trust, RNLI/Centifloat and Community First Responders.

• In Hunstanton 175 people entered in the Wash. Organised by Hunstanton and District Round Table, this year's swim was dedicated in memory of event supporter Sean Sands, who died this year. A proportion of the money raised - around £5,000 - will be split between his family's chosen charities, the RNLI and Air Ambulance.

• The annual Walcott 'throw yourself in the sea' event also took place today. It has grown over the past four years and saw people wading into the sea in north Norfolk.