People across the UK and Europe have taken the plunge for a bracing new year swim.

Swimmers from Scarborough to Scheveningen (Holland) took to the waters as part of a New Year fundraising campaign which has become a tradition in many parts of the world.

There were colourful scenes in Scotland as revelers, many of whom in fancy dress, flocked to the shores of South Queensferry for a swim in the chilly waters of the Firth of Forth for an event known as the Loony Dook.

According to the event organisers, 10,000 people took part in the plunge at Scheveningen, Holland. Credit: AP

Thousands also turned out at several locations in England, such as Lyme Regis and in Wales, where scores of people came out for the Barry Island New Year's Day swim in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales.

In the seaside district of Scheveningen, Holland, around 10,000 people jumped into the sea as part of a tradition thought to date back to the 1960s.

Thousands also turned out at Lyme Regis, England to participate in the annual event. Credit: Janette Edmonds

More than 60 thousand people were expected to take part in similar events on 24 locations across the Netherlands.

Swimmersin Germany, many wearing fancy dress hats and costumes, took a plunge in a lake on the outskirts of Berlin in temperatures of just 2 degrees Celsius.

In Rome the tradition is slightly different, instead four divers take turns to jump off the 18 metre high Cavour Bridge over Rome's Tiber River.

In Rome the tradition is slightly different, but still involves being in cold water. Credit: AP

This year four men took part in the annual tradition which dates back to 1946; Simone Carabella, Valter Schirra, Marco Fois and the crowd's favourite diver, the veteran 66-year-old Maurizio Palmulli.

The annual Scarborough Lions New Year's Day Dip, which encourages people to arrive at the beach in fancy dress for a dip in the North Sea, also took place.

Scarborough Lions Treasurer Roy Chambers said: "Everybody was good humoured. The crowds were in excess of 3,000 spectators. It is nice to see eveone on the first of January with a smile on their face and also making contribution."

  • Here are some of the best pictures from around the UK:

Spirits were high at the annual Loony Dook swim in the Firth of Forth, Scotland Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA
Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA
Fancy dress was a popular look at the Loony Dook event Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA
There were colourful outfits Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA
Smiles were the order of the day Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA
Some participants just enjoyed chilling out Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA
Others took the drier option of a kayak Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA
Spectators were out in force to support the swimmers Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA
It was a colourful scene at the Barry Island New Year’s Day swim in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales Credit: Ben Birchall/PA
There were unicorns… Credit: Ben Birchall/PA
…a mermaid… Credit: Ben Birchall/PA
… and a Dalek! Credit: Ben Birchall/PA
In Derbyshire, the Mappleton Bridge Jump is an annual tradition Credit: Joe Giddens/PA
People jump from Okeover Bridge on New Year’s Day into the River Dove in Mappleton Credit: Joe Giddens/PA
The Scarborough Lions Club New Year’s Day Dip was a popular choice Credit: Danny Lawson/PA
The water looked pretty fresh in the North Yorkshire seaside town Credit: Danny Lawson/PA
What a way to start 2019! Credit: Danny Lawson/PA