Thousands of people have turned out in Porthcawl in Wales for the traditional Christmas Swim, one of many being held around the UK.

Around 1,200 people were expected to take to the waves, with up to 5,000 spectators cheering them on for the 55th annual beach event.

Making a splash in Porthcawl. Credit: PA
Santa wasn't afraid to take a dip in Porthcawl. Credit: PA

Christmas swims also took place at other venues across the UK, including King Edward’s Bay in North Shields.

In London, the Serpentine Swimming Club hosted its annual Christmas morning race for the Peter Pan cup.

The race, which takes place in Hyde Park, has been held every year since 1864.

Swimmers of the Serpentine Swimming Club ready to dive in. Credit: PA
Swimmers of the Serpentine Swimming Club take part in the Peter Pan Cup race. Credit: PA

Lucy Jones, secretary of the Porthcawl Christmas Swim, said the theme for this year’s event is A Trip Down Memory Lane.

Funds raised will go to the Alzheimer’s Society Cymru, along with other local charities and organisations.

“We are expecting more than 1,200 swimmers,” Ms Jones said. “The weather forecast is looking good.

Members of the King Edward’s Bay swimmers in North Shields. Credit: PA

“The tide is due to be right out, so they will have a long run down the beach this year.”

Beach-side temperatures were due to be around 7C when the swimmers entered the water at 11.45am.

The event is free, but those attending are encouraged to donate to the charity, with £17,000 raised last year.