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Hundreds take a New Year dip at Clevedon Marine Lake in Somerset

The superheroes braving the seawater of Clevedon Marine Lake to celebrate New Year's Day. Credit: ITV West Country

How did you see in 2020? Well, in Clevedon, 200 hardy souls - many of them in fancy dress - braved the seawater of the marine lake to celebrate New Year's Day.

  • Watch 'Swim the New Year In'

The New Year's Day dip has become an annual tradition at Clevedon Marine Lake. As well as providing a refreshing start to the year, a collection is made for Marlens, the charity responsible for the upkeep of the pool.

The central platform at Clevedon Marine Lake proved very popular with the New Year's Day swimmers. Credit: ITV West Country

The water - which comes in from the Severn Estuary - wasn't freezing but it was certainly very chilly. Temperatures ranged between 3 and 6 Celsius on the day. It's not the sort of water to hang around in but many of the swimmers were happy to stay the distance, with the central platform proving very popular.

When you're thinking about it, it doesn't feel good but as soon as you get in, it feels good. A good high after getting in so you feel good for doing it.

It's only my third time without a wetsuit but there's a lot of peer pressure from my friends. So we get a WhatsApp group and we have to go in.

– Simon Davis, Swimmer
Whether you choose to dive or jump, it's all in a good cause. Credit: ITV West Country

Many of those who turned up are regular users of the Marine Lake and say open-air swimming has huge benefits.

I'm a Type 1 diabetic. This is supposed to be really good for the immune system - mine's shot, obviously. So I came down here with my sugar and my insulin syringes and we've been doing it twice a week ever since September and I absolutely love it. It makes me feel so brilliant.

– Lindsay Forbes, Swimmer
This looks like a leisurely swim but the water's only a few degrees above freezing. Credit: ITV West Country

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