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In Pictures: Santa thaws as hundreds brave Christmas Day swims

There was a festive theme with swimmers from London to the North East in Santa-inspired costumes and decked out in waterproof tinsel.

Members of the Serpentine Swimming Club take part in the Peter Pan Cup race (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
Members of the Serpentine Swimming Club take part in the Peter Pan Cup race (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

By PA Reporters

One of the more bracing Christmas traditions in some parts of the UK and Ireland is an outdoor swim in the sea or a lake.

Around the country, there was a festive theme with swimmers in Santa-inspired costumes and decked out in waterproof tinsel.

In London, the Serpentine Swimming Club hosted its annual Christmas morning race for the Peter Pan cup. The event has been held on the Hyde Park lake every year since 1864.

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(Dominic Lipinski/PA)
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(Dominic Lipinski/PA)
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(Dominic Lipinski/PA)
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(Dominic Lipinski/PA)
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(Dominic Lipinski/PA)

In the Republic of Ireland, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was among the swimmers at the Forty Foot bathing spot. He was pictured giving a wave from the water at Sandycove.

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(Niall Carson/PA)
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(Niall Carson/PA)
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(Niall Carson/PA)
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(Niall Carson/PA)

In Northern Ireland, members of the Donaghadee Chunky Dunkers took a dip in the Co Down town’s harbour.

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(Rebecca Black/PA)

Across the sea, hundreds of swimmers braved the bracing waters off Porthcawl in Wales.

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(Ben Birchall/PA)
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(Ben Birchall/PA)
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(Ben Birchall/PA)
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(Ben Birchall/PA)
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(Ben Birchall/PA)
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(Ben Birchall/PA)
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(Ben Birchall/PA)
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(Ben Birchall/PA)
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(Ben Birchall/PA)

Meanwhile, members of the King Edward’s Bay swimmers greeted the sunrise on the east coast at North Shields during their annual dip.

Some hardy souls even managed to brave the water well into daylight.

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(Owen Humphreys/PA)
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(Owen Humphreys/PA)

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