Taking the plunge - swimmers brave a bitterly cold Windermere in the Boxing Day Dip

The Westmorland Gazette: Freeze frame - Boxing Day dippers in Windermere Freeze frame - Boxing Day dippers in Windermere

DOZENS of hardy swimmers braved the bitterly cold Windermere water today as they took part in the Boxing Day Dip.

Organisers say the water was just six degrees when 70 swimmers aged from nine to 60-plus from all over the North West took the plunge at Brockhole Visitor Centre.

The Boxing Day Dip is the third winter swimming event run by Chillswim, a company based in the Lake District.

Following the success of The Big Chill Swim Salford earlier this month, a number of swimmers travelled from the Salford and Manchester area to take part in the swim, including the hardiest swimmer Debbie Patterson who swam for 22 minutes in just her swimming costume.

“It’s not often I get to say that I’m the best at something, I’m never first, but I was delighted to be first in and last out today – it was a beautiful day for a swim,” she said.

After completing their swims, participants warmed up with hot drinks and in the heated changing marquees.

Swimmers’ attire ranged from traditional swimming costumes, to wetsuits and also fancy dress with the prize for best dressed going to Kendal man Bruce Evans, who works for South Lakeland District Council.

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