On Boxing Day, there is a national tradition where people flock to the coast for a chilly swim.

On the Isle of Wight, we love this tradition. An ever increasing number of swims are emerging. 

Hosting the swims are: Sandown, Shanklin, Gurnard, Ventnor, Seaview and Ryde.  

Ventnor is arguably the biggest swim, where approximately 900 people emerge into the water at midday, in festive, fancy dress - or a bikini for the braver!

Participants that caught my eye were a number of elves and participants from children to the elderly.  There is a great atmosphere, where people are still merry in a post Christmas buzz. There is a charitable collection for the local food bank and Carnival Association. 

The beach is patrolled by a lifeboat to ensure the safety of participants.  

Isle of Wight County Press: The Boxing Day swim at Ventnor, by Evelyn Shand.The Boxing Day swim at Ventnor, by Evelyn Shand. (Image: Evelyn)  

I braved the boxing day swim in Ventnor this year, and ran into the sea.

Despite the cold, I managed to endure approximately 20 minutes of swimming and was one of the last people in the water. 

The cold water initially felt uncomfortable and almost painful, but once my body got used to it was tolerable. The water felt invigorating and fresh and was a fantastic experience. 

The cove at Ventnor was very picturesque and the sun was out, with the water surprisingly calm. 

I believe this Christmas season has been one of the mildest on record.  I definitely recommend a hot chocolate or a mulled wine to warm up afterwards, from one of the cafes opposite.

The Shanklin event is another popular event. Last year, it managed to raise more than £800 for Sandown and Shanklin Independent Lifeboat. 

Isle of Wight County Press: Ventnor's Boxing Day swimVentnor's Boxing Day swim (Image: Evelyn)