THE long-standing tradition of Clacton's Christmas Day swim saw scores of brave swimmers take to the cold waters on the seafront.

This annual experience is said to be as old as a century, but regardless of the longevity, it remains as popular as ever.

People had little to keep themselves warm, other than Santa hats in some cases or quirky Christmas costumes. 

In fact, one swimmer wore a 'Grinch' jumper and had a painted green face to match.

Others opted for woolly hats or staying in groups after having entered the water.

Here are some pictures courtesy of photographers from the Gazette's Camera Club.

Across the country people braved festive swims at a number of locations.

Thousands of people have turned out in Porthcawl in Wales for the traditional Christmas Swim.

More than 1,300 people took to the waves, with about 5,000 spectators cheering them on for the 55th annual event.

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.