Hark the Herald Angels Swim

Hundreds of Londoners dust off their trunks and tankinis, dive out of their comfort zones and welcome in the festive season

The legendary OSS December Dip has grown year-on-year, gaining a cult following with 240 swimmers braving the cold to swim at Parliament Hills Lido last year. 2010 is set to be bigger and better with Royle Family comedienne, actress and keen outdoor swimmer, Jessica Hynes, and Head of Great Swim, Colin Hill, hosting the event.
Taking place on Saturday 4th December, the fourth annual December Dip offers intrepid swimmers a crazy plunge into the icy waters of Parliament Hill lido followed by a hot tub, mince pies and general merry making. Tickets are available online now.
The event was established in 2007 by the Wild Swim author, Kate Rew, for The Outdoor Swimming Society – a rapidly expanding community of over 9,000 people passionate about swimming in the UK’s wealth of lakes, rivers and shoreline.
A highlight on the outdoor swimming calendar, the December Dip offers members a forum to plan next year’s swims and newcomers a chance to ‘dip their toe’ in the frigid world of winter swimming [and emerge with such a buzz they’re likely to leave the lido as life-long enthusiasts].
The event kicks off at 10am with talks by Jessica and Colin, motivational mince pies and warming drinks, followed by the mass dunk for a bracing couple of widths (30 meters) of the lido – guaranteed to get the blood pumping, skin tingling and make everyone high for the rest of the day, if not weekend. All swimmers will be given a limited edition festive swimming hat as a memento – perfect for the Christmas party season. 
Fresh from performing in the live version of her improvised radio show, Peppertits, at the Bristol Jam, Jessica Hynes will be in charge of the big countdown. She will be joined by outdoor swimming legend; Colin Hill, who counts The Channel, a Windermere two-way and Byron’s Hellespont amongst his most recent exploits and will be sharing the secret to swimming for hours and hours.  
A unique, and slightly more wholesome, alternative to the traditional Christmas party, the December Dip will be memorable – for the right reasons!
Tickets costs £15 and are for sale on the OSS website. All attendees receive drinks, mince pie, and a special festive hat.
The OSS lists all other festive dips around the country on its swim map at www.outdoorswimmingsociety.com.