Cold Water Dip


What is the minimum age?

Participants must be at least 16 years old to take part in the Cold Water Dip, and all participants under 18 must be accompanied by a participating adult who is responsible for their safety. Each adult can only be responsible for one under 18.

Are there any health restrictions?

If you have an underlying health condition related to your heart, lungs (including asthma), or which might be impacted by exposure to cold water, or if you are pregnant, you must seek medical advice from your GP before registering.

Can I sign up on the day?

We will not be accepting any registrations on the day, as we need participants to have practised getting into cold water and making sure they are ready for the challenge. There are limited spaces for this challenge so we advise you sign up early to secure your space. Online registrations will close on 29 November.

Can I take part in a wheelchair?

There is a hoist at the lido to allow all abilities to enter the pool. Get in touch with us on so that we can make sure we have everything set up and ready for you.  

I can no longer take part, can someone else dip in my place?

No sorry, your registrations are non-refundable and non-transferable so you can’t give your place away to anyone else. Please do let us know if you can no longer come.


What date is the Cold Water Dip being held?

The event takes place on Saturday 2 December

What time does the Cold Water Dip begin?

Join us at Portishead Open Air Pool from 2pm to sign in and get ready for the swim. The event will be officially opened by local synchronised swimming group Almost Synchro at 3pm, and there will then be a health and safety briefing before dippers start getting into the pool.

How long can I stay in the water?

This is a short dip challenge, not a perseverence challenge. A few minutes will be enough for most of us! It is recommended that you are not in the water for longer than 10 minutes, and the lifeguards will advise you if they feel you have been in the water for too long. Each wave of dippers have a total of 15 minutes to enter and exit the pool.


Getting in the water is not for me but can I help in any other way? 

Yes! You can help by volunteering on the day to help us make sure the day goes smoothly. If you would like to volunteer at the event, please do get in touch and email

Event Information

Where is the Cold Water Dip taking place?

Portishead Open Air Pool, The Esplanade, Portishead BS20 9HD. Come to the main entrance of the pool.

Where do I park?

There is no designated car par for this event, but there is public parking available on The Esplanade as well as long the sea front. Please be considerate to local people if parking in nearby residential areas.

Is there anywhere I can leave my personal belongings?

Personal belongings can be left at the side of the pool in the spectator area at your own risk, or there are some limited lockers available - please bring a padlock if you would like to use one of these.

Can my friends and family come along to watch?

Absolutely! Friends and family are more than welcome to come along and cheer you on, to give you that extra boost to get in the water. There is a large spectator area where they can wait and hold your towel.

What should I wear?

You are welcome to wear a wetsuit if you prefer, or just a swimsuit if feeling brave. There will be some wetsuits available to borrow on the day if you change your mind! Fancy dress is always encouraged and we'd love to see some crazy outfits - just make sure costumes are safe for getting in the water and won't weigh you down or be too cumbersome.

What should I bring?

Please bring a towel and warm, dry clothes to change into after the dip, and all of your courage! You'll also get a free hot drink from the cafe to help you warm up afterwards.

Can I jump in?

Unfortunately not. It is not safe to jump straight into cold water as it can cause what's known as "cold water shock". Instead, everyone will be asked to enter the water slowly using either the steps or by sitting on the side and sliding in to the shallow end. Swim slowly at first to gradually get used to the temperature.

Is cold water swimming good for you?

Cold water swimming can have several potential health benefits for your body and mind. It's been known to help enhance immune systems and improve circulation, as well as releasing endorphins which are a natural mood booster and help alleviate stress. Plus the feeling of achievement will feel amazing! 

Cold water swimming isn't suitable for everyone though, so it is essential to speak with a healthcare provider if you have any medical conditions or sensitivities. 

What can I expect on the day? 

We're thrilled to be joined by Almost Synchro who will open the event, and there will be a safety briefing from the Portishead team. Then, dippers will get into the water in small groups of around 30 at a time. When you've reached your limit, get out the water and warm up in hot tubs and the warm room, before getting a free hot drink from the Cafe.

If you're taking part in memory of a loved one, write a message and hang a light on the string over the pool. There will also be a raffle with exciting prizes including Dryrobes, vouchers for The Wave, and more! 


Is there a minimum amount you need to raise?

We have not set a minimum sponsorship amount that you need to raise, but we would encourage everybody to raise as much as possible, because every penny counts. Your entry fee will help us cover the cost of organising the event, so it is vitally important that you raise sponsorship money on top of your entry fee. We would love for each participant to aim to raise £100, that would raise such a brilliant amount to help the local community.

How do I get the free Cold Water Dip beanie hat?

As a thank you for raising much needed funds, the first dippers to set up a JustGiving page and get their first donation will get an exclusive St Peter's Hospice Dryrobe hat to keep warm in the pool! 

All our limited St Peter's Hospice beanies have now been claimed by our wonderful fundraisers - they have been posted to you, so wear them with pride!

What does my entry fee get spent on?

Your entry fee helps us cover the cost of putting on the event including the venue, hot drinks and general event costs so that all donations and sponsorship money raised can go to helping patients and families in Bristol. 

Why should I raise any money?

St Peter's Hospice is Bristol’s only adult hospice, and are there to support patients and families across the Greater Bristol area from Chew Valley to Keynsham, Fishponds to Portishead. All our services are free and for most of this we are reliant on our wonderful supporters fundraising and giving donations at our events, in our shops and in wills. Every £33 you raise would pay for an hour of a nurse’s time to support patients in their homes or in the Hospice when they need it most.

If every dipper raised £100, we could fund 300 hours of care for patients and their families, to provide the best possible care, advice and support.

How can I get the money I’ve raised to you?

There are lots of ways that you can get your wonderful sponsorship money into us. If you've fundraised through an online giving page like JustGiving then it will come to us automatically without you having to do anything at all! You can also pay it straight to us through our website and let us know that it's your sponsorship money, or you can also send us a cheque to the Long Ashton office or to the Hospice in Brentry.

How do I set up a JustGiving page?

JustGiving pages are a great and easy way to spread the message about what you're doing and why you’re doing it! You can make your page here, and then post your page on your Facebook, X (Twitter), LinkedIn, email signature and anywhere else you fancy to spread the word. You can also set up a team on JustGiving.