FESTIVE swimmers braved the chilly temperatures as they took part in the annual Christmas Day swim.

Sporting gloves and Santa hats, people from across Brighton waddled into the water to take part in the tradition at around 11am.

Huge crowds also gathered to cheer on the swimmers, greeting them with towels and bucks fizz as they emerged from the sea, of which the temperature was around 10.1°C.

The event is not organised by any particular group, but still manages to bring in hundreds of spectators and participants every year.

Brighton and Hove City Council announced during the week that a number of beaches were closed to the public to deter Christmas Day swimmers.

The council’s seafront officers were urging residents, visitors and their families to stay safe and keep away from the sea this winter.

Seafront operations manager Chris Ingall said: “Everyone enjoys a bracing stroll on the promenade over the festive season.

“But we would urge people to stay on the path or high up on the beach, especially when the sea conditions are rough.

“Keep little ones close and hold their hands at all times when walking on the beaches. Large waves can easily knock people over, pulling them into the sea – the smaller the person the greater the risk.”

The Argus: Dan Shotton and friends after they took a dip.Dan Shotton and friends after they took a dip.

Dan Shotton took part in the swim with his friends, he says it was a great way to begin his Christmas celebrations.

He said: "It wasn't comfortable but a great way to start the day with friends, a swim, Prosecco and Christmas cake!"

Pictures taken from the morning show dozens of men, women and children taking the plunge.

We have put together a gallery of some of the best shots.