Going for a swim in freezing cold water is one of the best ways to celebrate the start of a year - so some say.

You can take part in the bizarre but popular tradition - called the polar bear plunge - in St Albans. And it is for a good cause.

Earthworks, a charity which helps people with learning disabilities,is inviting people to come in fancy dress and dive into a freezing cold pool on New Year's Day 2020.

People aged six and older can take part in the annual event at St Albans Sub Aqua Club.

In the past, people have dressed up as penguins, Santa, giraffes, ghost busters, nuns and Buzz Lightyear from the film Toy Story.

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Representing the two charities benefitting from 2020’s Polar Bear Plunge: Lynne Misner of Small Acts of Kindness; The Mayor of St Albans Cllr Janet Smith; Earthworker Zuneira. Photo: Pike Photography.

Neil Barras-Smith who has taken part in the vent for the past three years said: “It is the perfect way to blow off the cobwebs and start the new year.

“It is a great way to do something fun as a family, that is a bit different, a bit extreme but also makes a difference.

“The water will take your breath away but within a few minutes of getting out of the water you have a warm glow about you and a real sense of achievement. I highly recommend it.”

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Earthworks will be holding their annual Polar Bear Plunge in 2020 photo: Pike Photography

People who take part will be rewarded with free hot chocolate with marshmallows and a hot shower.

All money raised will go to charities in the area. Since 2016, the event has raised £25,000 for good causes.

This year’s guest charity will be Small Acts of Kindness founded by Lynne Misner in 2014 to tackle loneliness in the older generation in the winter.

For more details and tickets go to: polarbearplunge.org.uk