Westward Ho! was the place to be on New Year’s Day as hundreds of hardy souls took part in a fancy dress dip in the sea.

The New Year's Day dip at Westward Ho! Picture: Sue JamesThe New Year's Day dip at Westward Ho! Picture: Sue James

A crowd of close to 1,000 marked the start of 2020 by rushing into the Atlantic at 1pm.

The 2020 event, organised by Westward Ho! Business Assoication, marked its third year and is becoming a firm tradition.

Crowds gathered at the Promenade and on the beach in colourful fancy dress - from dinosaurs and superheroes to Santas and 'storm poopers' before a warm-up with Crazy Jack.

The crowd of swimmers then made a dash for the ocean, splashing around for a chilly dip before returning to dry land to warm back up again.

Crowds rush into the sea at the Westward Ho! New Year's Day Dip 2020. Picture: Alex HallCrowds rush into the sea at the Westward Ho! New Year's Day Dip 2020. Picture: Alex Hall

RNLI lifeguards and the Appledore lifeboat was on hand to ensure everyone's safety, as were Bideford and Westward Ho! coastguards.

Next year's dip is already pencilled in for 1pm on Friday, January 1, 2021. Find out more by searching 'New Years Day Fancy Dress Dip 2021' on Facebook.

The New Year's Day dip at Westward Ho! Picture: Sue JamesThe New Year's Day dip at Westward Ho! Picture: Sue James

The New Year's Day dip at Westward Ho! Picture: Sue JamesThe New Year's Day dip at Westward Ho! Picture: Sue James

The New Year's Day dip at Westward Ho! Picture: Rob BraddickThe New Year's Day dip at Westward Ho! Picture: Rob Braddick