Shock cure for hangover – 1,000 take a bracing dip

There can hardly be a more bracing cure for a Hogmanay hangover, but more than a 1,000 hardy souls took a dip in the icy waters of the Forth yesterday.

Clad in outfits ranging from pink tutus to skimpy thongs, they dashed into the freezing firth near the railway bridge at South Queensferry.

The brave swimmers – some only wearing bikinis – plunged in as thousands of spectators looked on. Characters, including the Super Mario Brothers, Batman and a family of snowmen, were guided by a piper throught the streets of South Queensferry for the Loony Dook.

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Joanne Jamieson, 31, from Edinburgh, took the plunge with her 11-year-old niece, Nicola. She said: “What a way to start the new year – it was absolutely freezing and my feet are numb. I did it last year and loved it so much I did it again this year.”

The annual Loony Dook – started in 1988 by six friends – attracted swimmers from as far afield as Australia, the United States and South Africa.

The event proved popular with locals and tourists coming to Edinburgh for Hogmanany.

Alex Alonso, 26, of Oaxaca, Mexico, said: “It was awesome. I wish I could come every year. I was very tempted to join everyone when they ran into the water.”

Taking the plunge was Kirsty MacQuarie 41, of Edinburgh, said: “We just love it. It’s become a part of our New Year now – and we’re definitely getting used to the shock of the cold water.”