HUNDREDS of skinny dippers ran into the North Sea to celebrate the arrival of the Autumn Equinox this morning.
600 people ditched their clothes and charged into chilly waters at sunrise as part of the North East Skinny Dip.
Some of the in the buff bunch held hands as they raced into the briny off the coast of Druridge Bay, Northumberland
The naked horde fully embraced the freeing experience by splashing and paddling in the cold water.
Before taking the nude plunge, dippers were wowed by a female fire dancer and a percussion band as they gathered on the beach.
There were camp fires glowing as the growing crowd got ready to whip their kit off.
Jax Higginson organises the annual event, which is now in its seventh year, to raise money for Mind.
Artist Jax, who joined the nude crowd as they ran into the sea, has so far raised over £30,000 for the mental health charity.
Jax, from Sunderland, said: “It was really cold and really wild.
“We had at least 600 skinny-dippers taking part this year – 200 more people than we did last year.
“I have never ran into the sea with 600 people before, it was a first for me.
“It made a big difference to the atmosphere. There were lots of people gathering on the beach this morning and lots of excitement.
“People do it for different reasons. Some people do it as a crazy, wild experience to step out of their comfort zone, some people do it to connect with nature and other people do it to celebrate life and their bodies.
“We always do it as close to the Autumn Equinox as possible. This is the first time we have dipped on the actual day of the Equinox.
“The exact moment was 2.30am this morning and we ran into the sea a few hours after.
“We had the most perfect conditions. It was really still and clear and we had some wild waves. It was wonderful.
“Every year I am just blown away by the people that commit to it and support it – I’m really grateful.”