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10 great open water swimming events in England this summer

As so many of you have begun swimming now in May, I thought it might be nice to put together a list of 10 open water swimming events in England between May and October 2023. These events cater to beginners as well as advanced swimmers, but are only a fraction of what's available out there, so this is just something to get you started...

Great North Swim

  • Location: Lake Windermere, Cumbria

  • Date: June 9-11, 2023

  • Description: One of the biggest open water swimming events in the UK, offering various distances from 250 meters to 10 kilometers. It attracts swimmers of all abilities and provides a stunning backdrop of the Lake District.

Henley Swim Festival

  • Location: Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire

  • Date: July 8-9, 2023

  • Description: This event takes place in the River Thames and offers a range of distances, including a 200-meter splash for beginners and a 2.1-mile endurance challenge. The festival atmosphere adds to the excitement.

Swim Serpentine

  • Location: Hyde Park, London

  • Date: September 16-17, 2023

  • Description: Held in the iconic Serpentine Lake, this event offers various distances, including a half-mile swim for beginners and a two-mile swim for experienced swimmers. It's a great opportunity to swim in the heart of the city.

Great East Swim

  • Location: Alton Water, Suffolk

  • Date: June 24, 2023

  • Description: Set in a scenic reservoir, the Great East Swim offers a range of distances from 250 meters to 10 kilometers. With a calm and sheltered course, it's an excellent event for beginners and experienced swimmers alike.

Chillswim Coniston

  • Location: Coniston Water, Lake District

  • Date: September 2-3, 2023

  • Description: Known for its stunning setting, this event provides swimmers with a chance to swim in the third largest lake in England. Distances range from 500 meters to 5.25 miles, offering a challenge for all levels.

Swim Rutland

  • Location: Rutland Water, Rutland

  • Date: July 15-16, 2023

  • Description: Taking place in the largest reservoir in England, Swim Rutland offers a variety of distances, including a 500-meter swim for beginners and a 10-kilometer endurance swim for the more experienced.

Big Welsh Swim - also see our own SSBS listing for this event

  • Location: Llyn Padarn, Snowdonia National Park, Wales

  • Date: August 26-27, 2023

  • Description: Although not in England, this event is highly recommended for its breathtaking setting. With distances ranging from 500 meters to 5 kilometers, it caters to swimmers of different abilities.

Great Scottish Swim

  • Location: Loch Lomond, Scotland

  • Date: August 19, 2023

  • Description: Another event outside England but worth mentioning for its stunning location. With various distances available, including a 250-meter option, swimmers can enjoy the beauty of Loch Lomond while challenging themselves.

Swim Oxford

  • Location: Oxford, Oxfordshire

  • Date: May 20, 2023

  • Description: This event takes place in the Thames at the historic city of Oxford. It offers distances from 500 meters to 4.5 kilometers, making it suitable for swimmers of different levels. The cityscape adds to the charm.

Dart 10k

  • Location: River Dart, Devon

  • Date: September 9-10, 202

And don't forget this wonderful event in Cornwall too!

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