Take on a swim challenge in 2023: Our pick of open water swimming events in the UK this year.

A new year has begun and you may be thinking of signing up for an outdoor swimming distance challenge for 2023. An open water swimming challenge can help you to stay motivated to swim regularly and give you a fantastic sense of achievement when you complete the distance. To give you some 'swimspiration' we have taken our pick of a range of challenges to consider this year.

The Big Bala Swim

Run by Love Swim Run, The Big Bala Swim is set in Wales' largest natural lake in beautiful Snowdonia. To add to the excitement of the event, you reach the start of the swim by catching train to Llangower station.

Location - Llyn Tegid, Bala, Snowdonia, North Wales, UK
Distances: 1.5km, 4.5km, 9km
Date: 03/06/2023
Website: http://loveswimrun.co.uk/thebigbalaswim/

Jubilee River Swim

MST Events 10km river swim was dreamt up inside a pub. The swim runs along a man made flood relief between Boulters Lock near Maidenhead and Pococks Lane in Eton. Three weirs along the swim provide feed stations. An option of doing the event as part of a relay is available.

Location: Thames Valley Athletics Centre, Windsor, London, UK
Distance: 10km
Date: 04/06/2023
Website: https://mstevents.co.uk/jubilee-river-swim/

The Great North Swim

The Great North swim is a big event in the outdoor swimming calendar in the North of England. The swim festival runs over 3 days with a variety of swim distances to choose from. Water Aid is the official event charity for 2023.

Location: Lake Windemere, Lake District, Cumbria, UK
Distance: Various options from 250m to 10km
Date: 09/06/2023 - 11/06/2023
Website: https://www.greatswim.org/great-north-swim

Chillswim Coniston End to End

Swim a total distance of 5.25 miles in Chillswim's Lake Coniston End to End event. The event will be running for the 10th time this year

Location: Lake Coniston, Cumbria, England
Distances: 5.25 miles
Date: 24/06/2023-25/06/2023
Website: https://chillswim.com/chillswim-coniston-end-to-end/

The Outdoor Swimmer Henley Swim Festival

The Outdoor Swimmer Henley Swim Festival is a fun day event with the option of camping the night before. A variety of swim distances are on offer and the event village has a range of food stalls and merchandise tents to check out when you are not in the water.

Location: Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, England, UK
Distances: Various options between 200 metres and 4 miles.
Date: 09/07/2023
Website: https://henleyswim.com/events/henley-swim-festival/

Hever Castle

The Castle Race Series host this swim event in the grounds of Hever Castle. Swim distances range from 1.9km up to 10km. The swim events are part of a larger weekend festival with triathlon, duathlon, aquabike, aquathlon and run events.

Location: Hever Castle, Kent, England, UK
Distances: 1.9km to 10km
Date: 09/07/2023
Website: https://www.castleraceseries.com/events/hever-castle-foe/

The Thames Marathon

Run by Henley Events, the Thames Marathon gives you the opportunity to swim a beautiful stretch of the River Thames. You can choose from the full marathon distance of 13km or half marathon at 5.5km. During the 13km event, swimmers have to exit the water at 3 locks.

Location: River Thames, Marlow, Oxfordshire, UK
Distance: 5.5km or 13km
Date: 13/08/202
Website: https://henleyswim.com/events/thames-marathon/

Windermere One Way

WOW starts at Fell Foot, allowing you the opportunity to swim the length of Lake Windermere, finishing at Brathay. Solo and relay options are available in the event. A feed station, sponsored by the National Trust is located half way along the lake for swimmers to refuel.

Location: Lake Windermere, Lake District, Cumbria, England, UK
Distances: 10 miles, solo and relay options
Date: 19/08/2023
Website: https://www.windermereoneway.co.uk/

Go Swim Loch Lomond

Choose from swimming distances ranging from 250 metres to 10 kilometres in beautiful Loch Lomond.

Location: Balloch, Loch Lomond, Scotland
Distances: 10 miles, solo and relay options
Date: 02/09/2023
Website: https://go-swim.uk/the-swims/

Swim Serpentine

Swim Serpentine in Hyde Park London allows you to choose from distances ranging from 0.5 miles up to 6 miles. 

Location: Hyde Park, London
Distances: 0.5 miles up to 6 miles
Date: 16/09/2023
Website: https://www.swimserpentine.co.uk/

Mad Hatter's Swim Festival

This will be the second year of the Mad Hatter Sports Event's swim festival at Carbis Bay, St Ives, Cornwall.  Sea swimming challenges range from 1km to 3km. A junior option is available for 8-14 year olds to complete 500m. 

Location: Carbis Bay, St Ives, Cornwall.
Distances: 1km, 2km or 3km or all three.
Date: 17/09/2023
Website: https://www.madhattersportsevents.co.uk/swimfestival

​Exmoor Open Water Swim

Run by Croyde Ocean Events, the swim gives you the opportunity to swim in Wimbleball Lake, Exmoor. Swimmers are able to choose to start in a "mass start" or "time trial" style start.

Location: Wimbleball Lake, Somerset.
Distances: 1km, 2km or 6km
Date: 24/09/2023


Please note, we have not taken part in all of the events, so please check with the organisers if you have any specific requirements.  Due to the nature of swim events, weather and water quality issues can cause some events to be cancelled. We recommend that you check each individual event's cancellation policy prior to signing up.