Fri 9 - Sun 11 Jun 2023

Great North Swim | 5K

Official Charity of the Great Swim Series! Whether you’re a swimming fanatic or looking for a brand-new challenge, join team WaterAid and help bring the joy of clean water to people around the world.

  • Fri 9 - Sun 11 Jun 2023



Sign up FREE

Fundraise £325

Age 16 & over


This event has something for everyone, for all ages and all abilities, whether you’re a seasoned swimmer or a beginner. Choose your distance, join thousands of like-minded people and set yourself an open water challenge in the great outdoors at the UK’s biggest open water swim event.

With large screens around the event site, family and friends can watch all the action and enjoy an exhilarating, challenging and safe open water swimming weekend in the great outdoors.


  • UK's biggest open water swimming event for over 13 years
  • Set in Windermere, England's largest lake, in the stunning Lake District
  • Dive into nature and kick-off an active summer
  • Variety of distances available for a range of ages and abilities
  • Get your free training and preparation plans when you sign up
  • Discounted charity places available here

This event is part of Great North Swim.

Event details

  • All fitness levels
  • Event expo
  • Event village
  • Families
  • Spectators
  • Wheelchair users

Swimmers with a disability

For safety reasons the Great Swim features dry-land sections at the start and finish of the course so may not be suitable for all swimmers.

If you would like to take part but have concerns over the suitability of the course for you please get in touch.


  • Accommodation
  • Cafe
  • Camping
  • Free parking
  • Restaurant
  • Rural
  • Toilets

Event HQ

Brockhole on Windermere, The Lake District Visitor Centre
LA23 1LJ

Windermere is England's largest lake at 10.5 miles long (17km), stretching from Ambleside in the North to Newby Bridge in the South. With adventure playgrounds, soft play, arts and crafts and much more, there's plenty for the whole family.


  • First aid
  • Marshals
  • No cut off time
  • Out and back
  • Wave start
  • Way markers

In the running world this would be a half marathon.

This distance is suited to experienced, confident swimmers looking to go that little bit further. A 5k swim is equivalent to around 200 lengths of a standard 25m pool. For this distance cut-off times apply: swimmers must be able to reach halfway (2500m) within 1 hour and finish within 2 hours. Generally the 5k takes in 3 laps of the standard 1 mile route.

Wetsuit policy

  • Swimmers aged under 16 will be required to wear a wetsuit.
  • Wetsuit use is optional for water temperatures of 15⁰C or above.
  • Swimmers choosing not to wear a wetsuit MUST use an approved high visibility tow float.
  • Swimmers wearing wetsuits can also choose to swim with a tow float.
  • Wetsuit hire service available.


The Great Run Company is in the process of updating its Sustainability Strategy in light of its collaborative approach and recent survey, however work to minimise the environmental impacts of their events continues, with focus on:

  • Reducing plastic
  • Reducing waste
  • Cutting carbon emissions
  • Responsible procurement

In addition, they are striving to improve performance even further by making sure that sustainability is embedded at the heart of the organisation and culture.

What's included

  • Certificate
  • Chip timing
  • Goody bag
  • Medal


  • Age 16 & over
  • Entries open
  • Charity entries open
  • Enter online
  • Event merch available
  • Race pack by post