Great North Swim 8

Arla Great North Swim is back in Windermere this Weekend

7,500 swimmers and 20,000 spectators from across the country are expected at Brockhole on Windermere this weekend for the 17th annual staging of the Arla Great North Swim.

The event, which is the biggest open water swim in the UK, takes place over three days from Friday 7 - Sunday 9 June and caters for all ages and abilities across a variety of distances - from 250m, half mile, 1 mile, 2 mile, 5k to a marathon 10K open water challenge. SwimRun is also back for an off-road, open water island-hopping adventure.

Staged in the stunning surroundings of the Lake District National Park the Arla Great North Swim is a vibrant celebration of the local community and environment. With beautiful scenery and rich cultural heritage, the Lake District, land of Wordsworth and Wainwright, offers a stunning backdrop to this thrilling event.

Inspiring participants this year include author and former BBC Breakfast presenter, Louise Minchin who will take part in the 2-mile swim and the SwimRun Middle distance. Louise will also be on the SwimFest stage on Saturday afternoon to talk about her book ‘Fearless.’

This year’s ‘Every Body Swim’ campaign focuses on the inclusivity of swimming and how everyone can enjoy the feeling of freedom that the water gives us, which is why we’re excited to welcome Gill Castle as a guest speaker and swimmer at this year’s Arla Great North Swim. Gill Castle, 44 of Alnwick is the first person with a stoma to swim the English Channel and has an incredibly inspiring story that we know will encourage more people, from all backgrounds and different abilities, to take up swimming.

Back for a second year, the ‘Pre-Loved Pop Up’ stand with the Lake District Foundation will sell donated second-hand outdoor clothing, and items, with all proceeds going to the Lake District Foundation. Donations of old gear, such as wetsuits, down jackets, goggles, and backpacks, are welcome at Brockhole, Lake District Visitor Centre, before the event.

Steve Tonkin, Fundraising Manager, Lake District Foundation, said: “The Arla Great North Swim is one of our favourite annual events. The weekend has a vibrant atmosphere, with a friendly and generous crowd. After a hugely successful pilot at last year’s event, the Lake District Foundation’s pop-up outdoors gear recycling stall returns.

“If you have quality pre-loved kit cluttering up your space or hiding at the back of your wardrobe, we’ll gladly take it off your hands. Or if you’re looking for a bargain, we resell used kit in return for a small donation. It’s a win win! Give back to this magnificent part of the planet while enjoying everything Windermere has to offer.”

Laura Butler, Strategic Brand Manager for Arla LactoFREE, adds: “The Great North Swim is a truly inspirational event, encouraging people of all ages and abilities to take on their own personal open water challenges, to improve or enhance their health.

 “At Arla we’re committed to providing natural, nutritious dairy that is made in the best possible way, and we’re looking forward to supporting all swimmers at this weekend’s event, as we head into our second year of sponsorship.”

For more information visit and check out the event guide packed full of information about the weekend for swimmers and spectators.

Contact Information

Fiona Lane

Notes to editors

For media enquiries, accreditation requests, interviews or statements, please contact Jennifer Bartley