Great North Swim FAQs

Have a burning question about your upcoming event? These FAQs should cover everything you need to know. If there’s something we haven’t answered please feel free to get in touch ― at or on 0845 052 4184.

Event date

This marathon is being run on 9-11 June 2017.

What if I become injured or need to cancel my place?

Please contact our supporter relations team at or on 0845 052 4184, as well as the event organisers at

When will I receive my official race day information?

The race information will be on the Great North Swim website   in the months leading up to the event. Please do also keep an eye on the website for more updates.

When will I receive my race number and timing chip?

Please check on the official race organisers website   for registration details. 

Will there be provisions for water safety?

Yes, absolutely, the event is very well covered. There will be friendly kayakers on hand if you get into any distress.

I’m nervous about open water. Will I be able to get any professional help?

Yes, of course. We recommend RG Active   who host open water swimming training days. Their team of fully-trained, experienced staff will help with everything including the best way to get in and out of your wetsuit, getting used to swimming in open water and swimming in a group. 

When and where does the race start?

There are different waves for each distance, please check the Great North Swim website   well in advance fo the day and time of your wave.

What essential kit will I need?

Your kit bag should contain:

  • your official Great Swim swimming cap which must be worn on the day ― please don’t decorate this!
  • your timing chip should be worn on your ankle
  • wetsuit (compulsory)
  • goggles 

What support will I have from Marie Curie?

You’ll receive:

  • a swimming training guide with top tips on open water swimming
  • friendly fundraising support from Team Marie Curie HQ
  • a fundraising pack to help you smash your target
  • a post-swim reception to celebrate your amazing achievement! 

General event information

How far is the event?

There are five distances to choose from:

½ mile, 1mile, 2 miles, 5km and 10km. 

What if I need to update my personal details?

Please contact our supporter relations team at or on 0845 052 4184, as well as the event organisers at

How do I get to the event starting location?

Due to the number of swimmers and spectators visiting the site, traffic around Windermere and Ambleside will be extremely busy. In order to minimise congestion there will be NO parking or dropping off at the event site.

Travelling from the North — Park in Ambleside.

Travelling from the South — Park in Bowness and Windermere.

Please avoid driving past the event site to avoid congestion.

There will be car parking at the start of each distance. 

What should I do about accommodation? 

There are a number of hotels in the area. The Low Wood Bay Resort Hotel and Marina is the closest to the start. For those who like to camp, why not take a look at the availability in the local camping spots? Our friends at the National Trust have a selection of campsites, as well as pre- and post- swim activities to enjoy, including an outdoor food and movie night, BBQs and bars at the campsite, communal social tipis, stone-baked pizza ovens and more. Visit the Great North Swim website <> for more information.

If you have any other questions, please refer to the event organisers’ website  , email us at or call us on 0845 052 4184.

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