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Great East Swim

Set in the beautiful Alton Water reservoir, this peaceful part of the world is enjoyed all year round by walkers, cyclists and wildlife spotters. Enjoy the unspoilt outdoors and discover award winning beaches as well as a group of swimmers raring to dive into their open water challenge.

Please note that your safety in the open water is our number one priority. All of our swimming events have expert kayakers overseeing your progress with safety boats ready for the unlikely event of an emergency.

If you, or anyone you know, might like the chance to volunteer at this event then just visit Sport and Event Volunteering for more information.

The Course

The Great East Swim course map is shown below including 1/2 mile, 1 mile, 2 mile and 5K distances


A wave that pits the best against the best. This wave is aimed at club swimmers and seasoned open water swimmers who are looking for a sub 30 minute time for the 1 mile distance. Trophies will be awarded to the fastest male and female swimmers in this wave and presentations will take place along with the elite athletes on the Great Swim podium.

Course Map
The Start
The Finish

Event location

The Great East Swim takes place at the picturesque Alton Water reservoir near Ipswich, Suffolk. The reservoir provides the main source of drinking water for Ipswich and the southern part of Suffolk.

Alton Water offers the opportunity to do far more than swim – it’s the perfect location for walks, cycle rides, wildlife spotting and family picnics. With miles of unspoilt countryside, numerous award winning beaches and scores of enchanting towns and villages within reach of Alton Water, Suffolk makes an ideal choice for a short break. Only an hour’s train journey away from London Liverpool Street station. For more information, take a look at:

About Suffolk

The Great East Swim is staged at Alton Water Sports Centre near Ipswich. Suffolk IP9 2RY. How to get there:

By car:

The Great East Swim can be reached by following the postcode IP9 2RY.

There will be plenty of car parking available at Alton Water so there is no need to park along the roads.  Due to narrow stretches of road around the event venue please can we ask that you drive carefully through the lanes and the village of Stutton.  

If you intend to drive to the Great East Swim have you considered car sharing?

By train:

London Liverpool Street station is approximately a 60 minute train ride away, with direct trains running every half an hour to Manningtree-the nearest station to Alton Water. From here you can get a taxi to take you to the event site.If arriving at Ipswich main line station you will need to get a connecting train to Manningtree. Trains run every 30 minutes between Ipswich and Manningtree. From here you can get a taxi to take you to Alton Water.

By bike:

There are cycle routes to Alton Water. A bike park will be available and it will be staffed but we recommend that you bring a suitable bike lock and that you do not leave any valuables with your bike.



For all the information you need to ensure you have a Great Swim and a great stay in Suffolk, take a look at Visit Suffolk and All About Ipswich. For local information in Ipswich call 01473-258070.


Farmers Market - Great East Swim 2015

Justine Paul
Suffolk Market Events – Delivering Award Winning Farmers’ Markets

Kiddie's Cakes
Homemade, freshly baked slices of delicious cake

Cambridge Gourmet Mallows
Gourmet marshmallows, handmade in Cambridge. Fat Free, additive free, gluten free but utterly indulgent!

Essex Bakery
Handmade chocolate brownies from Colchester using local ingredients where possible and the best quality chocolate.

Xpresso Coffee
The full range of coffees, freshly ground, including cappuccino, latte and mocha.

Handmade by Hadleys Ice Cream
Creamy, smooth and deeply satisfying Ice Creams and Sorbets created using all local ingredients. Fresh from the Colne Valley.

The Flying Chef
Traditional chargrilled sausages served in poppy seed buns.

Benson Blakes
Award winning burgers from Bury St Edmunds using high quality, local meat.

Colne Valley Tea
Specialty loose leaf teas.

Nuthouse Shortbread
Delicious homemade shortbreads, local honey and beeswax candles from Tendring, Essex.

Stokes Sauces
Delicious sauces using unique recipes prepared in small batches with great ingredients and all made at our “saucery” in the heart of rural Suffolk.

The Duck Truck
Aromatic crispy duck wraps and duck salads.

Award winning free range, rare breed pork pies and sausage rolls plus homemade tiffin, quiches and Florentines.

Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Charity promotion of local reserves, walks and events.

HoneyBee Natural Beauty
Handmade skin and spa products from a Suffolk Beekeeper based in East Bergholt.

Musical entertainment on the day

Between 10.00 and 15.00 on Saturday 20 June there will be a range of live performances from solo artists and bands, including soprano singer Laura White.  For the full line up of the day click here.

Activities on the day

How to enter

1/2 Mile

£28 per entry (inc VAT of £4.67)

Reminder service

1 Mile

£34 per entry (inc VAT of £5.67)

Reminder service

2 Miles

£38 per entry (inc VAT of £6.34)

Reminder service


£40 per entry (inc VAT of £6.34)

Reminder service