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Great Newham London Swim

The Great Newham London Swim will be back at the Royal Victoria Dock on Saturday 18 July 2015.

Swimmers will take the plunge in the shadow of the O2 Arena and Canary Wharf then swim alongside the ExCeL centre. A fantastic opportunity to experience open water swimming in the heart of the vibrant East End, where there are numerous options for accommodation and entertainment. Suitable for swimmers of all abilities, you can enjoy this event safe in the knowledge expert safety kayakers will be with you every stroke of the way.

Event location

The UK's capital city offers visitors an endless supply of things to see, activities to try, museums to visit, west-end shows to watch and restaurants to sample.

Make a weekend of it and visit a selection of London's tourist hotspots such as Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Madame Tussauds or the world-class sporting facilities of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

For more details of what to do in London click here

About London

The Royal Victoria Dock is located on the DLR line. For access to the Finish Area and Swim Village, the closest DLR station is ‘Custom House’ for ExCel. For access to the Start Area, the closest DLR station is ‘Royal Victoria’. Please use a current Tube Map for directions from your specific location or please check to help plan your journey, and for any planned engineering works over the weekend.

By Train:
Travelling to the event on the West Coast Mainline? Then take advantage of the exclusive Virgin Trains discount: For you, your friends and family... whether you're travelling to an event on your own or up to groups of nine, you can all get up to 50% off Virgin Trains Advance Fares. This exclusive discount on Virgin Trains is the cheapest, easiest and most comfortable way of getting you and your supporters to the start line. Click here to book now -

Emirates Air Line:
The Great London Swim, Newham Start Area is next to the Emirates Air Line Cable Car. Why not ‘fly’ into your swim from North Greenwich Tube?

On Foot:
From Canning Town, the Swim Village is only a 15 minute walk, just follow the signs for ExCel.

By Car:
From the West (City Centre): Head along the A13 (East bound) and then follow the signs to the ExCel.

From the East head along the A13 (West bound) and then follow the signs for the ExCel.

From the South (M25, jct 2) follow the A1012 until signs for the Royal Victoria Dock/Docklands to lead onto the A1261. Then follow signs to the ExCel.

Parking is available at ExCel and is priced at £5.00 for up to 2 hours and £10.00 for up to 6 hours. ExCel is located next to the Great London Swim Village and finish area.

By Air:
If you are coming from further afield, the London City Airport is only a 5 minute taxi journey from the Royal Victoria Dock.


There are plenty of accommodation choices to suit all budgets. For more information visit:


The Course

The Great Newham London Swim course map is shown below including 1/2 mile and 1 mile

Course Map

The Start

The start area is located next to the Emirates Air Line and opposite the Crown Plaza Hotel. This area is close to the finish area and Swim Village and means swimmers and spectators do not have to walk far between the start and finish.

Changing & baggage area
Swimmers can find the changing and baggage area at the finish area and Swim Village. Please ensure you get changed and leave your baggage at the designated area before heading to the start (approx. 5 mins walk away).

When you reach the start area and are ready to check-in, please ensure you are wearing your numbered swim cap and timing chip.

Your timing chip will be tested before you swim
Your timing chip, which should be worn on your ankle, will be scanned at the check in area. Your timing chip is assigned to you and records your exact swim time as well as informing the swim tracking team exactly when you enter and exit the water. As a result it is prohibited to pass on or swap your chip with any other swimmers. For your safety, checks will be made at the start area and you will not be allowed to enter the water if you are wearing another person’s chip.

Start area
Having passed through check-in you will be in the start area. The start area will open immediately after the preceding wave has been set off. No spectators will be allowed in this area. Before the start of each wave swimmers will be given a safety briefing. This will include important information about the course and what to do if you get into difficulties.

Acclimatisation zone
There will be a marked area, supervised by lifeguards, where swimmers can acclimatise to the water temperature prior to each wave start if they wish. All swimmers will be called out of the water 10 minutes before each wave starts.

Warm up
Prior to the start of each wave swimmers will have the opportunity to take part in a short warm up session on the start line.

Start procedure
The start is on dry land, when the hooter sounds you will pass under the gantry and cross over the start line. You can run or walk into the water but please take care on the pontoon. Your race time does not start until you go under the start gantry so don’t panic if you are not at the front of your wave. If you intend to walk into the water please stand at the rear of your coloured wave.

Swim Village
The Swim Village is located next to ExCel London. It will include the changing and baggage area, toilets, food concessions as well as various charities and retailers. There will also be an information point located here if you have any questions on the day.

The Start

The Finish

Wetsuits are compulsory for the Great Newham London Swim. A wetsuit will give you extra buoyancy and warmth. To find out more about hiring or buying a wetsuit and accessories visit the Great Swim Shop at Please ensure your wetsuit fits properly as no ill-fitting wetsuits will be allowed for safety reasons. No person will be allowed in the water without a wetsuit on.

In the event of an incident
If you need assistance whilst in the water do not panic. Tread water and raise one arm in the air. We have plenty of safety craft on the water that will reach you as quickly as possible.

Your personal swim time will stop when you exit the water and walk over the timing mat. Proceed to the Check-out point where you will officially be checked out and your chip will be collected.

Finisher's pack
Once you have passed through Check-out you will be able to claim your finishers pack.

Official photographers
Our official photographers will be at the event to capture all of the action. Visit after the event to see if they have got any pictures of you.

Your swim time will be available to view at after the event.

The Finish


It’s important to be aware of the Great Newham London Swim 2015 event timetable prior to the big day. Familiarise yourself with the information below and ensure you leave plenty of time to drop off any baggage, travel to the start line and get warmed up. You must check-in 30 minutes before your start time. If you miss it we may not be able to move you to another wave, so please don't be late.

Please see below for the 2015 event day timetable:

TimeSwim Hat Colour 
Saturday 18 July 2015 
09:30Red1/2 Mile Family Wave (12 yrs +)
10:00Green1 Mile Swim
10:30Pink1 Mile Swim
11:00Yellow1 Mile Swim
11:30Orange1 Mile Swim
12:00White1 Mile Swim
12:30Red1 Mile Swim
13:00Green1 Mile Swim
13:30Pink1 Mile Swim
14:00Yellow1 Mile Swim
14:30Orange1 Mile Swim
15:00White1 Mile Swim

*NB. All times are subject to change in the lead up to the event

Saturday 18 July 2015

How to enter

1/2 Mile

Price: £32 per entry (inc VAT of £5.33)
A great introduction to outdoor swimming.
Equivalent to around 32 lengths of a 25m pool.
Average completion time 20 min.
Suitable for under 16s - entrants must be 12 years old and above.


1 Mile

Price: £40 per entry (inc VAT of £6.66)
Suitable for swimmers of all abilities.
Equivalent to 64 lengths of a 25m pool.
Average completion time 40 min.
Take a leisurely breaststroke and enjoy the scenery or kick into crawl for a faster time.
Entrants must be 16 years old and above.