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Great Manchester Swim

Staged in the vibrant Salford Quays, this unique 'dock to dock' course is an unforgettable experience in the open water.

The course begins in Dock 9 near The Lowry and MediaCityUK, traverses Mariners Canal and finishes one mile away at Dock 8 beside Helly Hansen Watersports Centre. Friends and family can cheer you on throughout your challenge, with waterside spectator access throughout the course.

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.

The Course

The Great Manchester Swim course map is shown below

Course Map

Event location

The Great Manchester Swim will take place in the Salford Quays. The Start Area is near MediaCityUK, Pier 8, Salford Quays, M50 3AZ. The Finish Area is outside Salford Watersports Centre, 15 The Quays Salford, Lancashire M50 3SQ. (Please note the finish is approximately a 7 minute walk from the start)

How to get there:

By train:

Greater Manchester is served by the main West Coast train line that runs between London and Glasgow while there are cross-Pennine routes from Leeds and Sheffield to the east. Once in the Greater Manchester area, it is easy to reach Salford Quays by tram, bus or local rail. For information on tickets and timetables visit National Rail Enquiries. For local train services, find out more, click here.

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 -

By car:

Four major motorways pass through the city and provide great links from elsewhere: the M62 from Liverpool to Leeds, M602 from Salford to Manchester, M61 from Bolton and the M60 Manchester ring road all provide road links to the city.The M6 feeds into the M60 from both the south (Birmingham and London) and north (Lancashire, Cumbria and west of Scotland). The M602, which feeds off both the M60 and M62, leads directly to the Salford Quays area. Car parking is available within the Salford Quays area. Car parking rates apply.

By tram:

Manchester's tram system, Metrolink, runs through the city centre. There are several stops in the Salford Quays area. The closest stop to the event is MediaCityUK which is approximately a 2 minute walk to the Start area.

If using the Metrolink tram service into Manchester and onto Salford this weekend there are some changes you need be aware of: St Peter's Square station is currently closed with no tram service between there and Deansgate-Castlefield. If you’re coming into Manchester on the Bury, Rochdale or Ashton lines you will need to walk or catch the Metroshuttle bus to the Deansgate-Castlefield tram stop from city centre tram stops including Piccadilly, Piccadilly Gardens and Victoria. You can walk from Market Street tram stop but there is no Metroshuttle from that stop. From Piccadilly, the Metroshuttle 2 bus to Deansgate-Castlefield goes from Piccadilly approach or you can take the X1 replacement bus to Cornbrook tram stop from Piccadilly Fairfield Street (near the taxi ranks).

You can find out more at Follow Metrolink on twitter @MCRMetrolink. Trains from Eccles to Salford or from the Altrincham, Airport and East Didsbury lines to Salford via the Cornbrook line interchange are not affected by the St Peters Square works.

For updates on public transport follow @OfficialTfGM and for road updates follow @TfGMTraffic

By bus:

Visit GMPTE for more details on bus services in Greater Manchester.

By bike:

A bike park will be available at MediaCityUK and it will be staffed but we recommend that you bring a suitable bike lock and do not leave any valuables with your bike. For more information about cycle routes in the area, visit


Salford Quays is Greater Manchester's unique waterfront destination, situated just 15 minutes by tram from Manchester city centre.

Salford Quays, with its host of unique attractions, is rapidly becoming one of Britain's hottest short-break destinations – with everything (shopping, sport, art, drama, history and world-class architecture) packed into one spectacular square mile.
Salford Quays features an array of first-class cultural and sporting attractions, including live theatre at The Lowry and one of the country's finest museums at Imperial War Museum North, while Manchester united are based at the world-famous Old Trafford stadium and the Old Trafford cricket ground stages top-flight internationals.

The area also offers something to appeal to the whole family with a multiplex cinema and numerous restaurants and bars, together with an outlet shopping mall. Nearby Worsley Village with its half-timbered building and village green offers visitors the opportunity to step back in time to the early Victorian age – and also take in the village’s dramatic setting on the banks of the inspiring Bridgewater Canal.

The ancient heart of Salford around Chapel and Crescent streets is still beating strong with historic buildings, Victorian parks and local history archives sitting alongside modern developments.

Salford also boasts a huge amount of green space with five nature reserves and 20 parks. Clifton and Blackleach country parks are especially good for escaping the buzz of the city.

The Trafford Centre – one of UK’s biggest shopping malls – is also right on the doorstep.

Make a weekend of it in Manchester

If you are planning to participate in the Great Manchester Swim and you’re not from the immediate area, why not turn your trip into a great weekend away? Salford Quays – where the Great Manchester Swim will be staged – makes a brilliant base for a short break with numerous hotels and other attractions.

The area is also well served by great public transport links (Travel and Accommodation section), making it fairly simple to get about within the whole Greater Manchester region and visit a few of its brilliant attractions.

For full details on everything there is to see and do in Salford and further afield too, check out Visit Salford.

About Salford Quays

There are plenty of accommodation choices to suit all budgets, both at Salford Quays itself and the wider Greater Manchester area.
For accommodation to suit all budgets take a look at Visit Salford.


Visit USWIM to find out more about training for your Great Manchester Swim at the Quays. 

Established in 2007, USWIM offer friendly accessible swim sessions for all ages and abilities, all year round at their Dock 9, MediaCityUK location. 

They have a team of lifeguards, safety boats and kayakers on site to ensure you're in safe hands.

Sessions are on Saturdays from 8:00 - 11:00 and Wednesdays 17:30 - 20:00 where swimmers can choose from 400m, 750m and 1K courses. 

For full pricing and more information visit 



It’s important to be aware of the Great Manchester Swim 2016 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 2016 event day timetable:

Time Swim Hat Colour  
Saturday 2 July 2016    
09:30 Red 1 Mile Swim
10:00 Green 1 Mile Swim
10:30 Pink 1 Mile Swim
11:00 Yellow 1 Mile Swim
11:30 Orange 1 Mile Swim
13:00 White 1 Mile Swim
13:30 Red 1 Mile Swim
14:00 Green 1 Mile Swim
14:30 Pink 1 Mile Swim

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

Saturday 2 July 2016

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