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Congratulations to everyone who took part in this year’s John West Great East Swim!


Make sure you sign up to the reminder service for next year’s event and we will get in touch when entries open.

The event takes place at Alton Water and offers a great day out for swimmers, families and spectators. With farmers' markets, plenty of musical entertainment and swim distances ranging from 250 metres* right up to a 10k, there really is something for everyone!


Check the timetable here >


Please note: parking at Alton Water is no longer free of charge. Find out more here


Event location

About Suffolk

Suffolk has an extraordinary amount to offer visitors and a wide range of experiences to enjoy. It’s the first place in the country to see the sun as it rises over 50 miles of gorgeous coastline, and highlights the unspoilt countryside that inspired Constable and Gainsborough. 

With some of the most picturesque villages in Britain, practically unchanged since Tudor times, the county is also home to numerous lush river valleys that extend to its western extremity where the sun sets over the world-famous Newmarket racecourse. 

Within these borders, you’ll find a rich heritage, a thriving cultural and arts scene, countless gems both hidden and famous, excellent accommodation, and food and drink providers so skillful that their offering is practically an art form in its own right.

Suffolk is a unique county, one that’s full of charm. It is a place that often feels wild and remote yet has swift transport links to and from London which make it perfect for weekend breaks as well as longer holidays for visitors of all ages.



About Suffolk

Alton Water

The John West 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. 

Alton Water

Wetsuit Policy

Wetsuit use is optional at all John West Great Swim events for water temperatures of 15⁰C or above. Swimmers choosing not to wear a wetsuit MUST use an approved high visibility tow float. This only applies to swimmers aged over 16 years old. Swimmers aged under 16 will be required to wear a wetsuit.

We’ve teamed up with 2XU to provide a wetsuit hire service, to learn more click here

Suffolk Market Events

Suffolk Market Events

Suffolk Market Events deliver award winning farmers’ markets across Suffolk and we are delighted to continue our long-standing partnership with the John West Great East Swim.

Once again we'll be bringing a range of fantastic traders to Alton Water, providing hungry swimmers and spectators a chance to enjoy some of the region’s very best, locally produced food and drink.... and it's all unique to the John West Great East Swim!

Here at Suffolk Market Events we really do care about the provenance of our food. Everything that is sold in our markets has been produced by the person who is selling, and nothing will have travelled further than fifty miles to be at the event. We don’t do mass produced junk food. We showcase the highest quality, locally sourced food and we make it available all day so that the last swimmer out of the water gets the same choice as the first one.

This year, the below traders will be at the John West Great East Swim:

  • Flying Chef - Hot Dogs
  • Hadleys Ice Cream 
  • Colne Valley Tea Co. - Tea, herbal and fruit blends; roasted coffees and cold drinks
  • Mac St Kitchen - Macaroni Cheese
  • Mena's Indian Banquet - homemade samosas, bhajis, paneer roll, naan, curries, spicepacks
  • Crepe de Paris - Sweet and savoury crepes including gluten free and veggie options; breakfast rolls; tea/coffee/hot choc and cold drinks.
  • Suffolk Coffee Pod - coffee, tea, hot and cold drinks.
  • Samu Kitchen - Salads, sandwiches, beetroot tarte tatin, shallot tart.
  • Dovecote Bakery - Artisan sourdough loaves, yeasted tins, chelsea/belgian buns
  • Alex's Artisan Bakery -  Homemade cakes, brownies, flapjacks, shortbread, rocky roads. 
  • YumYum Tree Fudge - Luxury fudge with samples and water and cashback.
  • Beachbox Café - Coffee, tea, hot and cold drinks.
  • Your Kitchen My Place - Gourmet burgers.
  • Fox in the Field - Fruit and Veg smoothies.
  • DHJ Events - Traditional lemonade, orange and lemon zing, iced lemon tea, mangle (lemon/orange/mango).
  • GoodtoGo - Salad jars including falafel/feta, granola/bircher pots, homemade snacks, energy bars and muffins.
Find Suffolk Market Events on Facebook and Twitter 

Farmers' Market

Swim for Macmillan

We are proud to have Macmillan on board as the Official Charity for our John West Great Swim Series. If you're looking for ways to raise money for charity and you'd like to choose to swim for Macmillan all you need to do is click below:


Swim for Macmillan  

Swim for Macmillan


Click on the links below to download useful event information: