Skip to Content


At present it is highly likely that the John West Great North Swim & the John West Great East Swim won't be able to go ahead as planned in June. We're working out some details around the events, and we will make further announcements soon.



Saturday 2o June 2020

It’s important to be aware of the John West Great East Swim 2020 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 provisional 2020 event day timetable:

Time Swim Hat Colour  
08:00 RED 5k swim
08:05 GREEN 10k swim
10:00 PINK 2 mile swim
10:30 YELLOW SwimRun (Short distance)
11:00 ORANGE 1 mile swim
11:30 WHITE 1 mile swim
12:00 RED 1 mile swim
12:30 GREEN 1 mile swim 
12:50 PINK Swim250
12:55 YELLOW Swim 250
13:30 ORANGE 1/2 mile swim

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


Event Maps


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

By car:

The John West Great East Swim can be reached by following the postcode IP9 2RY. There will be parking available but it will be £5 on the day.

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 and refrain from parking along the roads.

If you are planning to drive to the John West Great East Swim have you considered car sharing?

Blue Badge parking is available at the Visitor Centre at Alton Water.  Please follow the directions of the parking stewards.

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, but it will not be staffed but we recommend that you bring a suitable bike lock and that you do not leave any valuables with your bike.

Getting there


With a huge variety of quality self-catering accommodation, luxury hotels, outdoor camping experiences and unique places to stay to suit all ages and tastes, Suffolk is the ideal destination for multi-generational holidays. Go to Visit Suffolk for a round-up of the best places to stay and things to do for those using their holidays for extended family time.

If you're looking for somewhere to camp, The Alton Water Camping and Caravanning site is now open and is ideally situated for the John West Great East Swim. Find out more at

Ipswich - Suffolk’s vibrant and historic County Town – is just a few minutes drive from Alton Water. Ipswich has an excellent choice of accommodation – from small family run guest houses, through the well known brands, to a 4 Star boutique hotel with beautiful quayside views. For local information in Ipswich visit All About Ipswich or call 01473-258070.


Water Safety

We just want to reassure you that you are in very safe hands while taking part in your swim. We have lots of fully trained water safety kayakers, lifeguards and boats monitoring you all the way around, so you're never far from some friendly support.

If you find yourself struggling, or in need of a little breather, just lay on your back and pop your hand up, and one of our safety team will make their way to you to check everything is ok.