Suffolk is preparing to make a splash this weekend as the John West Great East Swim returns to the region.

The county's biggest swimming event takes place at Alton Water, near Holbrook, on Saturday, for its 11th staging since launching back in 2009.

Around 2,000 people will take part in the event, which offers a range of distances from Swim250 through to the 10KM marathon distance. Also returning for 2019 is the popular Great SwimRun events which sees hundreds of runners combine running and swimming in an innovative and exciting challenge in and around Alton Water.

Here's your guide to all there is to see outside of the lake on Saturday!

Weekend Event Guide

All Of The Food

The Suffolk Food Market will return to the John West Great East Swim site having made a storming debut in 2018. A range of vendors will be on hand to bring some of the most delicious street food, all locally sourced and produced, to hungry swimmers and spectators alike.

On site this year are: Flying Chef, Hadleys Ice Cream, Colne Valley Tea Co, Mac St Kitchen, Mena's Indian Banquet, Crepe de Paris, Suffolk Coffee Pod, Samu Kitchen, Dovecote Bakery, Alex's Artisan Bakery, YumYum Tree Fudge, Beachbox Café, Your Kitchen My Place, Fox in the Field, DHJ Events, GoodtoGo (Subject to changes on the day)

Check Out The Event Village

The John West Great East Swim event village will be full of fun activities to do while you wait for your swim, or as you wait for your loved one to finish their swim.

Title sponsors John West Foods will be in attendance with their Boat-o-Booth and the chance to try out one of their charging bikes. 

Official wetsuit providers 2XU will be on site, giving people the chance to try before you buy, while official nutrition partners Clif Bar will be handing out free samples of their delicious range as well as encouraging people to have a go at the wrapper grabber game. Go and have a look!

Making A Song And Dance About It

The Endeavour Singers will be singing at the John West Great East Swim event village at 10am and 11am next to the start area. The Singers are a community choir made up of staff members, old and new, from Suffolk County Council and Ipswich Borough Council.

East Anglian Air Ambulance

The East Anglian Air Ambulance is a helicopter emergency medical service covering Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire, and are the official charity of event partners Suffolk County Council. An EAAA helicopter and rapid response vehicle will be on site on Saturday from 9.30am until noon, with staff on hand to answer any questions about the vital work they do for the county.

Make A Splash At Aqua Park Suffolk

Measuring over 100m by 80m, the massive floating inflatable Aqua Park which sits alongside the John West Great East Swim event village has climbing walls, trampolines, balance bars, slides, blast bags and monkey bars making it the ultimate day out for groups, families, adults, children and adrenaline junkies.

Aqua Park Suffolk are opening the park exclusively for John West Great East Swim participants and their families and friends on the Saturday afternoon - and are providing an exclusive offer which is also available on the Sunday too.

All Swimmers and their families need to do is book a session on the Aqua Park website and use the following code at checkout: SWIM19. This will give them a session for £15 including wetsuit hire if needed.

Celebrate your achievement!

After you've completed your challenge - you'll be rewarded with your finisher t-shirt and medal. Why not remember your special achievement with our official Great Swim merchandise. We will have everything from towels, hoodies, water bottles and our famous rubber ducks - Goggles and Giggles on sale in the event village. Remember to share your photos with us using #GreatEastSwim.