THOUSANDS of swimmers descended on Brockhole on Windermere for the UK's biggest open-water swimming event, the Great North Swim, in the Lake District National Park this weekend.

The sun shone as water temperatures reached a balmy 20 degrees, creating near perfect conditions for competitors as they completed a range of challenges; from the beginner 250m wave for anyone aged eight and up, all the way through to the gruelling 10k marathon swim.

Now in its 11th year, the event was held in its new location of Brockhole on Windermere for the first time.

Richard Leafe, Chief Executive of the Lake District National Park said, “We’ve been delighted to partner with Great Swim to stage this simply fabulous event.

“It’s great to be able to introduce so many existing and new swimmers to the delights and benefits of open water swimming in the Lake District National Park.”     

Blue Peter presenter Lindsey Russell, tackled the two-mile distance on Friday. After getting some top tips from Great Swim ambassador, Olympic Silver medallist, Keri-anne Payne, she was accompanied on her swim by double Commonwealth Champion Caitlyn McClatchey.

Posting on Twitter she said, “Just completed my first 2-mile open water swim in beautiful Windermere. Absolutely shattered and can’t feel my arms, but it’s done and I loved it!”    

Many of those taking part are raising money for worthy causes close to their hearts, including the events official charity partner Macmillan Cancer Support. Over 500 swimmers raised an estimated £155,000 for Macmillan across the weekend.

Great Swim Director Alex Jackson said, “It’s been an incredible weekend and we’re delighted with the success of our first event at Brockhole.

“We estimate around 30,000 swimmers and spectators have visited the site over the last three days to enjoy a range of brilliant activities in the sunshine.”