Windermere – the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion

Thousands of wetsuit-clad swimmers will plunge into the chilly depths of Windermere on the weekend of June 12-14, 2015 to take part in the Great North Swim.

This is the UK´s largest open water swimming event, and it will once again take place at Low Wood Marina, Windermere.

Having taken part in the Great Swim in 2011, I can vouch that the water is cold, very cold, and it is much more of a challenge than it looks from the shore. I managed to complete the course in just under one hour, with the elite swimmers finishing in around 17 minutes.

The elite one mile races feature some of the best swimmers in the world.

The very thought of immersing myself into the icy depths of Windermere filled me with dread.

I live and work on Spain´s Costa del Sol and although swimming is a particular passion of mine, there is a massive difference between leisurely swimming up and down the pool under the Mediterranean sun for 30 lengths, and chucking yourself in Windermere, in what must be probably the coldest water in England.

On the day of the swim it the water was 17º, as the announcer at the event cheerily told us that the water on the day ´was colder than the English Channel.´ Gee thanks for that!

After the initial shock at the coldness of the water and the distance which is deceptive, I ploughed on through. Having reached the finish, and trying to make a dignified exit, my legs had turned to jelly. Boy was I glad to be home!

Over 10,000 people are expected to take to the water at this year’s event.

The swim is the perfect challenge for all abilities, from first-timers to Olympic champions. Participants can choose from half mile, one mile, two mile and five kilometre courses, safe in the knowledge expert safety kayakers are with them every stroke of the way. The course starts and finishes on dry land with a run or walk into the water.

A fun day out for participants and spectators alike, visitors to the Great North swim can enjoy exciting elite races featuring world class athletes and on-site entertainment, all set in the incredible scenery of the Lake District National Park.

Thousands of amateur swimmers take to the water in half hour waves over the one mile course.

Surrounded by some of the nation’s most spectacular natural scenery, the Great North Swim is an inspiring outdoor swim. With a grandstand seating area overlooking the course and large screens around the event site, family and friends can watch all the action.

Many swimmers decide to make a weekend of it in Windermere, and stay an extra few days to enjoy the stunning local scenery, and the fabulous choice of pubs, hotels and luxury cottages in Bowness and Windermere.