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The Great North Swim 2016

Reporter: Janet Winstanley

This is the UK’s biggest open water swimming event held at Windermere over 3 days with around 10,000 participants plus spectators. Susan Cleary and decided to take the plunge in one of the many one mile events on Saturday 11th June.

Husband Brian came along as well to give support and encouragement. Thinking that the traffic would be bad near the swimming venue, we chose to Park and Sail from Bowness to Brockhole, returning to Bowness from Ambleside. Besides a one mile walk to and from the ferry, there was the ferry trip itself which added to the enjoyment of the day. It was also a good place to eat our sandwiches.

We were surprised at the temperature of the water—a balmy 20ºC but were thankful for our wetsuits which were compulsory anyway. There was no chance of getting lost in the lake as we had to wear a timing chip on an ankle and a specific coloured swim hat with an entry number written on it.

Fortunately we had a pre arranged meeting point, as it was impossible to find anyone. In fact Brian stood at the finish and in spite of waving at several swimmers, failed to see me finish. The same problem occurred with Susan who finished, changed and was standing near the meeting point when the final swimmer in her group finished, (and it wasn’t her!).

Our next challenge is The Great Manchester Swim on 2nd July 2016 at Salford Quays. Why don’t you join us for this event or on any Tuesday evening, 6 p.m. at Manley Mere near Chester? At Manley Mere there is a choice between one or more laps of 500m or 750m and wetsuits can be hired. There are also changing rooms and a cafe for hot drinks and a chat afterwards.

For more information please contact me on 0161 789 8185 or

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