Great East Swim

Alton Water, Ipswich

Organiser's Description

The John West Great East Swim will return to Alton Water on Saturday 19th June 2021.

The event will follow strict covid-secure procedures, ensuring the safety of participants, spectators and Great Swim crew. As such we will be operating to a reduced capacity and a slightly different timetable to previous years.

It will be a fantastic day out in a truly stunning setting. With distances to suit all levels and abilities, a farmers' market and musical entertainment, there really is something for everyone!

The event will see the return of the popular event village, complete with farmers’ market, exhibitor stands, pop-up food stalls and music.

It’s been a year and a half since we saw the high-fiving celebrations with friends and family, well-earned medals being worn with pride and beaming smiles on faces. We can’t wait to see you all again!

We are delighted to be able to open the 10k distance for swimmers in 2021, however there is a notable change. Having reviewed the event in light of the current Covid-19 guidance, we are unable to offer a feed station. As this is an endurance event swimmers will have to agree to swim self-supported. This will mean using a mandatory tow float device such as this, to carry water and appropriate food. Each swimmer must tow their own float, and these will be inspected at check in. If there is a notable change in Covid-19 guidance then this policy may be reviewed.

NB - By entering the 10k event you agree that you will swim with a tow-float containing any nutrition you require to complete your 10k swim.


  • 250 metres Swim250 (8+ yr olds)
    £19 BOOK
  • Half mile 12+ yrs old
    £34 BOOK
  • 1 mile 16+ yrs old
    £39 BOOK
  • 2 miles 16+ yrs old
    £44 BOOK
  • 5 km
    £46 BOOK
  • 10 km
    £69 BOOK

The entry fee includes entry into the event, a 2020 John West Great Swim finisher's pack and medal

Wetsuit use is optional at all John West Great Swim events for water temperatures of 15⁰C or above. Swimmers choosing not to wear a wetsuit MUST use an approved high visibility tow float, swimmers wearing wetsuits can also choose to swim with a tow float. This only applies to swimmers aged over 16 years old. Swimmers aged under 16 will be required to wear a wetsuit.

We’ve teamed up with 2XU to provide a wetsuit hire service, available from late March. More details coming soon.

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

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.

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.

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.

Distance Details FAQs
Loading Map


First-hand event reviews from people who’ve been there, done that and got the breathable T-shirt, really help everyone choose their next event.

Write a review and you’ll be entered into a monthly draw to win a pair of running shoes of your choice from Pro:Direct Running.

Who's In

Create your free profile to see what events your friends are doing

sign up / log in