About Great Swim Local

What is Great Swim Local?

Great Swim Local is your regular swim, designed and devised by some of UK's leading event experts across various locations. We offer chip timing using individual Great Swim Local wristbands and track your swimming activities via the Great Swim Local website.

How far is the swim?

Our distances are flexible but we generally offer two distances: 300 metre and 500 metre laps which cater for beginners and established swimmers. Both courses are measured by GPS.

When are swims held?

Swim sessions are held throughout the summer all through the week. Dates and times of each location for each swim.


Great Swim Local uses unique award-winning wristband technology to register and time swimmers. Wear your wristband and ‘tap’ at the finish on a volunteer’s phone to record your swim – your swim will be recorded on the Great Swim Local website.

Please always swim with your wristband – to record your time, win badges and for your own safety.

Wristbands are charged at £10 per person which is your timing band for the season, swim sessions are charged directly by the operator at the venue. 

Please allow up to 5 working days for delivery of your wristband once you’ve registered on the website – then you can use the wristband at any event in the future.

What is the aim of Great Swim Local?

Great Swim Local aims to bridge the gap between pool swimming and open water swimming in a safe, controlled environment following the principles that have established the Great Swim series as Europe’s most popular open water swimming experience and delivering them at a local level to:

  • Build confidence
  • Encourage regular and sustained participation that can be tracked
  • Develop local partnerships between pool operators, open water venues and safety providers
  • Provide a framework for venue operators to deliver high quality, safe and enjoyable swimming experiences

Great Swim Local provides the timing and results system for venues to operate open water swim sessions utilising safety systems modelled on the Great Swim events. The swim sessions are organised by fully qualified staff and a full safety cover is provided by safety kayakers and boats. Great Swim Local is backed by a not for profit foundation. Please email info@greatswimlocal.org if you are interested in organising a Great Swim Local event or becoming a volunteer.

What are the objectives of Great Swim Local?

  • To provide an open water swimming ‘hub’
  • To be chip timed (& tracked) – with each swimmer receiving their personal wristband transponder which they retain and bring to each session they attend
  • To provide a regular open water swimming opportunity for swimmers
  • To provide coaching support with a focus on introducing new swimmers to open water swimming
  • To provide good ancillary facilities e.g. changing & toilets, parking and refreshments
  • To provide a safe, welcoming event for open water swimmers
  • To provide a local opportunity for anyone wanting to improve their fitness
  • To encourage participation in swimming and other sporting events

What are the benefits of Great Swim Local?

Great Swim Local provides a fantastic opportunity for pool swimmers who want to try open water swimming, and also those training for a highlight event such as a Great Swim event or triathlon.

All the swim sessions provide a social start and finish area for participants to meet new people, interact with other swimmers, share their stories and offer encouragement to each other. The daily sessions provide participants with the opportunity to attend frequently and enjoy the fitness benefits associated with swimming regularly.

The website holds the times and number of swims completed for each swimmer, making it easy to track their progress if they wish.

Not for Profit

Great Swim Local events are supported by fabulous local volunteers, and the Great Run Local Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation. The Foundation receives support from its partners Sport England, The Great Run Company, Royal Lifesaving Society, British Triathlon and local volunteers.

Great Swim Local is currently supported by the following councils and other organisations:

  • Sport England
  • RLSS
  • British Triathlon