Alton Water, Suffolk
18 June 2022


It is with sadness that we announce the Great East Swim will not take place in 2022 or in the future.  

The ambition was to bring a high quality open water swim event to Suffolk and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed seeing thousands of swimmers achieve their goals and raise significant funds for good causes.  

Unfortunately, the Great East Swim is not currently feasible in its current site in Alton Water, due to ongoing challenges with Blue-Green Algae which has caused the event to be impossible to stage in 2021. We have explored ways to mitigate this as well as looking for other locations, but unfortunately, we haven’t found a solution to the problem, and we can’t continue to operate without confidence the event will go ahead.  

We would like to say a heartfelt thank you to Suffolk County Council and Anglian Water for their excellent support, and of course, to everyone who has taken part or supported the event.  

Anyone who currently has an entry into the Great East Swim event will receive a full refund – all entrants will receive more details via email very shortly. 

Thank you for your understanding. 
The Great Swim Team 

John West Great East Swim

Be part of the open water swimming family

The John West Great East Swim is 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! 


1/2 Mile

A great introduction to outdoor swimming.
Equivalent to around 32 lengths of a 25m pool.
Average completion time 20 min.
Suitable for under 16s - entrants must be 12 years old and above.

1 Mile

Suitable for swimmers of all abilities.
Equivalent to 64 lengths of a 25m pool.
Average completion time 40 min.
Take a leisurely breaststroke and enjoy the scenery or kick into crawl for a faster time.
Entrants must be 16 years old and above.

2 Miles

Perfect event for open water swimmers looking for a longer challenge.
Equivalent to around 125 lengths of a 25m pool.
Average completion time 1hr 15 min.
Entrants must be 16 years old and above.


This distance is suited to experienced swimmers looking to go that little bit further.
Equivalent to around 200 lengths of a 25m pool.
Cut off times apply, swimmers must be able to reach halfway (2500m) within 1 hour and finish within 2 hours.


The 10k marathon swim is suitable for regular swimmers who are capable of taking on longer distances.
The entry age is 18+ and anyone who enters must be able to swim 10k unaided, within 4 hours.
This swim will be 6 laps of the standard 1 mile course.