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Ten outdoor venues where you can join this year’s Swimathon

Take part in this year’s Swimathon – the world’s largest annual fundraising swim with distances ranging from 400m to over 30km – in the open air at one of these spectacular lidos.

Swimathon (12-14 May 2023) is the world’s largest annual fundraising swimming event. Participants can choose from individual or team challenges with distances including 400m, 1.5km, 2.5km and 5km, while those wanting to take on an even bigger challenge, there’s the triple 5km or the 30.9km (all the other distances combined).

Choose from over 450 pools around the UK, but for us the most tempting choices are one of these 10 outdoor venues (below) where you can challenge yourself to complete a distance while enjoying some spring sunshine. Read on for details of outdoor venues where you can take part this year. 

Brockwell Lido, Herne Hill

Nestled in the corner of Brockwell park, this lido is a much-loved local landmark that has been at the heart of the community since 1937. The 50m, unheated pool is a fan favourite for Swimathon. And with spaces nearly full, make sure to get your spot here before it’s too late.

London Fields Lido

If the cold waters of Brockwell don’t take your fancy, take a trip over to London Fields Lido in Hackney, East London. This heated outdoor pool is kept at 25 degrees all year round, no surprise it is another Swimathon favourite! London Fields Lido have three sessions on event weekend, so you know it’s going to be a Swimathon party!

Charlton Lido

Another heated option for those not wanting to brave the colder waters, this 50m lido is perfect for the May sunshine with a beautiful sun terrace. Charlton Lido has three sessions dedicated to Swimathon between 12-14 May so get yourself down on event weekend.

David Lloyd Ringwood

This one takes a unique twist on a classic, with its retractable roof open during summer months, you can take part in Swimathon while basking in the warm sunshine. And if the sunshine isn’t quite warming you up, the 25m pool is heated to warm you on those early morning swims.

Hampton Pool

Offering two swimming pools for both adults and children, this is definitely a top pick for those wanting to complete their Swimathon challenge as a team with young ones. Both the 36m and 12.5m pools are heated all year round and offer a large grass area next to the pool for that post-Swimathon celebration.

Hathersage Swimming Pool

The first of Swimathon’s lidos that is situated outside of the capital, Hathersage Swimming Pool is set in the heart of the beautiful Peak District in a village of less than 2,000 people. One of our personal favourites, this open air heated pool is surrounded by rolling hills and is offering two sessions for the Swimathon weekend in May.

Hinksey Outdoor Pool

One of Swimathon’s largest outdoor venues, this pool offers a freeform, heated 60m pool in the heart of Oxford, which is split into deep and shallow ends to accompany both adults and children. Spaces are still available for Hinksey across their two sessions on Swimathon weekend.

Jesus Green Lido

Being one of the largest pools in Cambridge and one of the longest outdoor pools in the country, this stunning 90m long facility is surrounded by greenery and makes you feel like you’re in the Italian countryside. Nestled in the heart of the historic city of Cambridge, this outdoor lido varies in depths, making it perfect for all ages and abilities, and is running two sessions across Swimathon weekend.

Petersfield Open Air Pool

Newly renovated in 2020, Petersfield Open Air pool has a great new look and vibe. Close to the south coast of England, the 25m long pool is heated to 27 degrees. If you’re near the south coast this May, make sure to take a dip for Swimathon across their two dedictaed sessions.

Guildford Lido

Set in four and a half acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, this Olympic sized pool is a great location to take on Swimathon 2023 in May. Guildford Lido are offering four sessions between 12-14 May so make sure to secure your place here to experience an Olympic size pool in Surrey.

If you can’t attend on event weekend, why not choose the MySwimathon option, which allows you to do your swim, your way. Starting on 28 April and running until 21 May, the MySwimathon option allows you to choose any length, at any venue of your choice, at a time that suits you.

Every entrant will receive a swimming cap, a Swimathon medal and will help support your local community pool, while raising money for Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie UK.

Hurry, you don’t have long! Registrations close on Tuesday 9 May. Use code OSLC25 to save 25% on your entry, sign up here. Read more about this iconic challenge.

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Outdoor Swimmer is the magazine for outdoor swimmers by outdoor swimmers. We write about fabulous wild swimming locations, amazing swim challenges, swim training advice and swimming gear reviews.