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The Lido returns to the Outdoor Swimmer Henley Swim Festival 2023

The Swimming Teachers’ Association (STA), a national governing body for swimming, will once again host the Lido – a free swimming area in the Thames – at the Outdoor Swimmer Henley Swim Festival on 9 July 2023.

One of the most celebrated areas of the Outdoor Swimmer Henley Swim Festival – a Lido in the River Thames – will be back again this summer. 

The Lido area offers all swimmers and spectators the opportunity to have a free supervised swim in the Thames during the festival on Sunday 9 July. You will find it in the main event village, meaning it’s super easy for festival goers to enjoy a leisurely dip in this stunning stretch of the river at some point during their day. Hosts STA will also be there to meet and greet outdoor swimmers and allow everyone to enjoy the benefits of open water swimming in a safe environment. 

Zoe Cooper, Commercial Director at the STA, said: “For a third year in a row, we are pleased as a national governing body for swimming to be hosting the stunning Lido area at the 2023 Outdoor Swimmer Henley Swim Festival again, which every year gives visitors the opportunity to have a free swim in the Thames and enjoy a supervised dip in this stunning part of the river.  

“As an educational charity dedicated to water safety, the festival provides a great environment for us to share our mission of qualifying even more open water swimming coaches with thousands of like-minded swimmers.”

A must-attend event for outdoor swimmers

The Outdoor Swimmer Henley Swim Festival is becoming a ‘must-attend’ event for anyone with an interest in swimming outdoors. Around 1,500 swimmers are expected to enter the water this 9 July, along with 3,000 spectators.

Swimmers can choose distances ranging from a 200-metre splash (parents can swim for free with children), the Zoggs half mile, a one mile and a 4-mile challenge. For the third year running, the festival will also host an exclusive ‘by-invitation’ challenge to see how many miles can be completed in six hours. 

With camping the night before, live music, food and an event village packed full of retailers, the Outdoor Swimmer Henley Swim Festival is the perfect way to spend a fun-filled day by the Thames. 

The Outdoor Swimmer Henley Swim Festival takes place on Sunday 9 July in Henley-upon-Thames. Read about last year’s festival.

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Jo is the Gear Editor for Outdoor Swimmer and also writes news and features for the website. A keen open water swimmer and long-distance walker, she loves seeking out lakes and lidos close to her home in the Mendip Hills, Somerset. She is the author of The Slow Traveller, editor and founder of independent magazine, Ernest, and has previously tested outdoor clothing and kit for BBC Countryfile Magazine, BBC Focus and Ernest Journal.