News

The Outdoor Swimmer Henley Swim Festival returns this Sunday

There are only four days to go until our Henley Swim event this Sunday 10 July and, so far, the weather is looking good!

Outdoor Swimmer is delighted to once again partner with Henley Swim for our annual celebration of outdoor swimming in this glorious riverside location, world renowned for the Henley Royal Regatta.

The Outdoor Swimmer Henley Swim Festival brings people together to swim unique, challenging and unforgettable open water events. Catering for all types of swimmers, from those entering their first open water event to accomplished swimmers, racers and enthusiasts, we are here to help make the process easy and enjoyable so you can simply enjoy the experience.

The festival is an outdoor swim event like no other – an entire weekend celebrating open water swimming, set on the banks of the River Thames just outside Henley. Alongside the swimming events – which range from 200m to four miles – there will be exhibitors, retailers and experts, giving you access to everything you need to know about outdoor swimming. You even get to meet the Outdoor Swimmer team!

What’s more, while we would never suggest that the weather could put us off a swim, you will be pleased to hear that the forecast currently hints at hours of sunshine and temperatures reaching 28º. So don’t forget to pack your sun cream – the stage is set for a glorious day.

A swim for everyone

As many of us know, there is nothing quite as exhilarating as swimming in open water, and the Henley Swim offers a safe and supportive environment in which to take to the water. The swims take place directly after Henley Rowing Regatta so the rowers’ booms are still in place, marking out a perfectly straight course down the river. Distances range from 200m and a half-mile event to a four-mile challenge (one mile x four participants), with races suitable from age 8+. There’s also a suits versus skins challenge, where you swim the course twice, once with and once without your wetsuit, to find out how much your wetsuit helps (or hinders) your swimming.

The Lido is back

Following the success of the 2021 partnership, The Swimming Teachers’ Association (STA), a national governing body for swimming, will once again host the Lido, a free, supervised swimming area in the Thames, giving swimmers and spectators of all ages a chance to experience the river in a safe and controlled environment.

Soak up the atmosphere in our event village

After your swim, come along to the atmospheric festival village to warm up, celebrate your river swimming achievement and learn more about the open water community. Food and drinks stalls will be serving hearty and healthy meals and snacks, and there will be plenty of space to picnic.

Sweaty Betty is taking care of warm-up near the start line area, and Zoggs is hosting a bespoke swimwear fitting experience, with expert advice from their swimwear designer. Plus, there will be free zumba, yoga and a paddleboarding area hosted by Red plus an energy balls cooking demo by Kate Percy.

This is also the ideal time to replace old kit with a range of retailers including: Andrea Hall Design, Beyond Swim, Big Bobble Hats, Change In Bag, Charlie McLeod, COOTS London, Henley Swim Merchandise, Outdoor Swimmer Magazine, Red Original, Rivers Trust, Sea & Stream, Selkie, Showers Pass, Sweaty Betty, SwimTayka, WaterAid, Wild Moose and Zoggs.

Riverside camping, anyone?

If one day at this celebrated riverside location isn’t enough, why not make a weekend of it? Our riverside campsite opens on Saturday afternoon, giving you time to set up, explore Henley-on-Thames and soak up the atmosphere. After a peaceful night, you will already be on-site and ready for your day – and you would be hard pressed to find a better view for your pre-swim coffee. Read on for more details and we look forward to seeing you there!

The Outdoor Swimmer Henley Swim Festival takes place Sunday 10 July 2022, 9am-4pm at Temple Island Meadows, Henley-on-Thames. Swim events include: 200m, Zoggs Half Mile, Henley Mile, Suits vs Skins and a 4-Mile Challenge. Wetsuits are optional. Find out more and reserve your space (including camping).