Summer of swim festivals

June 23, 2022

Summer of swim festivals

Glastonbury, Camp Bestival, Shambala… festivals are back in 2022 with added gusto and glitter. And that goes for swim festivals too. Celebrating the joy of outdoor swimming, these water-based extravaganzas feature swims, music, stalls and more.

Swim festivals

Some events, like the Bristol Swim Festival, Open Water Festival and the Cotswold Big Swim Festival are celebrations and fundraisers for the venue at which they take place. They offer swimmers of all abilities a go at racing in open water with prizes for the winners.

If that sounds intimidating, it’s worth remembering that swim festivals are very friendly, and while there are prizes for the winners, most people are there for the personal challenge and experience.

If you’re still not convinced, you could try something like the Henley Swim Festival. The Henley Swim Festival is a family weekend celebrating open water swimming. There are swimming challenges of different distances for everyone aged 9 and over, and an area where under 9s can splash about it the river. There are also exhibitors, retailers, outdoor swimming experts, food and drink, music, entertainment and other activities. And, like any decent festival, you can camp at Henley too.

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Festivals with swimming

A festival built around swimming is one thing, but there are also more traditional festivals with wild swimming – and no, Glastonbury Festival in flood doesn’t count.

Wilderness is a sumptuous mix of music, theatre, arts spoken word, wellbeing and the great outdoors. As part of its outdoors offer, you can try horse-riding, archery, paddleboard yoga and swim in the beautiful lake. Just imagine catching a performance by Róisín Murphy or Years and Years and then cooling off in the lake.

Latitude is probably the biggest music festival where you can pack your D&B swimsuit and go for a proper swim. Here, open water swimming adventure company SwimTrek run a morning adventure swim before the main acts get started – a chance to work on your technique or literally soak up the festival atmosphere from the water.

And don’t forget – plenty of festivals, from Glastonbury’s Green Fields to Camp Bestival’s wild spa, have hot tubs and saunas, so there’s always a reason to pack your favourite Deakin & Blue swimwear.

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