Great East Swim, Suffolk, England

, June 22, 2011

After Charlie Morris’ participation in the Great Swim at Salford, I headed to Ipswich in Suffolk to check out the next event in the Great Swim series, the Great East Swim. Roughly one hour’s train journey from London Liverpool Street, the event was set at Alton Water reservoir, southern Suffolk’s primary open water swimming lake.

True to its name, the Great Swim events pull in large number of wetsuited swimmers. In total, the site hosted 3000 people during the day across three distances: the half-mile, 1 mile and 2 mile distances. While the athletic event ran like clockwork across the waves of swimmers, I particularly enjoyed the Farmers’ Market which was placed right on the waters’ edge – a welcome yet bizarre combination of adventure and local produce.

For more information on race courses and entry, visit As for logistics on getting to Alton water: To get there by train your can either alight at Ipswich Train Station which is a 10-mile taxi-ride to Alton Water. Alternatively take the train all the way to Wrabness Train Station which is three miles from Alton Water. For taxi bookings, call Avenue taxis on 01473 40 70 70. Wrabness station has no taxi rank so you’ll need to book in advance if you’re aiming to get off at there.