Big Welsh Swim in Llyn Padarn, Llanberis, Snowdonia, North Wales

The Welsh Winter Swim, North Wales, UK

20th November 2021

Brave in the icy waters of Llyn Padarn at the coldest time of the year! With views of ice covered Mount Snowdon, The Welsh Winter Swim includes short individual races of 50m, 100m, 250m and a tough 500m endurance challenge. Enter a single event or multiple races and you’ll receive a unique sewn patch for each distance you complete!  Wetsuit and non-wetsuit places are available, but neoprene is only for softies!

Entries will open in October 2021

Set in beautiful Llyn Padarn, Llanberis with views of snow covered Mount Snowdon, The Welsh Winter Swim will include short individual races of 50-250m and a tough 500m endurance challenge. You may enter single or multiple races. Please remember the water will be very cold and it is essential that you acclimatise to cold water swimming sufficiently before taking part in these races.

Entries for wetsuit and non-wetsuits are available but please be aware that wetsuit wearers will not be eligible for prizes except for ‘Best Hat of the Day’

The Races

Challenge = Swim fast or chill out and chat – swim any stroke you like.
Head up breaststroke = the traditional cold water swimming style allowing swimmers to compete in cold conditions without getting brain freeze! The rules are simple – you must ensure that your eyes do not go below the water level at any time during the race. Swimmers are encouraged to wear a warm hat for this race, or get crafty and create their own head wear – the more wacky the better. There will be a winner of ‘Best Hat of the Day’ plus an extra special prize for an ‘Environmental’ theme hat of the day! (Please consider the environment when making/purchasing hats and make sure that any hat you wear will not cause any pollution to the lake – no bits that can fall off or glitter etc – thank you!)

  • 50m Challenge
  • 50m Heads up
  • 100m Challenge
  • 100m Heads up
  • 250m Challenge
  • 250m Heads up
  • 500m Challenge – this will be a tough 500m race for experienced cold water swimmers only. In order to compete in this race, you will need to testify that you have swum at least 300m in 5 degrees or less in the 2019/20 winter season.

The courses will be marked by large floating buoys. All races will have an in water start and you will exit the water at the end of each race, recording your time as you cross the mats. If necessary do due large numbers entering we may have start waves to prevent crowding and make the swims more enjoyable for all.

There will be a warm indoor space for you to change in but you will be outdoors for the majority of the event so please come prepared with toweling robes, Dryrobes, warm hats etc. The ground around the lake is covered in sharp slate waste so please wear suitable footwear (crocs etc)

Race souvenir & prizes

Unique race sew-on patches will be given to all swimmers for each distance that they complete! Enter all the distances to get the whole set!

Small prizes will be awarded to the first 3 male and female finishers in each race (wetsuit wearers are not eligible for prizes except for ‘Best Hat of the Day’)

  • 50m Challenge: Male and Female 1st, 2nd & 3rd
  • 50m Heads up: Male and Female 1st, 2nd & 3rd
  • 100m Challenge: Male and Female 1st, 2nd & 3rd
  • 100m Heads up: Male and Female 1st, 2nd & 3rd
  • 250m Challenge: Male and Female 1st, 2nd & 3rd
  • 250m Heads up: Male and Female 1st, 2nd & 3rd
  • 500m Challenge: Male and Female 1st, 2nd & 3rd
  • Best Hat of the day
  • Best ‘Environmental’ theme hat of the day

Cut off time

There are no strict cutoff times but the race organisers and appointed staff can retire a participant at any time if they judge them not capable of finishing due to fatigue or poor physical condition.


Online entry opens: October 2021.

Online entry closes: 14th November 2021. (No entry changes can be made after this time)

You must be over 18 years of age on the day of the race to enter the event.

Entry prices

  • 50m £20 each
  • 100m £25 each
  • 250m £29 each
  • 500m £32 each

Entry fee includes:

  • Full water safety cover
  • Swim hat
  • Event timing
  • Race patch
  • Free event photos
  • Prize for winners in each distance category

Equipment requirements

Mandatory equipment for non-wetsuit participants
– Suitable swimwear (shorts style suits and rash vests are allowed. No neoprene other than that listed below)
– 1 swim cap

Mandatory equipment for wetsuit participants (NB wearing a wetsuit makes you ineligible for podium placement)
– 1 wetsuit
– 1 swim cap

Extra equipment that IS allowed for both wetsuit and non-wetsuit swimmers
– 1 pair goggles
– Neoprene swimming gloves (NOT webbed)
– Soft neoprene swimming socks/shoes
– Neoprene swimming hat
– Rash vest
– Tow float

Equipment that IS NOT allowed for either wetsuit or non-wetsuit swimmers
– Flippers
– Hand paddles of any kind or webbed gloves
– Any floatation aid other than a tow float

Equipment that IS NOT allowed for non wetsuit swimmers
– Neoprene shorts
– Neoprene vest


Registration and safety briefing

Registration will take place on Saturday 20th November from 09:00 to 10.30 at Snowdonia Water Sports, Unit 3, Y Glyn, Llanberis, LL55 4EL. The briefing will be held at 10.45 at Snowdonia Water Sports. Participants who have not attended the brief will not be allowed to start. (All times are provisional and will be confirmed in the 2021 handbook)

Provisional schedule of events

Saturday 20th November 2020

09:00  Registration opens
10:30  Registration closes
10.45  Race and safety brief
11.00  Races begin (races will happen one after another with the shortest distance first and longest last)
12.30  Races finish
13:00  Prize giving

Race rules & entry terms & conditions

Please read the event race rules and terms and conditions of entry throughly before signing up. You can read them in full here.  Please be aware that we offer a no refunds policy. You are permitted to transfer your entry into another name. Please see our FAQ page for more information. We recommend you take out individual sports event insurance to cover any losses due to unexpected circumstances that prevent you from taking part.

Water temperature

Going on average water temperatures for the end of November over the last few years, we expect the water temperature in Llyn Padarn to be between 6°C and 8°C for the Welsh Winter Swim event. The temperature in the lake can vary quite a lot depending on the amount of rainfall and sunshine we have but we will keep you updated on the water temperature in the run up to the event.

Training for The Welsh Winter Swim

If you are new to winter swimming please have a read though this article about getting ready for the The Welsh Winter Swim. It’s full of interesting facts about cold water swimming and tips on how to keep your swimming going though the winter so that you’ll be ready to take the plunge in February! 

Event merchandise

The Welsh Winter Swim 2021 commemorative t-shirts are available for pre-order (to pick up on the day of the event only). These are designed, produced and sold by an independent t-shirt designer. They are £15 each and are etchically produced from organic cotton! They are hand printed locally using environmentally friendly inks. Order yours HERE! LAST ORDERS 1st NOVEMBER 2021

Love SwimRun everyday vinyl printed logo t-shirts, vest tops and hoodies are available for mail order in the Love SwimRun shop. Males sizes seem accurate. Female sizes come up small, so if you like a fitted look order your normal size or if you like a slightly looser fit go for a size up (eg for size 10: Small = fitted, Medium = looser fit).

Swimrun t-shirt hoodie

Our Charity Partner – The Marine Conservation Society

mcs-logo-proudly-supportingWe are so pleased to be supporting The Marine Conservation Society (MCS). The MCS is the UK’s leading charity for the protection of our seas, shores and wildlife. Our seas are under immense pressure: too many fish are being taken out, too much rubbish is being thrown in and too little is being done to protect marine wildlife and fish stocks.

Our UK seas and coasts are amongst the most diverse and beautiful on the planet, playing host to dolphins, sharks, whales and turtles. Over half of the UK’s wildlife resides within our seas and many other species such as seabirds rely on them for their survival.

Event Sponsors

 We are super exited to have Zone3 on board as our SwimRun event sponsors. They are offering all Love SwimRun participants a 20% discount on their range including the SwimRun specific wetsuit, the Evolution! You will receive a special discount code once you have registered.

Nutrition Partner

TRIBE will be helping to fuel you on our events this year as our official nutrition partner! Their tasty plant based energy and protein bars are made with natural ingredients and are gluten free. They are perfect for performance fuelling and for snacking! Profits from the bars to got the Tribe Freedom Foundation to help fight modern slavery and human trafficking. 

Tribe  Love Swimrun

Parking & toilet facilities

 There is plenty of parking within the parking bay areas of Y Glyn (The Lagoons). There are toilets in Snowdonia Water Sports (where registration will be held) and public toilets at the end of the road leading into Y Glyn. 


 By car: Llanberis typically is 5 hours from London by car, 2 hours from Manchester. To access Llanberis turn off at Junction 20 of the M6 onto the M56, follow signs for NORTH WALES to reach the A55. Use post code LL55 4EL in your Sat Nav. Public transport: The closest train station to Llanberis is in Bangor. Buses run from Bangor to Llanberis. 


 See our list of accommodation providers here. 

Spectator info

 Spectators are welcome at Love SwimRun events. Please park considerately and use the parking bays in Y Glyn. Please do not park on the road. There are plenty of good spots from which to support your friends. We would advise you to dress warmly and wear suitable footwear for walking on rough ground. If you take any photos or videos we would love to see them! If you are interested in volunteering on the day, please get in touch!