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

NEW FOR 2017!

The BIG Welsh Swim, North Wales, UK

22nd July 2017

All aboard the swim train!

Catch the narrow gauge train to the end of Llyn Padarn to start your swim for a truly unique experience! With the spectacular backdrop of the Snowdon mountain range, the historic Dolbadarn Castle and Welsh slate quarries you can choose to swim the length of the lake, either once, twice or three times! We have a mid length option too!


Sponsored by

sponsors swimrun

Sorry,  The Big Welsh Swim is now FULL. We cannot add any more people to the waiting list.

The Course

The BIG Welsh Swim will take place in Llyn Padarn, Padarn Country Park, Llanberis, Snowdonia National Park, North Wales. The swim route will involve lengths of the lake (each length is 3km) with a choice of 4 different distances to choose from. Wetsuit and non-wetsuit places are available! The lake is surrounded by some of Snowdonia’s most stunning scenery including beautiful woodland, a historic castle, the old slate quarries that tower above the valley and the small narrow gauge railway that we’ll use to transport you to the end of the lake!

location: Gilfach Ddu station, Llyn Padarn Railway, Llanberis, North Wales. LL55 4TY.


  • Mid way: 1.3km
  • One way: 3km
  • Two Way: 6km (you will not take the train on the 2 way swim)
  • Three way: 9km

Aid stations: 3 stations over each length of the lake: both ends and half way point.

Cut off time: 5 hours from start time for each distance. 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: Friday 26th August 2016.

Online entry closes: Midnight  16th July 2017.

You must be over 18 years of age on the day of the race to enter the event. 16+ participants will need parental consent to take part in full length swims. Under 16’s can complete the Mid way swim if accompanied in the water by an adult who will take complete responsibility for them.

There will be a maximum number of entries available for each distance. When that number is reached entries for that distance will close. If you wish to join a waiting list for a distance that is full. Please email:

  • Mid way: 30 places
  • One way: 150 places
  • Two Way: 60 places
  • Three way: 120 places

Entry prices

EARLY BIRD OFFER! On or before 1st Jauary 2017

  • Mid way: £30 / Junior (age 15 & under): £25
  • One way: £38
  • Two Way: £40 (no train ticket included)
  • Three way: £45

From 2nd Jauary 2017

  • Mid way: £35 / Junior (age 15 & under): £25
  • One way: £43
  • Two Way: £45 (no train ticket included)
  • Three way: £50

Entry fee includes:

  • Full water safety cover
  • Train ticket (excluding 2 way entries)
  • Event swim hat
  • Event timing
  • Fuel and hydration during event
  • Race medal
  • Free event photos
  • Prize for winners in each category – supplied by Zone3


  • Swim hats supplied by event organisers must be worn at all times when in the water
  • Wetsuit
  • Goggles
  • Tow floats may be used but are not mandatory for wetsuit wearing participants

Additional mandatory equipment for non-wetsuit competitors

  • Tow float (any type)


Registration will take place at Gilfach Ddu station, Llyn Padarn Railway, Llanberis, North Wales, LL55 4TY, on: Saturday 22nd July 7am  – closes 8.50am

You will be issued with your event hat and number. Please arrive as early as possible and ensure you have any mandatory equipment with you to be checked!


The briefing will be held at 9.00am on Saturday 22nd July 2016 at Gilfach Ddu station. You’ll will board the train which will leave promptly at 9.30am. If you miss the train you will need to make your own way to the other end of the lake. Participants doing a two way swim do not need to catch the train.

Schedule of events

Saturday 22nd July

07:00  Registration opens
08:50  Registration closes
09.00  Route and safety brief
09:30  Train for Mid way, One way and Three way swimmers departs
10.15  Race start – for Mid Way, Three way and One way swimmers
10:30 Race start – Two way swimmers
13:30  Zone3 Prize giving & spot prizes

Water temperature

Going on average water temperatures for the end of July over the last few years, we expect the water temperature in Llyn Padarn to be between 14°C and 16°C for the Big Welsh 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.

Sorry, The BIG Welsh Swim is full!

Official nutrition partner

Wild Trail will be helping to fuel you on our events this year as our official nutrition partner! Their all natural fruit and nut bars are made with just 5 simple ingredients you’ll know and love, see them at They are gluten free, dairy free, have no added sugar, are high in fibre and suitable for vegetarians and vegans! Best of all, Wild Trail bars are inspired by Snowdonia and are made locally in Wales.

Wild Trail Ad for website

Event Sponsor

We are super exited to have Zone3 on board as our Big Welsh Swim event sponsors. They will be suppling the winners of each category with a prize, plus there will be a few spot prizes given out at random. Zone3 are also offering all Love SwimRun participants a 15% discount on their range of swimming gear and wetsuits! You will receive a special discount code once you have registered.

The big welsh swim zone3 offer

Charity partner

snowdonia-givingLove SwimRun are supporting Snowdonia Giving during this event. Snowdonia gives a lot to us… we need to give a little back.

Snowdonia National park is seeing increasing numbers of visitors meaning that the area is more than ever in danger of becoming a victim of it’s very own success! To ensure that Snowdonia retains its beauty, natural diversity and unique appeal we need to ensure that it’s environment, wildlife and and community are not degraded or destroyed in anyway. Snowdonia Giving is a way of us all easily donating a small amount of money to help save this precious place  through projects such as path maintenance, new path building, improved accessability, tree planting, invasive rhododendron clearance, and litter picks.

You can make a voluntary donation when you enter any of our events or you can donate on line at Thank you!

Prizes & pizza eating!

Hot drinks, snacks and delicious pizza will be available when you finish your race from a wood fired pizza stall. All competitors will receive a Big Welsh Swim Medal. Prizes from Zone3 and Love SwimRun will be awarded to the first 3 male and female swimmers in each distance category. No cash alternative to the prizes will be offered.

Parking & toilet facilities

There is plenty of parking available near the event base. Please do not park on the road or cause any obstructions to gate ways. There are public toilets in the middle of the main car park. There are no shower facilities.

Event rules & terms and conditions

Full Terms and Conditions and the rules of the event can be found here.
– The use of any swimming aids, such as flippers or paddles, is prohibited. This is to prevent any unfair advantage and also to prevent causing any injury to other swimmers.


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 4TY in your Sat Nav and follow signs for the Slate Museum. Public transport: The closest train station to Llanberis is in Bangor. Buses run from Bangor to Llanberis.


See our list of local accommodation providers here.

Spectator info

Spectators are welcome to come and support you at The BIG Welsh Swim! There are plenty of good spots from which to support your friends. Why not catch the train yourself? The first public train will run at 11.45. There will not be places available on the participants train for friends/family members I am afraid. There is also a small tourist boat, The Snowdon Star,  that offers cruises up and down the lake so you can see the swimmers from the water! The first boat leaves from close to the event base at 11am. 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!


We are always looking for volunteers to help with our SwimRun events. Without these patient and dedicated teams we would be unable to provide the safety that is required for the race participants. Volunteers are invaluable members of our team and we are incredibly grateful for their help! Volunteers are needed to take on the following rolls: Checkpoint/fuel station crews:
 We’ll need timing/checkpoints at each end of the lake and there will be 3 fuel stations offering food, drinks and plenty of encouragement! As a crew member you need to be on site throughout the day of the race. Duties may include establishing the checkpoint, setting out food and drinks, recording race numbers and times with our electronic system, coordinating with the Water Safety Crew and Race HQ, providing information as required. Most importantly for this role you need to be friendly, encouraging and to have fun! First aiders:
Qualified first-aiders will need to be stationed at all main checkpoints and race HQ. Water safety crew:
 To keep our swimmers safe and provide fast assistance if needed we are looking for kayak/canoe support. In this role you will be required to mark the route and direct swimmers along the course, looking out for and providing assistance to any swimmers that are struggling. We can supply a boat and all the gear you need but must be experienced. If you would like to volunteer at one of our events please mail let us know how you would like to help. We will supply all the equipment you will need, including a tasty packed lunch! If you can commit to a day of volunteering, in return we can offer you one of the following:

  • A free entry to the The Big Welsh Swim the following year or a half price swimrun entry.
  • A free REC first aid course (held prior to the event so you will have the skills on hand!)