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

The BIG Welsh Swim, North Wales, UK

14th July 2018

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!


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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: TBC 2017.

Online entry closes: 7pm 6th July 2017. (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. 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: 50 places
  • One way: 160 places
  • Two Way: 70 places
  • Three way: 110 places

Entry prices

EARLY BIRD OFFER! On or before 1st October 2017

  • Mid way: £35 / Junior (age 15 & under): £25
  • One way: £40
  • Two Way: £45 (no train ticket included)
  • Three way: £55

From 2nd October 2017

  • Mid way: £40 / Junior (age 15 & under): £25
  • One way: £45
  • Two Way: £50 (no train ticket included)
  • Three way: £60

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 distance 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: Lake side, Gilfach Ddu, Llyn Padarn Railway, Llanberis, North Wales, LL55 4TY, on: Saturday 14th July. 7.00am  –  Closes 8.30am

You will be issued with your event hat and timing chip. Please arrive as early as possible and take note of the parking arrangements as there may be a short walk!


The compulsory briefing will be held at 8.40am on Saturday 14th July 2018 at Lake side, Gilfach Ddu. 3 way and half way swimmers will board train 1 which will leave promptly at 9.00am so need to be ready to leave syraight after the briefing. 1 way swimmers will board train 2 which will leave promptly at 10.00am. 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.

Provisional schedule of events

Saturday 14th July 2018

07:00  Registration opens
08:30  Registration closes
08.40  Route and safety brief
09:00  Train for Mid way and Three way swimmers departs
09.20 Race start – Two way swimmers
09.20 Race start – Mid way swimmers
09.40  Race start – Three way swimmers
10:00  Train for One way swimmers departs
  Race start – One way swimmers
13:00  Prize giving

Event Handbook

A provisional version of the event handbook which contains all the information you will need can be downloaded here. An updated final version will be available a few weeks before the event. Please read all the information throughly to get the best out of the day!

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 16°C and 18°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.

2018 entries opening soon!

Event merchandise

The Big Welsh Swim logo t-shirts and hoodies are available 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 looser fit go for a size up (eg size 10: Small = fitted, Medium = loose fit).

Big welsh swim tshirt and hoodie

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 and a Wild Trail bar at the finish line. 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 public parking available near the event base (£4 for the day) Disabled parking is available there too. Please do not park on the road or cause any obstructions to access or gate ways. There are public toilets in the middle of the main car park, including disabled toilet. There are no changing or 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. There is disabled access to the registration/finish area though this is on a rough track, not tarmac.

Why not catch the train yourself? The first public train will run at 11.45. There will not be places available on the participants swim train for friends/family members I am afraid. 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!

Work with us

We are always looking for marshals 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! Marshals 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.

If you would like to marshal 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! In return we can offer you one of the following:

  • A free entry to 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!)
  • £10 per hour to fully qualified kayak safetly marshals.

Race rules & Terms & Conditions

Please read the 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 and limited entry deferral options. You are permitted to transfer your entry into another name. We recommend you take out individual sports event insurance to cover any losses due to unexpected circumstances that prevent you from taking part.