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The BIG Welsh Swim, North Wales, UK

Saturday 6th July 2024

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 and 500m option too!


The Big Welsh Swim Event Schedule:

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 5 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.


  • NEW! 500m – an out and back swim (you will not take the train)
  • 1.3km – almost half the length of the lake
  • 3km – 1 length of the lake
  • 6km – 2 lengths of the lake (you will not take the train)
  • 9km – 3 lengths of the lake

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

Cut off time: 4.5 hours from start time for each distance. There is a 3 hour cut off to begin length 3 of the 9km swimThe 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. You will be prevented from starting your final length if it is deemed you will not complete it by the cut off time.


Online entry opens: TBC.

Online entry closes: 29th June 2024. (No entry changes or transfers can be made after this time)

You must be over 18 years of age on the day of the event to enter. Under 18 participants will need parental consent to take part in any swim. Age 8 and above can complete the 500m or 1.3km swim if accompanied in the water by a fee paying adult who will take complete responsibility for them. There is a limit of one child per adult.

Entry numbers are strictly limited!

Entry prices

(Early bird prices are the same as 2023 – offer ends 30th September 2023)
(Junior = ages 8-15 years)

Entry numbers are strictly limited!

  • NEW! 500m Junior: £30 (no train ride included)
  • NEW! 500m: £35 (no train ride included)
  • 1.3km Junior (age 15 & under): £40 /£45
  • 1.3km: Early bird £58 / £62
  • 3km Early Wave*: £66 (Subject to availability)
  • 3km: £66 (10am train)
  • 6km: £72 (no train ride included)
  • 9km: £84

*The 3km Early Wave is an option to book your seat on the first train along with the 9km swimmers. You will start your swim approx 1 hour earlier than the later 3km wave – this is entirely a personal choice and has no other implication. Seats are strictly subject to availability.

Entry fee includes:

  • Full water safety cover
  • Train ticket (excluding 500m & 6km entries)
  • Event swim hat
  • Event timing
  • Fuel and hydration during event
  • Eco friendly, hand made slate medal
  • Event photography
  • Prize for winners in each distance category 

Waiting list

There is a waiting list on the entry system but this does not effect the terms and conditions of your entry. Please read our terms and conditions (updated for 2024) carefully before entering.

You can only join the waiting list for one distance option. If you join the waiting list please do not email us asking about the likelihood of you getting a place – we do not know! We will contact you if one becomes available and you must accept it within 24 hours or we will offer it to the next person on the list and delete your entry.

Event Rules & Entry Terms & Conditions 

Please read the updated 2024 Event Rules and Participant Declaration which can be found below, 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 and no deferral policy. Please see Terms and Condtion clauses 5 and 6 regarding optional Refund Protect insurance and the options you have for transferring your entry. Please only enter this event if you are happy with these terms. 


Registration will take place: Lake side, Gilfach Ddu, Llyn Padarn Railway, Llanberis, North Wales, LL55 4TY.
You will be issued with your event hat and timing chip. Please arrive as early as possible! There will be a Friday evening and a Saturday morning registration. Times will be confirmed in the Event Handbook which will be available one month before the event date.

You must be present yourself to register.


The compulsory briefing will be held on Saturday 6th July 2024 at Lake side, Gilfach Ddu.


Your train times will be confirmed in the Event Handbook. If you miss the train you will need to make your own way to the other end of the lake. Participants doing a 500m or a 6km swim do not need to catch the train.

Provisional schedule of events

(All times listed are provisional and will be confirmed in the 2024 handbook)

Friday 5th July 2024

18:30  Registration opens
19:30   Registration closes

Saturday 6th July 2024 

07:00  Registration opens
08:30  Registration closes
08.40  Route and safety brief
09:00  Train for 1.3km, Early Wave 3km and 9km swimmers departs
09.20 Race start – 6km swimmers
09.20 Race start – 1.3km swimmers
09.25 Race start – 500m swimmers
09.40  Race start – Early Wave 3km and 9km swimmers
10:00  Train for 3km swimmers departs
  Race start – 3km swimmers
13:00  Prize giving


Mandatory equipment for wetsuit competitors

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

Mandatory equipment for non-wetsuit competitors

  • Swim hats supplied by event organisers must be worn at all times when in the water
  • Suitable swimwear (shorts style suits and rash vests are acceptable. No neoprene other than that listed below)
  • Goggles
  • 1 Tow float (must be a dedicated swimming tow float)

Additional equipment that may be used: Neoprene socks and non-webbed neoprene gloves, neoprene hat (worn under event swim cap), ear plugs

Additional equipment that may NOT be used: Snorkles, flippers, hand paddles, webbed gloves, headphones, pull buoy, buoyancy shorts or other floation aids, any power assisted aids.

Event rules

As well as the general rules laid out in the Terms and Conditions, you must also obay the following rules.  

  1. You must follow the marked course and instructions of marshals at all times. Failure to follow instructions will result in disqualification.
  2. Junior participants must remain within 10m of their guardian at all times. There must be one adult per junior participant.
  3. Your total time is from the whistle blowing at the start until you cross the finish line. Your time includes any time spent at feed stations.
  4. There are 2 cut off times as described in the Event Schedule. If you are asked to retire from the race you must do so without question or complaint. Information about the cut off times will be confirmed in the event handbook.
  5. All non wetsuit participants must use a tow float.
  6. If you withdraw from the race you must report this as soon as possible to the organisers and return the timing chip. Lost chips will be charged at £15 each.
  7.  We reserve the right to amend the course subject to weather conditions and the requirements of the management of Padarn Country Park. Any changes will be explained in detail during the Briefing.
  8. Swimmers completeing 6km or 9km must exit the water and pass over the timing mats at each end of the lake before begining the next length.
  9. To participate in the event you must agree to the Participant Declaration.
  10. You must be over 18 years of age on the day of the race to enter the event.
    Participants under this age will need parental consent to take part in the event as set out in the e vent schedule.
  11. The race organisers can prevent a participant from continuing if they judge them not capable due to fatigue or poor physical condition. If you are asked to retire from the race you must do so without question or complaint.
  12. No external assistance is allowed. Each participant has to make their own way from start to finish.
  13. The course is in a lake open to the public and vessles. Any disregard for other users (on land or in water) or dangerous or offensive behavior, including being rude to race officials will result in disqualification.
  14. You must obay the equipment requirements and prohibitions as set out in the event schedule.

Participant Declaration

(Assumption Of Risk for all participants)

I hereby affirm that I am aware of the risk involved with any open water swimming activity.

I understand that open water swimming may involve inherent risks, including but not limited to cold related illness, infection and disease, marine life injuries, drowning or accidents.

I have read the Terms and Conditions, the General Rules and the Event rules and agree to follow them at all times.

I accept the no refund policy and I understand that I have limited entry tranfer options, as set out in the terms and Conditions.

I understand that it is entirely my decision whether to take out optional Refund Protect insurance and that I will carefully check the terms of the policy before doing so to make sure it is suitable for my needs.

I understand and agree that I must stay within the designated swim areas of the course at all times.

I have read the Event Schedule and understand the nature of the event. I am aware of the prerequisite skill level / swimming experience necessary to participate in the events and the dfistance/category I have opted for, and I stipulate that I meet these requirements. I understand that participating in the event may be strenuous and declare that I am medically able, physically fit and properly trained. I have declared any relevant medical details to the organisers.

I understand that I am responsible for supplying my own equipment, as stated in the Event Schedule, in proper working condition, regardless of where I obtained it or from whom. I understand that my equipment will be checked at registration that that I may be prevented from registering if my equipment is not up to standard.

I acknowledge that the event is help in a lake and facilities open to the public during the event and upon which hazards are to be expected.

I acknowledge and agree that participation in the event may carry with it certain inherent risks and dangers that cannot be eliminated completely ranging from risk of minor discomfort to catastrophic injuries including permanent disability and death.

I understand and agree that neither the Organisers of this event nor the sponsors of the event, nor any of their respective officers, agents, or volunteers (hereinafter referred to as ‘Released Parties’) may be held liable or responsible in any way for any injury, death, or other damages to myself, my family heirs or assigns that may occur as a result of my participation in the event or as a result of the negligence of any party, including the Released Parties, whether passive or active.

In consideration of being allowed to participate in the event, I hereby personally assume all risks in connection with it, for any harm, injury, or damage that may befall me while I am participating in the event, including all risks connected therewith, whether foreseen or unforeseen.

I agree to hold harmless the Released Parties from any claim or lawsuit by myself, my family, estate, heirs or assigns, arising out of my participation in the event, including any and all claims arising during my practicing and any arising during or after I complete the Event.

I understand that open water swimming activities are physically strenuous and that I will be exerting myself during the event, I expressly assume the risk of any and all injuries, and I will not hold the Released Parties responsible if I am injured as a result of heart attack, panic, drowning, trips or falls, head injury, or any other cause of injury or death not specifically stated herein.

I understand that all the terms herein are contractual, they are not a mere recital, and my entering online is done of my own free act and in so doing, I waive my legal rights to sue.

I state that I am of lawful age and legally competent to make an online Entry, or that I have the written consent of my parent or legal guardian to engage in the event under the conditions of this waiver as stipulated by their entering on my behalf.

It is my intention to exempt and release all of the Released Parties as defined herein, from all liability whatsoever for personal injury, property damage or wrongful death however caused, including but not limited to the negligence of the Released Parties, whether passive or active.



At Registration, you must produce appropriate photographic personal identification acceptable to the Event Organiser such as driver’s license or passport.


All competitors will receive a handmade local slate medal.

Winners prizes will be supplied by Zone3 & Love SwimRun and will be given out after the race finishes at the Prize ceremony.

Prizes will be awarded to the first 3 male and female swimmers in each wetsuit distance category and first 3 swimmers in the non wetsuit category.

No cash alternative to the prizes will be offered. Prizes must be collected on the day.


View 2023 results HERE

View 2022 results HERE

View 2019 results HERE

View 2018 results HERE

Bag drop

There will be a place for 6km swimmers to leave shoes/ 1 SMALL bag close to the swim start. 1.3km, 3km & 9km swimmers may take 1 SMALL bag with them on the train and this will be transported back to the finish line to be picked up at the end of your swim. Please only leave essential items and do not place fragile or valuable items in the bag drop as we cannot take repsonsibility for them.

Event Handbook 

An updated final version will be sent to you 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  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. 

Event merchandise 

The Big Welsh Swim 2024 commemorative t-shirts and hoodies will be available for pre-order approx 1 month before the event date (to pick up on the day of the event). These are designed, produced and sold by an independent t-shirt designer. They are etchically produced from organic cotton! They are hand printed locally using environmentally friendly inks.

Love SwimRun and The Big Welsh Swim everyday vinyl printed logo t-shirts and hoodies are available for mail order in the Love SwimRun shop.

Big welsh swim tshirt and hoodie 

Our Charity Partner – RNLI 


We are so pleased to be supporting RNLI. The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Powered by your kind donations, their search and rescue service has been saving lives for nearly 200 years. 

Every day of every year, people of all backgrounds get into danger in the water. The RNLI offer a 24/7 search and rescue lifeboat service and a seasonal lifeguard service. Their volunteer lifeboat crews and lifeguards help and rescue thousands of people and have saved over 143,000 lives since 1824. Countless more lives are saved through their youth education and water safety campaigns. 

Please help the RNLI continue to help save lives at sea by selecting to make a donation when you enter. Every little bit will help and every penny will go straight to the RNLI. If you are interested in raising sponsorship funds for the RNLI in return for a FREE ENTRY please email


Hot drinks and snacks will be available to purchase from registration opening. Delicious wood fired pizza will be available to buy when you finish your race. All competitors will receive an eco friendly, local slate, Big Welsh Swim medal and a Tribe bar at the finish line. There will also be bananas and biscuits and tanks of water for you to refill your own bottles – we do not give out plastic bottle or cups at the finish line to help reduce plastic waste.

Parking & toilet facilities 

There is plenty of public parking available near the event base (pay and display). 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 shower facilities. 


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. Dogs are welcome on leads. 

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 marshalling on the day, please get in touch! 


Official Event Sponsor

We are exited to have ZONE3 on board as our SwimRun event sponsors. ZONE3 are offering all Love SwimRun participants a 20% discount on their range of products including their SwimRun specific wetsuit, the Evolution! You will receive a special discount code once you have registered for the event.

Swimrun zone3

Official Nutrition Partner

TRIBE will be our 2024 Official Nutrition Partner! Their tasty plant based protein bars are gluten free and made with natural ingredients. They are perfect for performance fuelling and for snacking! Profits from their bars go to the Tribe Freedom Foundation to help fight modern slavery and human trafficking.