Alton Water, Suffolk
18 June 2022

John West Great East Swim

Be part of the open water swimming family

The John West Great East Swim will now return to Alton Water (Alton Water Sports Centre near Ipswich, Suffolk IP9 2RY) on Saturday 18 June 2022. It will be a fantastic day out in a truly stunning setting. With distances to suit all levels and abilities, a farmers' market and musical entertainment, there really is something for everyone! 

2022 Entries are not open at this time. Sign up to our Reminder Service and be the first to know when entries open.

1/2 Mile

A great introduction to outdoor swimming.
Equivalent to around 32 lengths of a 25m pool.
Average completion time 20 min.
Suitable for under 16s - entrants must be 12 years old and above.

1 Mile

Suitable for swimmers of all abilities.
Equivalent to 64 lengths of a 25m pool.
Average completion time 40 min.
Take a leisurely breaststroke and enjoy the scenery or kick into crawl for a faster time.
Entrants must be 16 years old and above.

2 Miles

Perfect event for open water swimmers looking for a longer challenge.
Equivalent to around 125 lengths of a 25m pool.
Average completion time 1hr 15 min.
Entrants must be 16 years old and above.


This distance is suited to experienced swimmers looking to go that little bit further.
Equivalent to around 200 lengths of a 25m pool.
Cut off times apply, swimmers must be able to reach halfway (2500m) within 1 hour and finish within 2 hours.


The 10k marathon swim is suitable for regular swimmers who are capable of taking on longer distances.
The entry age is 18+ and anyone who enters must be able to swim 10k unaided, within 4 hours.
This swim will be 6 laps of the standard 1 mile course.

Event location

About Suffolk

Suffolk is a county where you can travel through time and through varied landscapes from coast to forest.  It is a county for experiences and activities, either on foot, by bike or on water with plenty of trails, lakes and 50 miles of coastline to explore.  Food is a big obsession in Suffolk, with the freshest of takings from the sea and land.  There are regular farmers markets throughout the county with restaurants and pubs all offering the most delicious locally sourced ingredients.

Here you will find some of the most picturesque villages in Britain, practically unchanged since Tudor times; the world-famous Newmarket, the home of horseracing; the waterfront town of Ipswich and the historic market town of Bury St Edmunds, all sitting alongside a thriving cultural and arts scene.

Suffolk is a unique county, one that’s full of charm yet only a 2hr drive from London and with good transport links which makes it perfect for weekend breaks as well as longer holidays for visitors of all ages.

Find out more at


About Suffolk

Alton Water

The John West Great East Swim takes place at the picturesque Alton Water reservoir near Ipswich, Suffolk. The reservoir provides the main source of drinking water for Ipswich and the southern part of Suffolk.

Alton Water offers the opportunity to do far more than swim – it’s the perfect location for walks, cycle rides, wildlife spotting and family picnics. With miles of unspoilt countryside, numerous award winning beaches and scores of enchanting towns and villages within reach of Alton Water, Suffolk makes an ideal choice for a short break. Only an hour’s train journey away from London Liverpool Street station. 

Alton Water

Wetsuit Policy

Wetsuit use is optional at all John West Great Swim events for water temperatures of 15⁰C or above. Swimmers choosing not to wear a wetsuit MUST use an approved high visibility tow float, swimmers wearing wetsuits can also choose to swim with a tow float. This only applies to swimmers aged over 16 years old. Swimmers aged under 16 will be required to wear a wetsuit.

We’ve teamed up with 2XU to provide a wetsuit hire service. For more information, or for day, month or season 2XU wetsuit hire click here.