The UK’s leading open water swimming festival, Swim Serpentine, has announced a new programme of free cultural events in Hyde Park on Saturday, 22 September from 09:00–16:00.
For the first time in 2018, Swim Serpentine will include inspirational talks and film screenings in a brand new festival marquee that will run alongside the mass participation swimming events.
All this will be free to participants, their friends and family and any visitors to the Serpentine.
The new programme aims to encourage more people to discover the joys of open water swimming in the heart of London.
Be inspired: Swim speakers, short films and art
A series of talks and short films will celebrate the inspirational characters and incredible adventures from the world of open water swimming, hosted by Jonathan Cowie, Editor of Outdoor Swimmer magazine.
• Libby Page: Author of The Lido, published in April 2018 and a top 10 The Sunday Times best seller, Libby Page will swim the one-mile distance at Swim Serpentine and then hosts a reading, Q&A and a book signing session, all themed around the mental health and community benefits of swimming.
• Beth French: From wheelchair bound to world class athlete, Beth French talks about expanding the horizons of her own possibilities, tackling feats of endurance and adventure.
• Jenny Landreth: Author of Swell: A Waterbiography, The Sunday Times Sport Book of the Year 2017, Jenny Landreth shares her stories of how women through history fought their way into the water.
• Short films: Watch a selection of awe-inspiring short films featuring swimmers from all walks of life; be transported from the Irish Sea, to the tropical waters of the Cook Islands and under the ice in Finland.
• Art exhibition: Nancy Farmer will be exhibiting a collection of paintings and drawings that celebrate the beauty of the human form underwater and tell the story of the camaraderie of swimming.
View full programme
Each session is free to attend, no need to book.
Back again in 2018, Swim England will be taking 15-minute one-to-one clinics to help you improve your technique in the open water. Children aged eight years and over can also learn to swim confidently with free 30-minute lessons. Sign up on the day at the Swim England’s Coaches Corner.
Swim Serpentine’s official partner, Club La Santa, will be running swimmers’ warm ups and have free kids face painting available. Families can also test their skills on the Surf Simulator and enjoy a selection of healthy food stalls that will be serving hot and cold food throughout the day.
Now in its third year, Swim Serpentine is established as a must-do event in the open water swimming calendar. In addition to the rare opportunity to swim in the Serpentine Lake, the event offers heated changing rooms, dunk zone, pontoon start and finish, electronic timing, full water safety crew, hot tubs and exhibition area.
Swimmers, spectators and festival-goers a recommended to use public transport to get to the festival. There is limited parking available at Hyde Park.
The half-mile and two-mile swims are now sold out but entries are still open for the one-mile distances.