Henley Swim Festival - Henley Swim - Inspirational Swim Events - Open Water Swimming

Henley Swim Festival

Incorporating the Henley Mile

SUNDAY 14th JULY 2019


When and Where:
14th July 2019 9.30am – 3.30pm
Temple Island Meadows, Henley-on-Thames

1 Mile
1/2 Mile

Entry Fee:
Earliest Bird Entries from £26

Age 8+
Wetsuits Optional


The Outdoor Swimmer Henley Swim Festival, incorporating the Henley Mile, promises swimmers of all abilities, and ages (8+), the chance to be part of a bumper weekend festival of swimming.

Offering a swim for everyone
The event includes multiple-distances, free taster sessions, and the chance to swim with elite level competitors. Whether you are coming for a serious timed swim, or simply want to dip your toes in with a supervised session, there is nothing quite as exhilarating as swimming in open water, a sport that continues to grow around the world and which offers both physical and mental benefits.

Entertainment and atmospheric event village
You and your supporters can enjoy the atmospheric festival ‘village’ for post swimming celebrations, information and advice, and spectator entertainment including craft, yoga, live music and more.

Stunning location
Set on the most beautiful and prestigious stretch of the Thames, the event takes place just one week after the Henley Royal Regatta.

Make it a weekend
We couldn’t’ resist opening a campsite for those who would like to make it a weekend and enjoy the unique spot by the riverside. You would be hard pressed to find a better view for your pre-swim morning coffee!


All Mile waves are age 14+

09:30 am Mile Wave 1
10:15 am Mile Wave 2 – Women Only
11:00 am Mile Wave 3
12:00 pm Henley Splash (200m age 8-12)
12:20 pm Half Mile (age 9+)
13:00 pm Mile Wave 4
13:45 pm Mile Wave 5
14:30 pm Mile Wave 6

4x Mile Challenge (waves 1,3,4 & 6)
Suits vs Skins (any 2 non-consecutive mile waves)


What are the distances?

The distance options are:

200m (age 8-12)

Half Mile (age 9+)

Mile (age 14+)

You can swim the mile twice (once in a wetsuit and once without) in the suits vs skins challenge, or four times in the 4 Mile Challenge

All courses are downstream and finish at the Event Area.

PLEASE NOTE YOU WILL NEED TO WALK TO THE START OF EACH EVENT (1 MILE, ½ MILE, 200M) If this is a problem, please contact enquiries@henleyswim.com and we may be able to help.

How do I enter?

Once you have decided which distance you would like to swim, you can go to our online registration system and select your entry option. As well as providing your personal details, you will need to select a wave. For the Mile there is a choice of 6 waves throughout the day – you can select the one that suits you best. Wave 2 is a women’s only wave. For Suits vs Skins you can select a combination of waves to suit you. The 4 Mile Challenge swimmers will go in waves 1,3,4 & 6.

NB: All mile swimmers should be confident of being able to swim at least 2.5k non-stop to take part in this event and half mile swimmers should be able to swim 1km non-stop. All Henley splash swimmers should have completed basic swimming lessons and be comfortable treading water in the deep end of a swimming pool. Ideally they should be able to swim 20 lengths without stopping.

Will there be prizes?

As there are waves throughout the day, the results of the Mile and Suits vs Skins for both adults and juniors will not be known until the last wave is complete. Swimmers will be able to check their times after their swim, and a complete list of results, including age group positions, will be available online at the end of the day.

There will be prize giving for the junior Half Mile and Splash events. These will be broken down by sex and age group, and will be presented at the event soon after the results are available.

Can I swim any categories with my children?

Yes, you can swim with your children in all events.

The Mile – if your child is 14 or over you can swim the mile together, please make sure you select the same wave during the registration process.

The Half Mile – if your child is 9 or over you can swim the half mile together.

The Splash – if your child is aged 8-12, one adult can accompany the child free of charge. Register your child for the Splash, tick the accompanying adult box, and add your details where requested. If you are swimming with more than one child, only add your details on the registration of the first child.

Children are allowed to swim alone, and do not need to have an accompanying adult.

What is the Suits vs Skins Challenge?

In a bid to once and for all determine the performance boost given by wetsuits, competitors will have the opportunity to take part in the “Suits v Skins Challenge“.

Anyone who wants to take part in this challenge will need to swim the Mile twice: once with a wetsuit and once without.

The winner will be the person with the fastest cumulative time for the two miles – but everyone taking part will see what difference swimming in a wetsuit really makes.

How to Enter

To enter, simply select Suits vs Skins on the registration form. You will then be able to choose your combination of waves from a drop down list. You should wear your wetsuit for the first swim, and swim ‘traditional’ for the second.

The wave combinations are as follows:

9:30am & 11:00am

9:30am & 13:00pm

9:30am & 13:45pm

9:30am & 14:30pm

10:15am & 13:00pm Women Only

10:15am & 13:45pm Women Only

10:15am & 14:30pm Women Only

11:00am & 13:00pm

11:00am & 13:45pm

11:00am & 14:30

13:00pm & 14:30pm

Is there camping at the event site?

Camping is available on the Saturday night at the event site. Complete the festival experience by arriving the night before your swim and enjoying an evening by the river or in Henley. You will wake up to stunning views of the River Thames, ready to tackle your swim and enjoy all that the Henley Swim Festival has to offer.

Is parking available?

There is plenty of parking available at the event, we encourage you to car share wherever possible. Cars will be charged £10 to park, or £5 if booked in advance when registering. Subscribers to Outdoor Swimmer magazine will receive free parking, so should not pre-book. Details of how to claim the free parking will be available from Outdoor Swimmer nearer to the event.

How much does it cost to swim?

The prices for all the various swim options are available on the entry system. Prices are currently ‘Earliest Bird’, and will be available until the end of February, when there will be an increase. Book early to guarantee the best prices.

Can I bring spectators?

Absolutely. We would love you to bring friends and family to support you, and there is plenty for them to do on the land. There is no charge for spectators, and you are able to pre-book additional car parking if required. Spectators can walk alongside the river, cheering you on, for the entire course.

Wetsuit Hire

Wetsuits hire for 2019 is to be confirmed. Please check back nearer to the event.

Event Memorabilia

There will be event memorabilia available to purchase both in advance and at the event. Please keep an eye on our website for details.

Swimmer's Forum

We have set up a Facebook Forum called Henley Swim Chatter, where you are able to discuss anything with fellow swimmers from nutrition and training tips to event transport.

Water Temperature

The water temperature at the Henley Swim Festival will depend upon both the outside temperature and the quantity of rainfall in the days and weeks running up to the event. It is therefore very difficult to predict.

Based on previous years, in mid-July, we would expect the water to be between 17 and 20 degrees centigrade.