Utterly Buttermere Swim Briefing Notes

Welcome to the Utterly Buttermere Swim 2013, to ensure you are prepared and get as much as possible from this fantastic event please read the following event notes. 

  1. Event HQ /Registration/ Updates
  2. Parking
  3. Event Schedule
  4. The Course & The Finish
  5. Retirements / Safety / Kit notes / Toilets
  6. Protecting Buttermere & The Environment
  7. Further Info and FAQ’s
  8. Dates for your diary
  9. Event Sponsors & Partners

 NB: Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate, its going to be warm!


The event HQ is based from the National Trust field at the North West corner of Buttermere Lake (Grid ref OL4 173 164). Registration, start/finish will be located here.

This is approx. 400m down the bridleway track from the Fish Hotel. NB: there is no vehicle access down the bridleway track. 

Registration is in the event HQ on the lakeshore field. Collect your numbered swim cap at registration.  

Click for more Buttermere village info

Event Updates:

We strongly suggest you check this page before travelling to the event for last minute updates and our facebook event pageplus any information posted at registration. 


Free event car parking for participants only is situated in the field adjacent to the Lake District National Park (LDNP) car park. 

Turn into Buttermere village at the Bridge Hotel, pass Croft Farm café on your left, head to the right of the Fish hotel.  Drive into the LDNP car park, pass the public toilets on your left, the field is thorough the gate on your left.  The event parking is subject to ground conditions and will be closed if the field is too wet. 


Parking map & event area map here

Please park sensibly, :) do not park on verges :( . All parking is entirely at your own risk. 

Please arrive with a minimum of 2 people per car. More parking suggestions here

Map/ Directions : Enter your postcode and get Directions to Buttermere event here (scroll to bottom of page)



Fri 7th June 2013

18:00  - 19:30- ish         Registration Open (For any keen beans who get there early :) )

Sat 8th June 2013

7.20am                        Event Car Park Opens (closes 09:30)


07:30 – 08.45              Registration open
09:10                          Event Briefing at Start / lake shore 
09:30                          Start 1.5k

5k + 10k

07:30 – 09.15             Registration open
10.15                         Event Briefing at start / lake shore
10:45                         Start in one wave

15:30                         Prize Giving: Spot prizes for outstanding achievement  and 1st & 2nd Woman/Man finisher.

Briefing: The swim event briefing is compulsory for event safety, please see times above. 



The Course map is on the website here

The start is between the two yellow buoys

The 5k & 10k course involves a full circuit of the lake keeping relatively close to the shoreline at all times. Following a clockwise direction keep swim buoys to your right at all times. Swim between the buoys and the shore.  Buoys will be situated in the bays and inlets, it is essential that you follow these to cover the full distance. Please bear in mind the Utterly Buttermere Swim is designed as a swim around a lake, not around buoys. 

10k cut-off times:  the cut off time for one lap is 2:15min (for 10k swimmers only). 

The marshal / feed station located at the far south end of the lake near the road (Grid Ref: OL4 191 153) will have energy food ( Kendal mint cake & 9bar ) and water. Hot drinks will be available for retiring swimmers. 
If you would like to leave your own food/ drink please take complete responsibility for this. (arrange your own drop off and collection of empties). We recommend you leave your stash were you can see it as the marshal will be busy with numbers Thanks.

You must swim around the south feed station buoy and ensure the marshal gets your number. Failure to swim around this buoy and give your number to the marshal will result in disqualification. 

There will also be energy food and water at the start/ finish; you may stop, rest get refreshment at any time. 

The Finish:

Turn left around the yellow buoy, swim between the two small exit buoys, leave the lake and enter the finish funnel. You must exit the lake and enter the finish funnel to get a recorded time.  Pick up your well earned piece of Wilf’s Flapjack. :)

You have finished as soon as you enter the finish funnel on land.


Retirements / Safety / Kit notes / Toilets

Retirements: If you retire from the event at any point after registration for whatever reason you must show your number/ numbered hat to event HQ at the start / finish. This is an essential safety requirement of the event. 

Safety Personnel: There will be safety kayaks positioned intermittently throughout the course and also land based rescue personnel based on the shoreline. If you get into difficulty roll onto your back, raise an arm and wave it to attract attention. Stay calm and obey any instructions. 

If able, swim to the shore and locate the nearest land based safety marshal. 

In the event of extreme water conditions the swim may be shortened or cancelled for safety reasons. 

Kit Notes: Full length wetsuits will be mandatory, no shorty / surf type wetsuits. The expected water temperature is 13c. Neoprene hats, hand and foot cover may be worn, as long as it does not aid propulsion or inhibit your swim ability or safety. 

Swim Equipment Purchases: We'll have a limited selection of goggles, anti-chafe, swim socks, swim caps at the event for last minute cash purchases.  Please ask at the registration/ Event HQ .

Non- Wetsuit swimmers (previously arranged): Support kayaks need to be carried from the village / parking spot to the lake shore or put in at the south feed station (see map) and paddled 2k to the start. Don't forget your suncream! There is no lake shore vehicle access at the start so please allow your-self plenty of time. Your kayakers must stay with you at all times. We reserve the right to withdraw any swimmer and kayak from the event, the organiser’s decision is final. 

Toilets: Located in the main LDNPA car park to the right of the Fish Hotel. There are no toilet facilities at the lakeshore.

 Parking map & event area inc toilets map here


Check – Clean- Dry your Wetsuit:

Buttermere is a crystal clear Lake and we are working closely with the West Cumbria Rivers Trust to ensure it remains free from invasive aquatic species which alter the local ecology and physically clog up the waterways. 

All wetsuits, equipment and kayaks must be rinsed in clean water and be dry for at least 72 hours before entering Buttermere.  Find out more here Protecting Buttermere

Car Sharing:

To protect the beauty of this little village this year we are encouraging all competitors to car share,  it’s a great way to share costs and enjoy some event camaraderie. Please arrive with a minimum of 2 people per car. 

Remove all litter: don’t leave anything, not a single scrap anywhere please.



Results: Will be available on the event website www.utterlybuttermereswim.co.uk & www.HeadtotheHills.co.uk as soon as possible after the event.

Weather Forecast: The Lake District is a mountainous region and the weather can deteriorate at any time of the year so please come prepared with approriate clothing. For UK weather forecast visit www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/weatherline

Spectators: There are public footpaths around the shoreline (with the exception of the south east section) making it an excellent venue for family and friends to follow your progress. 

Event Photography: The Utterly Buttermere will be filmed by RunLakes.com



23rd June & 3rd Aug  Helvellyn Double Dipper

7th July  Wetsuit Try-on Event Windermere

19th -21st July & 23rd - 25th August Windermere Wild Swimming Weekend 

June 2014 Utterly Buttermere Swim



A huge Thank you to:

BlueSeventy http://www.blueseventy.co.uk/

Strel Swimming Adventures http://www.strel-swimming.com

The Epic Centre, Ambleside http://www.theepicentre.co.uk/

Truncator, The Multi Log Sawhorse http://www.truncator.co.uk/

The Open Water Swimming Club http://www.openwaterswimmingclub.co.uk/

Wilfs Cafe  http://www.wilfs-cafe.co.uk/

Cumbria PR http://www.cumbriapr.com/

NO-AD SUNCREAM http://www.noadsuncream.co.uk/