Five beginner-friendly triathlon swims in the UK

We take a look at some of the best domestic races for building up confidence in the water

Triathletes entering a lake

Are you looking to enter your first triathlon this year but worried about the swim part?


We’ve rounded up five of the best beginner-friendly swims in the UK, all of which will help build up confidence and help you progress to the more challenging ones.

Blenheim Palace Triathlon

Where: Blenheim, Oxfordshire
Format: various distances
More info:

You’ll have to be quick if you want a place as this event sells out fast – and for good reason. The amazing setting and beginner-friendly lake swim combine with two distances – super sprint (400m swim) and sprint (750m) – for a truly memorable first triathlon.

Leeds Castle Triathlon

Where: Leeds Castle, Kent
Format: 750m swim/26km bike/5km run
More info:

If you want to take on a sprint distance with a twist, then this one could be for you. The swim section is held in the castle moat, meaning it should be pretty calm and flat. Not only that, but it gives great viewing points if your family want to see your first moment of open-water swimming glory.

South Coast Triathlon

Where: Seaford, East Sussex
Format: various distances
More info:

Are you determined to get into the sea for your first open-water triathlon? Then the South Coast Triathlon is definitely one worth considering. The super sprint distance has a non-scary 200m swim, while the event’s website has a wealth of handy tips for beginners.

Castle Howard

Where: Yorkshire

Format: various distances

More info:

A lake swim with calm, warm-ish July waters (for a lake in Yorkshire!),  set in a stunning setting – it can’t get much better for beginners. There are a variety of distances available from the supersprint 400m to the 1.9km middle distance.  Just make sure you book early as the event does sell out quickly.

Shock Absorber Women-Only Triathlon

Where: Dorney Lake, Eton
Format: various distances
More info:

Perfect for female newbies looking to try out open water, this event incorporates a number of distances starting at just 200m.

Dorney Lake is the Olympic rowing venue near Eton and offers clean, calm waters to swim in. Guys don’t
have to miss out either – Human Race offer a series of events at the venue throughout the year.


Sprint & super-sprint triathlons: 14 of the UK’s best for beginners

How to train for your first triathlon

The swim leg: 11 common fears and how to overcome them

Open water fears: overcome lake swim panic attacks

Are you looking to enter your first triathlon this year? Check out our Beginners section!