These summer and autumn swim events – for all abilities – are in eye-catching locations that make taking the plunge well worth it
A swim with a side-helping of London history, the Boulter’s to Bray started in the 19th century, when it was a race organised by Maidenhead Swimming Club. Boulter’s Lock, a Victorian swimming and boating spot, is the starting point. The swim heads downstream, passes under the 13-arched Maidenhead Bridge and past Guards Club Island, where the British army guards brigade had a club for punting and rowing. It then continues under Brunel’s ingenious Sounding Arch railway bridge to the finish. This stretch of the Thames is known as “millionaires’ row”, but you don’t need to be part of the super-elite to take part in this swim, and it’s ideal for beginners, too, taking place along a narrow, quiet stretch of river. Afterwards, watch the swish rivercraft from the terrace at The Boathouse at Boulter’s Lock, or take a picnic to Ray Mill Island.
• 3 July, tickets on sale in May, distances: 1.4km and 2.8km, £31-£35, wetsuits mandatory, boulterstobrayswim.org