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Simonweller abovebelow 4765

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1 day
Day Trip

Tour Highlights

  • This unique SwimTrek package in association with RuckRaft.

  • Swim along a stunning part of the River Cam and hike through the riverside woodland paths to Grantchester Meadows.

  • The chance to swim to Newnham Swimming club, a small English paradise.

This unique SwimTrek package in association with RuckRaft. The action starts at Cambridge train station where there is a nice winding walking route down the side of the botanical gardens, through parks and riverside woodland paths to Grantchester Meadows. It’s then a mile or two down the side of the river to the Orchard Tea rooms where the ‘Bloomsbury set’ wrote their poems, we take a break here to enjoy some optional first class tea and scones.

We then prepare ourselves for the water, swimming back up the river along the route you just hiked down. As we near the end of the riverside paths, we keep going and come across the riverside entrance to Newnham Swimming club, a small English paradise.

From there we enjoy a hike through Cambridge, along the backs of the colleges to Jesus Green Lido for our final swim. The day finishes with a wander back through Cambridge with a stop or two at the finest pubs (we like The Pint Shop).

Who is this trip for?

Swimmers should have a basic understanding of open water swimming and be capable of completing the average daily swim distances of around 3km (current-assisted) prior to the start of the trip. Hiking and trekking across recognised footpaths will be included in this trip as well as you swimming with your belongings with a trustworthy Ruckraft!

What's included?

  • Fully guided tour and safety support

What's not included?

  • Travel to and from the start of the tour
  • Any food or drink required during the day

Daily Itineraries

Please note that the below daily itineraries are an example of the swims that may take place during the course of your trip, however, actual swim locations and distances will vary according to local weather and water conditions. Your SwimTrek guides will determine the most suitable swim locations and will communicate the plan with all guests as soon as possible.

River Cam Sample Itinerary

Initially we will hold a pre-swim briefing where we will discuss the plan for the swim and safety points. One of the swim guides will be in the water with a RuckRaft and the other guide will be on a Rescue board. They will be able to carry some a limited amount of clothing/towels with them, so if required there will spare Ruckrafts for you to carry your belongings with you.

The meeting point is at Cambridge train station and we hike to Grantchester Meadows. This is a lovely winding mile or two walk through the meadows, down the side of the botanical gardens and along the riverside woodland footpaths to the Orchard Team rooms, where the famous ‘Bloomsbury Set’ wrote their poetry. We recommend a quick tea break here as the tea and scones are said to be 'first class'.

Once refuelled, we swim back up the river (following the route back the way we came) taking in the view from the riverbank (We always aim to swim with the current, which goes from the Orchard tea Rooms towards the Newnham Swimming Club). As we near the end of the riverside paths we continue to the riverside entrance of the Newnham Swimming club (a small English paradise). From there, the final swim ends at Hodson's Folly.

Once out of the water we wander through the city to Jesus Green Lido where your day of swimming finishes with a swim in the Lido. There is then an optional wander back through Cambridge with a stop or two at the finest pubs in town (we like The Pint Shop).

Trip Schedule

Start Point: Cambridge Train Station

Start Time: 10:00 on Day 1

Finish Point: Cambridge Train Station

Finish Time: 17:00 on Day 1

Trip Information

Equipment Checklist

In addition to your daily non-swimming clothes, we also recommend that you bring the following items:

Item Item
Swimming Costumes (x2) Sun Hat and Sun Cream
Swimming Goggles* (x2) Aqua Shoes / Sandals
Towel Small Day Pack (Preferably Waterproof)
Wetsuit** Personal Drink Bottle (x2)

*Try to bring one clear lens and one tinted lens for different light conditions.

**Due to the variable nature of conditions on these swims, it is advisable to bring a wetsuit along with you to use if required.

SwimTrek will supply swim hats, water and electrolyte drinks. The guides will no longer distribute shared drinks bottles but will fill your personal drink bottles. Please ensure these are clearly marked to help our guides identify yours. If you would like to use a wetsuit, rash vest or fins during your swims, please ensure that you bring these with you. For more on our Updated Packing List check out our Covid-19 guidance.

Swimmer Ability

This is a combination of a 2.5km river swim in the River Cam, a 6 km walk through historical Cambridge and a final swim in Jesus Green Lido. There are some limited get out points along the river swim, but you should plan to be able to swim the full 3km, and be confident in the open water.

Swimming Distances

Swim Distances
Granchester Meadows & Orchard Tea Rooms to Newnham Swimming Club 1.5km
Newnham Swimming Club to Hodson's Folly 1km
Jesus Green Lido 1km

Walking Distances and Conditions

Most of the walking is on recognised tracks and paths, in total there is 6km of hiking. SwimTrek recommends a pair of trainers or walking sandals for this trip.


Month Water Temp (°C) Air Temp (°C)
July 16˚C 24˚C
August 17˚C 24˚C
September 17˚C 22˚C

*Please note that these temperatures are indicative and should be used as a guide only.

Weather Caveat

For safety reasons, we rely on decent weather conditions when carrying out our swims. As a consequence, open water swimming holidays require a certain degree of on-trip flexibility which can result in changes to the planned itinerary. These changes often add a touch of uniqueness to your trip and will be communicated to you by your SwimTrek guides as quickly as possible.

Group Size

This trip has a maximum group size of 16 guests. The group will be split into a maximum of two groups, based on speed, with each group being accompanied by your SwimTrek guide and safety support crew.

Boat support on this trip may be a combination of paddle boards, shore and in water safety cover. Please note that this safety support is subject to change without notice and cannot be guaranteed.

Practical Information


Should you want to stay in this beautiful area there is plentiful accommodations in Cambridge.

Extra Expenses

You should bring extra money with you to cover items such as coffees snacks and parking. The local currency in the U.K. is British Pound Sterling (£).

Passports and Visas

Non-residents of UK require a full passport to enter the country, which should be valid for six months beyond the expected length of stay. Citizens of all EU member states, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand do not require a visa to enter the UK. Please note that visa regulations are subject to change and we advise that you check your own visa requirements prior to travel.

Health Information

For comprehensive health information for people travelling to the UK, including all recommended and required vaccinations, please visit Travel Health Pro. Please note that this information is subject to change and you should re-check this site regularly prior to your trip.

Travel Plugs & Electricity

For a useful source of information on the different electrical outlets, electrical plugs, and electric sockets, please visit

Book with Confidence

Our new flexible booking conditions include a 7-day refund guarantee and free trip changes.

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Our River Cam swims are currently unavailable. We have other live UK adventures available to book.