Event Info

Festival Info

The 2018 Swim Serpentine festival featured inspiring talks and short films that celebrate the inspiring characters and incredible adventures from the world of open water swimming. The festival was hosted by Jonathan Cowie, Editor of Outdoor Swimmer magazine, and Contributing Editor Alice Gartland.

Check out the festival schedule below to see everything that was on offer at the 2018 edition of Swim Serpentine.

Festival Schedule

10:00-10:45 & 13:15-13:50 Talk: Beth French

© Against The Tides

From wheelchair bound to world class athlete, Beth French stretches the horizons of her own possibilities, tackling feats of endurance and adventure. 

Find out the many faces of triumph she met in her attempt at completing the Oceans 7 swims in one year. 

Beth is the star of documentary film Against the Tides – you can watch the trailer here

10:50-11:35 & 13:55-14:40 Talk: Pioneering women in open water

© Nando Farah

Jenny Landreth is the author of Swell: A Waterbiography – The Sunday Times Sport Book of the Year 2017.

Part social history, part memoir, Swell uncovers a world of secret swimming in the face of these exclusions and shines a light on the 'swimming suffragettes'. It celebrates some amazing achievements, some ridiculous outfits and some fantastic swimmers who challenge the stereotypes of what women are capable of. 

Jenny shares her stories of women from the history of open water swimming, from Gertrude Ederle to Freda Streeter, in a hilarious, funny and bold account of how women fought their way into the water, and of what they did once they got there.

11:40-12:35 & 14:45-15:45 Films: Swimming Around the World


A selection of incredible short films featuring swimmers from all walks of life; you’ll be transported from the Irish Sea, to the tropical waters of the Cook Islands and under the ice in Finland...

12:40-13:15 Reading and Q&A: The Lido by Libby Page

Libby Page is a Sunday Times bestselling author. Her debut novel The Lido tells the story of the unlikely friendship between Rosemary, 86, and Kate, 26, as they come together to save their local lido from closure.

Libby is a keen outdoor swimmer herself and shares her wild swimming adventures with her sister on Instagram at @theswimmingsisters.

At Swim Serpentine, Libby will swim the one-mile distance and then host a reading of The Lido and a Q&A session themed around some of the issues explored in her book; the mental health benefits, community benefits and pure joy that swimming can bring.

  Paintings by Nancy Farmer


As well as the films and talks at the Swim Serpentine Festival, artist Nancy Farmer will be exhibiting a collection of her paintings.

Nancy is an open water and winter swimming enthusiast whose drawings tell the story of her own swims and other peoples', from channel crossings to quiet swims in a favourite lake.

Check out Nancy's drawings, paintings and design work at waterdrawn.com

This event is curated by Kendal Mountain Festival