The Hurly Burly

Tim Marshall
Enter The Hurly Burly

Bwrlwm Bermo/ The Hurly Burly

Cymdeithas Nofio Awyr Agored/ The Outdoor Swimming Society


Congratulations and thank you to all the hardy souls that joined us for the very first Hurly Burly Run-Swim!

This Saturday morning (7th October) We welcomed 200 Swimmers, 20 runners, 28 Run-Swimmers (who did 10km of each) to test out the 10K Run and 10K Swim on the Mawddach Estuary and Trail that runs from Penmaenpool to Barmouth.

Fastest swimmers completed in 1hour 28 min, all swimmers persevered under changing conditions and temperatures between 11-12 degrees, all completing within 3 hours.

The hope is to grow the event into an annual run-swim catering for swimmers who have spent the summer months training and are looking for an end of season challenge. The conditions were always likely to be really autumnal, and we weren’t disappointed: Despite the exciting weather forecast, spirits were high, from the run start at dawn, to the hot chocolate around fire pits and BBQ breakfast to get warm at the end.

Especial thanks to our volunteers who have counted, marshalled, hugged, warmed up, made hot chocolate, put bunting up, (and down) and generally gone above and beyond to make this event work in the challenging first year (always the hardest), even running extra shuttles in their cars when the queue for the coach got too long.

The event has been made possible by the collective enthusiasm and help from the local community, in particular Merioneth Yacht Club, Gethin Williams and family, Richard Owen, for whom nothing has been too much trouble and who have collectively given the ideas, suggestions and practical help that has got the event off the ground.

Please share your pictures and stories from the here Hurly Burly 2017

Or join our community to find your next adventure Outdoor Swimming Society



This new 10k swim on October 7th takes swimmers from the beach to the mountains, on the edge of Snowdonia in North Wales. We’re looking forward to weather, wide open spaces, a wild landscape and a tidal push that is into bore category. We’re also looking forward to celebrating the change of the seasons in warm water: bring on the firepits, blackberries, pumpkins, gorse and empty beaches.

Runners can join us this year: we have a run / swim option as well as a stand alone 10k run and 10k swim. Skin swimmers welcome by application.


Graham Wynne
Vivienne Rickman Poole
Tim Bridges


Set in a North Wales on the edge of Snowdonia, this swim is the most beautiful we have ever found. It starts on the sandy beach of Barmouth, and takes swimmers underneath Barmouth Bridge, a mile and an iconic half wide railway bridge. The first part of the swim is up the wide and sandy estuary (hopefully with the wind behind us) with mountains on either side, and then it’s through ‘the narrows’ and into a more sheltered part of the estuary.

The whole swim takes place on a fast, incoming Spring tide that works like a bore to assist your swim. Past the narrows the water speeds up further, and the landscape becomes pastoral, the banks closer to you. We’re anticipating that 2017 swimmers will take 90+ minutes to complete the swim – a LOT faster than other 10ks.

The swim ends at Penmaenpool, where we will get changed, gather for hot food and to warm up on fire pits, and celebrate.



Just 200 swimmers are invited to join us in 2017, the pioneer year. This is a tester year, so you’ll be part of a small group of swimmers making history with us. So come knowing there might be a few things to learn along the way as we fine tune the event and enjoy the camaraderie of a small tester year.

Our swims are always about the journey (the only race is with yourself) and what a journey this is! It’s taken us 7 years of looking to find a swim route that rivals the Dart, and this is it. We begin on sandy Barmouth Beach, swim under historic Barmouth Bridge which is a mile and a half wide, and then plough up the wide part of the estuary, tide behind us, mountains in front, to the narrows. From here, things get increasingly pastoral as the channel narrows, with reed beds, the trial path and mountains on both sides.

This year the small numbers mean that we may need to place swimmers in groups with dedicated cover rather than spread out along the whole length of the estuary. This means you may be asked to swim in groups with one lifeguard, so may have to swim back to your group or be leapfrogged forward to keep with your group (unlike our other swims). Hopefully the views and team spirit will make up for it! This is part of what the pioneer year will clarify, the spread of swimmers in the tidal push and how to safely manage it. This year we are welcoming 25-35 minutes swimmers to keep a compact field. Very experienced skin swimmers who know they can handle the distance in a cruel cold wind can apply but we’re being cautious this year – email for a skins form.

Pioneer swimmers will receive 3 years of priority booking if the swim does become a permanent fixture.


Those prepared for a potentially wild and windy autumn experience – October waters should still be temperate enough, but we can not predict the weather!

You must be swimming between a 25 – 35 min mile to take part as we need a compact field to ensure safety cover. Swimmers outside of this speed category are asked to wait till 2018, when we will know for sure that we can manage the full spread of swimmers.


Kate Rew
Kate Rew


Our first dual event! A 10K run followed by the 10K swim for those of you keen for a double challenge. You will be bused to Penmaenpool to join the Mawdacch Trail, run 10k to the swim start in Barmouth alongside the banks of the estuary and across the Barmouth Bridge, then swim back under it with the other swimmers on the incoming tide. This is just a long run before a long swim: you can run in your running clothes, change and have a drink before setting off with the other swimmers (there is likely to be a small time gap between the two events giving time for this to happen, and swimmers to depart together).

A long run before a long swim requires good nutrition! The founder of, Mike Alexander, offers advice in ‘Survive’ so you don’t let running cramp your style. Please read!


The 10K run takes place at the same time as the swim, so at some point in the course you will see swimmers in the estuary beside you. The route will take you from Barmouth Beach, over the iconic Barmouth bridge then flanks the estuary all the way to Penmaenpool.

Perfect for supporters who might not be water lovers but would like to get in on the action.


Located on the west coast of Snowdonia, with a long sandy beach and a picturesque harbour bordered by the dramatically beautiful Mawddach estuary – Barmouth is the perfect destination for traditional seaside holidays, walking and outdoor activity breaks, or fresh air getaways at any time of year – Read more 



Felix Russell Saw


The Hurly Burly will be a early morning event. Times below are an estimate and full timing will be release nearer to the event.


  • 4.30 – 7.30pm Pre event registration for swimmers / runners at Barmouth Yacht Club Boat House.


  • 6:30am Registration in Barmouth (for those who haven’t registered on the Friday)
  • 7:00am Run-Swimmers set off from Penmaenpool
  • 8:00am Swimmers & Runners set off from Barmouth
  • 12:00 Return to Barmouth

Coach transfers will be available for swimmers, runners and supporters.


Our thanks go to Barmouth Council, Snowdonia National Parks, Merioneth Yacht Club and many individuals and local groups for their support.

Long standing OSS event supporter Alpkit will be the Primary Supporter of the Hurly Burly Pioneer Year


A direct beneficiary of OSS events is The Outdoor Swimming Society, who raises funds through the event for it’s public-facing work in outdoor swimming throughout the year. The Outdoor Swimming Society is run as a social enterprise or not for profit. Just by entering you are supporting us. If you want to get sponsored to swim for us you can ask people donate to you via paypal, or just collect donations and send a cheque. Please contact the event manager for details

We also partner with local and sympathetic charities on our events, helping them to raise money with sponsored swimmers. Charities interested in partnering with the Hurly Burly in 2018 and beyond are warmly invited to talk to us – please contact Liz the event manager.



Graham Wynne
Graham Wynne
Graham Wynne
Graham Wynne
Graham Wynne
Graham Wynne
Graham Wynne
Graham Wynne


After the statutory 14 day cooling off period, your ticket is yours to keep. Places cannot be exchanged, refunded or deferred for any reason, including injury, medical issues or factors outside of your control.

Please note that should the event be cancelled due to extreme conditions which include (but are not limited to) high winds and heavy rain impeding the view of the swimmers by the safety cover on the day, or unexpected pollution in the water, no refunds will be given. Taking out event insurance that would allow refunds or a replacement event in this unlikely situation would add significantly to the ticket price and the view has been taken that it is better to have a lower ticket price and small risk. Please see our Event Terms for more information.


For example from . Please note this is a totally separate organisation from the OSS and you can chose to buy insurance against the possibility of the event being cancelled due to extreme weather from this or any other company. Alternatively you can accept the small risk of not getting a refund in the case of event cancellation.


Our events are run, on the land, by a small army of volunteers. If you or your supporters would like to join the #OSSteam for the day or the weekend, please email Volunteer team members get a discount on their swim entry; access to early-bird tickets in future years, and make this swim possible for others.

Enter The Hurly Burly