Bwrlwm Bermo/Hurly Burly

The fastest 10k you'll find: fun, messy and the best way to see out a summer of swimming

Jess Rose
Enter Bwrlwm Bermo/Hurly Burly


Our current stance on the Hurly Burly and the Coronavirus situation can be found here.


Our swims are always about the journey and what a journey this is. It took us 7 years of looking to find a swim route that rivals the Dart 10k, and this is it.

Set in North Wales on the edge of Snowdonia, this is the most beautiful swim we have ever found. It starts on the sandy beach of Barmouth, and takes swimmers underneath Barmouth Bridge, a mile and a half wide iconic railway bridge. The first part of the swim is up the wide and sandy estuary 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 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. Runners will run alongside the estuary on a flat gravel track, taking in the spectacular view along the way.

For those who fancy a challenge, there is the chance to take part in The Outdoor Swimming Society’s only Run-swim event. Run-swimmers will run from Penmaenpool to Barmouth, take a break and then join the main swimming event. 

The swim and run ends at Penmaenpool, to change, gather for hot food warm up on fire pits and in hot tubs, and celebrate another wonderful year of swim.



The Hurly Burly will take place on Saturday the 19th of September. Registration will be open on Friday afternoon and early on the Saturday morning, to enable an early start for run-swimmers, runners, and swimmers. 

Registration packs will be sent by post, but you will still need to leave time to register before your swim – detailed event timings will be shared with swimmers in the event information pack, around 2 months before the event. 


The 11K 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.


A 11K 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 11k 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 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 will 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!

Jess Rose


We recommend that run-swimmers can run 11k in around 1 hr 30 minutes, whilst run-only entrants have no time limit. Swimmers should be able to swim at least 7km confidently and be able to maintain a swim speed of 35 minutes or faster (measured as the time it takes you to swim a mile of relaxed continuous front crawl in a pool, without big push-offs).  Swimmers and runners should be ready for a bad weather day (choppy water or a headwind), and for cold temperatures in and out of the water – extra layers of neoprene for swimmers or a windproof layer for runners are suggested.


Tickets for the Hurly Burly will go on sale on 14.11.19 at 7 am, via the link at the top of this page. Entry will be on a first come first served basis, so will be on sale until they sell out. 

Everyone is welcome, so whether you want to come along as part of a group or want to enter individually, we would love you to join us! Swimmers aged 16 and 17 are welcome, but will need their parent or guardian to provide parental consent prior to the swim. 

We advise collecting all the information you will need to enter before starting the ticket buying process to make the experience as smooth as possible. We’ve made a handy swimmer information form for you to collect the information you need to enter each swimmer, so you can collate information at your leisure before tickets are released and are then ready to go! If you’re entering a group of people (there’s no limit to how many people you can enter at one time) we suggest you collect this information for all swimmers before buying tickets.  


Tickets for the Hurly Burly are £110 for the swim and £129 for the run-swim.

Tickets for the Hurly Burly run are £24.

Jess Rose


We have worked with a remarkable professional water safety team for over 10 years, who deliver the best water safety and support at all our events. Swimmers are flanked by professionally qualified employed lifeguards throughout the swim. There is no feeding station – instead swimmers are advised to tuck sustenance into their wetsuit, such as an energy gel.  Lifeguards will also carry emergency supplies. 


We welcome skins and suits swimmers at our events, but Skin Swimmer Passes must be applied for and are not guaranteed. All tickets are sold on the basis that participants will wear full length swimming wetsuits or full length sleeveless wetsuit. 

WETSUITS: Your wetsuit must, at least, cover you from shoulders to below the knee, be made of neoprene and be designed for swimming / triathlon / swim-run (i.e. not scuba diving or surfing).Surf wetsuits do not offer the same mobility or buoyancy balance as swim wetsuits, which leads to physical issues completing longer swims. 

SKIN SWIMMER PASS: Skin Swimmers Passes are awarded on the basis of suitable experience and must be applied for by the 9th August 2020 using this form. Once granted, the pass is valid for all 2020 OSS events. Applications are vetted by the Events Managers and decisions are non-negotiable. 

Swimmers who completed a 2019 event with The Outdoor Swimming Society in skins or swimmers will automatically be granted a 2020 Skins Swimmer Pass. 

If you are fairly new to skins swimming, but think you’ll want to swim the event in without a wetsuit please fill in the Skins Swimmer Pass application form nearer to the deadline so you can provide the experience you have had to date, rather than what you expect to do.  If you don’t get a pass and don’t want to swim in a wetsuit you can transfer your ticket to a friend. Cut off for ticket transfers for the Hurly Burly is 16th August 2020, one week after the Skins Swimmer Pass application deadline. 

Vivienne Rickman Poole


Most people swim our events using front crawl, but we do have swimmers that do butterfly and breaststroke. Breaststroke is not generally recommended because it’s hard on the knees to swim this distance in a wetsuit. If you are planning to do this swim fly, please let us know – We would love to follow your journey!


We welcome and can generally accommodate swimmers with physical disabilities who would like to swim. It is essential that those with disabilities, or anyone who has concerns about their ability to take part in this event, seek their doctor’s advice before taking part, and please contact us email the event manager prior to or within 14 days of buying a ticket to discuss how we can accommodate you. Swimmers with additional needs will be accommodated within the existing water safety provision wherever reasonable adjustments are possible (no separate arrangements can be made), and will need to attend an additional safety briefing prior to the swim.


Events run by The Outdoor Swimming Society are tow-float free. We have ample safety cover who watch swimmers via their brightly coloured hats. Tow floats makes sighting swimmers more difficult by doubling the number of brightly coloured objects in the water, and may entangle other swimmers. It is sometimes stated that tow floats make retrieving an unconscious swimmer easier, however tow floats are not tested or rated to act as a safety device in this way. Snorkels and fins are not permitted as the hard edges risk injuring other swimmers at the swim start in particular.

Most swimmers with personal medication tuck it up the sleeve of their wetsuit – however, if this doesn’t cover your needs and you want to use a tow float for this purpose please contact the event manager.

Jess Rose
Vivienne Rickman Poole
Jess Rose


All swimmers and their supporters will park in Barmouth (car parking charges apply).  Spectators can then take a coach (prebooked tickets only) to the finish village to meet their swimmers and runners, at the George III Pub, Penmaenpool, where there will be good food, fire pits and hot tubs for all to enjoy. Spectators and entrants (a free coach transfer to Barmouth is included in event tickets) can then make their way back to Barmouth. 

Please note, there is NO PARKING at the event finish. There is very limited disabled parking at the event finish, but it is not possible for event traffic other than these permit holders to park anywhere near the event finish – if you need a disabled car pass please contact us

Jess Rose


Our events are run, on land, by a small but fantastic army of volunteers. If you or your supporters would like to join the #OSSteam for event day or a day around the event, please read this Hurly Burly volunteering factsheet. #OSSteam members will receive a free top, free parking during the event, a discount on a future swim entry and Hurly Burly 2020 event merchandise, early-bird access to 2021 tickets for all OSS events, and a whole lot of love from The Outdoor Swimming Society Events team and swimmers as they make this swim possible for others.

Jess Rose


After the statutory 14 day cooling off period, tickets cannot be refunded or deferred. 

If you know you will not be able to attend the event:

We realise that situations change and you might get injured, change jobs, or get invited to your best friend’s wedding. As your entry is NON refundable we suggest you consider taking out insurance to cover any costs you incur if you are not able to attend the event. Please check the conditions of your policy carefully to make sure it provides the cover you require.

You may be able to transfer your ticket to another swimmer. The transfer window will run from 14 days after the day tickets sell out until 16th August 2020. If tickets do not sell out, transfers will not be offered.

You will need to find a recipient for your ticket (we recommend advertising you ticket on the relevant event Facebook page) and you will need to arrange for the transfer of payment for the ticket between yourselves. You are responsible for making sure the recipient is aware of all of the terms of the ticket, including any fundraising or volunteer commitments included within the ticket. 

The recipient of the transfer should visit the Hurly Burly ticket page and pay £20 for a “Hurly Burly 2020 ticket transfer”. After the 16th August 2020, your ticket is yours to keep and no transfers are possible. 

If the event is cancelled by The Outdoor Swimming Society:

No refunds are given if we have to cancel or curtail the event due to adverse weather, pollution, or other factors outside of our control.

The OSS has a robust attitude to both safety and risk and works with an extremely professional water safety crew to ensure that the event will run if it is safe to do so. In the unlikely event we have to cancel on the event day or immediately before the event due to, for example, storms, lightning, or heavy rain that impedes the view of the safety team then you will not be offered a refund or a deferred entry to the next year’s event. At this point, everything will be in place for the event to take place and most, if not all, event expenses will have been incurred.

The OSS does not hold cancellation insurance to cover this eventuality as insurance of this nature is extremely expensive. We have taken this decision to keep the price of the events down as much as possible, and in recognition of the relatively low risk of an event being cancelled. In 10 years of holding swimming events, we have only had to cancel on one occasion.

Please see our Event Terms and Conditions for more information. 

Jess Rose


Swimmers are free to raise money for any charity (or none), and we are delighted to partner with Level Water once again as our primary event partner charity.

Level Water is a young and fast growing charity whose fortunes were changed overnight by involvement in the Dart 10k. The charity provides one-to-one swimming lessons for disabled children across the country, teaching them the basics then help them to join mainstream lessons and competitive clubs.

To help support its work, The Outdoor Swimming Society receives funds from sales of tickets for branded OSS events and merchandise. Every purchase you make supports the running of the society, which is a not-for-profit organisation in it’s self defined role as the UK’s (and the world’s)  best inspirer and informer on the art and sport of swimming.

Thank you for the continued support of our sponsors:


Thank you for the continued support of our supporters: Gwynedd County Council, Merioneth Yacht Club, Snowdonia National Park, the staff at the George III Hotel and Barmouth Leisure Centre, Barry and Susan Brightmore, Richard and Pat Owen, Gail Hall and local residents and businesses in and around Barmouth and Penmaenpool.


Enter Bwrlwm Bermo/Hurly Burly