The UK's largest open water swim, the Arla Great North Swim, was held at Brockhole on Windermere over the weekend, drawing in 7,500 swimmers and 20,000 spectators.

The 17th staging of the event saw people of all ages come together for the occasion from Friday, June 7, to Sunday, June 9.

Over the course of the weekend, participants took part in a range of water-based activities that varied from a 250 metres swim, up to a marathon-length 10k swim, to the SwimRun.

Alongside the swimming, fun-filled outdoor activities, local cuisine and drink stalls made for an entertaining few days out for families and spectators.

The event attracted those looking for a personal challenge as well as those raising funds for good causes.

One such case is the touching story of siblings Sarah and Ben Wilson from Nuneaton, Warwickshire.

Ms Wilson credits swimming with aiding her physical and mental health recovery after having her leg amputated.

She decided to participate in the swim to fundraise for the Bone Cancer Research Trust, with her brother joining her to show his support.

Another poignant cause was in remembering the vibrant life of Lauren McFarland.

One group swam in memory of Lauren McFarlandOne group swam in memory of Lauren McFarland (Image: Supplied)

A group of attendees adopted different challenges including half marathons, triathlons and the Great North Swim, all while carrying flags and wearing t-shirts that bore her name.

The group said: "In memory of our adventurous, beautiful and fun Lauren, we will be raising money for Keswick Mountain Rescue.

“Lauren was full of adventure, running up her local fells after work and had recently returned from Everest Base Camp in November.

"Keswick is where she got her own flat which she loved. We feel raising money for Keswick Mountain Rescue in her name would be fitting.”

Also taking part was Ben Taney of Kingslynn, who is now able to again after being paralysed from the chest down seven years ago due to an accident.

After being under the guidance of Paralympian Alice Tai, MBE, he made the step from not swimming at all to committing to a mile swim at the Great North Swim.

Wendy Lampert and a group of 15 friends and family paid a heartfelt tribute to her late husband Richard, who died last year at the age of 52.

As one of the UK's longest surviving heart transplant recipients, Mr Lampert was given an extra 34 years of life thanks to an anonymous organ donor.

In his memory, Ms Lampert and her group swam one mile, raising money for the British Heart Foundation in the process.

Author and former presenter for BBC Breakfast, Louise Minchin, not only hosted presentations on the SwimFest stage, but also participated in the two-mile swim and the SwimRun middle distance.

Paul Foster, chief executive of The Great Run Company, extended thanks to everyone involved.

He said: "We’d like to say a big thank you to the amazing lifeguards, medics, power boat crew, swim safety kayakers and volunteers.

"We couldn’t do the Arla Great North Swim and Great North Swim Run without you.

“With beautiful scenery and rich cultural heritage, the Lake District is a fantastic location and an event we look forward to each year."

Laura Butler, strategic brand manager for Arla LactoFREE, said: "We believe that by partnering with this event, we can inspire more individuals to dive into their passions and make a splash in their own lives."

The event is due to return from June 13 to June 15, 2025.