North Channel Swim Conditions

The North (Irish) Channel has shorter and less tidal windows than those of other channels, sometimes with only five days per month when a channel swim crossing can take place, usually on a Neap tide.

Strong tidal currents can make it less likely for a swimmer under 3k/h speed to successfully cross.  There have been several successful crossings with a swim speed lower than 3k/h.  Swim speed and consistency of pace are vitally important.

The facts of the North channel sometimes known as the Irish channel

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north channel


Stretch of water of 35 km in a straight line between Donaghadee and Portpatrick.

Due to the strong tidal currents you will swim 45 km+. With the tidal flow your swim line will head north  / south depending on your swim speed and conditions.


The preferred course is from Northern Ireland to Scotland some swimmers have had a successful crossing Scotland to Ireland including oceans seven swimmer Anna Carin-Nordin


Water temperature
Water temperature is between 11°c  and 14°c with some evidence of 15 – 16c later in the season.



The weather on the North (Irish) Channel can change quite quickly often regardless of what the weather forecasts have predicted.

Main reference point:- Click Here


South Rock Down Buoy




South Hunter Buoy


Other references:- Click Here



Irish Weather Bouy Network(IMOS)

United Kingdom Live Buoy Observations

Marine Observations- Ronaldsway

Dingieshowe Weather Forecast

United Kingdom Recent Marine Data

Marine Observations- Belfast International Airport


Wild life
There will be sightings of dolphins, Minke whales and some seals,  none of which will harm you. There are plenty of lion's mane jellyfish.




Lion's Mane Jellyfish North Channel



Here is some other data from the North (Irish) Channel Weather.


North (Irish) Channel Swim Temperature


North (Irish) Channel Swim wind speed


North (Irish) Channel Swim Hours of Daylight


North (Irish) Channel Swim Hours of Sunshine


North (Irish) Channel Swim Sea Level Pressure


If you or your team have any other questions please feel free to contact us by email and we will be happy to answer your questions.

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