Gaddings Dam: Gorgeous Calderdale beauty spot voted one of best places in the UK for wild swimming

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A stunning Calderdale beauty spot has been named as one of the best places in the UK to go wild swimming.

Outdoor experts at Blacks outdoor clothing stores have included Gaddings Dam in their top seven top sites for the increasingly-popular pastime.

The gorgeous spot is nestled in the heart of Todmorden and is surrounded by beautiful beach and marshland views.

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The outdoor experts have also given their top tips on how to stay safe while wild swimming.

New Year's Day start of January Daily Dip at Gaddings Dam, TodmordenNew Year's Day start of January Daily Dip at Gaddings Dam, Todmorden
New Year's Day start of January Daily Dip at Gaddings Dam, Todmorden

“While it may be tempting to jump into a body of water in these temperatures, it is important that you understand your swimming abilities,” said Natalie Byrne from Blacks.

"Wild swimming can be and is very dangerous if you have not trained properly. Always pay attention to ‘No Swimming’ signs and, even if you have been swimming in the same spot for years, always be cautious, as open bodies of water can change significantly - even in a short period of time.”

Swimmers are advised to always check the depth of the water, even if you visit the same spot regularly. With no awareness of how deep the water is, you really should not be diving into it, say the experts.

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They say whilst waterfalls are stunning to look at, they won’t be kind to you if you jump into the landing area. The undercurrents directly below a large waterfall or weir could hold you under and you may not be able to surface.

Swimmers should also wear goggles where possible but keep their heads above the water if unsure about the cleanliness.

Snails, rats and algae can breed and release parasites into open water, which can lead to bacterial infections like leptospirosis and ‘swimmer’s itch’. Be careful not to swallow the water and cover up any open wound with a waterproof plaster.

If swimming alone, take precautions such as wearing a lifejacket or trailing a float behind you on a cord.

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If you get a leg cramp, shout for help, lie on your back and paddle back to shore with your arms before the pain becomes overwhelming.

Open water is usually colder than water in a pool, which can affect swimming ability, and do not kick or thrash if you encounter weeds or underwater obstructions.