Wild swimming in Yorkshire: Calderdale rivers and lakes will be featured in a new book

An upcoming book called The Art of Wild Swimming England and Wales will be featuring nine Yorkshire wild swim spots.

Sunday, 17th October 2021, 12:00 pm
Gaddings Dam, Todmorden

For the past year, wild swimming has soared in popularity by 300 per cent. The book, written by Anna Deacon and Vicky Allan, will include tips on how to be a safe, responsible and environmentally aware swimmer.

It will also include how to get started, what you need to prepare, why wild swimming is good for you as well as biosecurity, water access, road access, wild camping and the plastic problem.

The Art of Wild Swimming England and Wales will launch on November 11 and includes a list of top swim spots in Yorkshire.

Ms Deacon said: “The perfect swim is a matter of finding the right place, knowing how to be safe, sourcing the appropriate kit and maybe even finding the nicest spot for a warm-up cuppa and cake afterwards.

“We have been privileged to work with passionate swim enthusiasts across the UK to tap into their knowledge and to select the best wild swimming spots. The Art of Wild Swimming aims to be the ultimate guide as to how to be the safest, most joyous and invigorated wild swimmer you can be - and where to do it.”

What are the top wild swim spots in Yorkshire?

Hayburn Wyke, north of Scarborough

Hayburn translates to ‘hunting enclosure by a stream’ in Anglo Saxon and Wyke is the Norse word for ‘sea inlet or creek’.

With the breath-taking views of the cliff tops and landscape of Scarborough, this spot is popular with wild swimmers.

The area is owned and managed by the National Trust and includes a stony beach where there is a waterfall.

Sparth Reservoir, Huddersfield

The small body of water at the northern end of the Peak District is an idyllic fishing spot next to the Huddersfield Canal.

With its tranquil atmosphere and stunning scenery, the reservoir has been an attraction for tourists.

Eel Pool, River Ribble

Eel Pool is near Stainforth Foss, a popular place for wild swimmers.

Stainforth Force, north of Settle

Stainforth Force is made up of a series of small waterfalls on the River Ribble which is south of Stainforth Bridge that dates back to 1675.

It is one of the more accessible waterfalls in the Yorkshire Dales and the walk can be completed within just five minutes from Stainforth.

Hardraw Force, Yorkshire Dales

You can swim in the pool at the end of England’s tallest waterfall, Hardraw Force.

The land is owned by the Green Dragon Pub and you can swim where Robin Hood Prince of Thieves was filmed during Robin Hood’s bathing scene.

Warning: the water is extremely cold and stones fall into the water from the top of the waterfall.

Withens Clough, Calderdale

This reservoir is located six miles from Hebden Bridge and sits beneath Stoodley Pike.

The walk is appropriate for a family with young children and the reward is a stunning view of the open moorland and Stoodley Pike.

Ryburn Reservoir, near Ripponden

This good walk is perfect for adventurers and avid explorers as the path goes through woods and fields in the Ryburn Valley between Ryburn and Baitings Reservoirs.

There are multiple breaks where you can take a breath and soak in the views.

Scarborough North Bay

North Bay beach is one of Scarborough’s two bays; this one is ideal for those who want to enjoy sand and sea.

It is also an attraction for water sport enthusiasts, particularly surfers and is also a wonderful place for people who love to discover rocks that line the beach.

Calder Valley, Gaddings Dam, Todmorden

The Upper Calder Valley is situated in West Yorkshire and large rivers that merge into the valley include the Waldsen Water, the Hebden Water, Cragg Brook and the largest which is the River Ryburn.

The rough and steep side of Upper Calder Valley inspired famous author Sylvia Plath, who is buried in Heptonstall, near Hebden Bridge and writer Emily Bronte. It has also been a popular setting for movies and TV shows such as the series Happy Valley.

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