Experience the wonders of nature in Yorkshire, known as God's own country. This vast region is divided into several counties, including the East Riding of Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, and North Yorkshire.
Throughout Yorkshire, you'll find numerous breathtaking spots for wild swimming. Here are our top picks.
Wild Swimming Equipment
For a safe open water swim in the picturesque Yorkshire countryside, it is crucial to prioritise safety, equip yourself properly, assess the weather and water conditions. Particularly, be cautious of swimming in rivers after heavy rainfall.
Essential items to bring along:
- Visibility aids: Enhance your visibility in the water by wearing a brightly coloured tow float or dry bag, along with a swim cap. This will help spot you easily and enable rescue teams to locate you quickly during emergencies.
- Warm clothing: Counter the potential risks of cold water temperatures by wearing a wetsuit and a swimming cap to retain some warmth. Additionally, pack warm clothing for after your swim, such as a cozy hat and a jumper.
- Location: Linton/Grassington
The River Wharfe runs between Linton and Grassington villages, featuring charming weirs and waterfalls near Linton Falls.
For a great swimming spot, go upstream of the tallest weir. Kids can have a blast sliding down the smooth chute near the old millhouse (remember to bring inflatables).
Enhance your water experience with a leisurely walk along the riverbank, where you can explore a 12th-century church and enjoy hopping across stepping stones to the other side.
- Location: Threshfield
Ghaistrill's Strid, located past the bridge on Station Road near Grassington Weir, is a unique spot. It features exciting rapids for an exhilarating experience, but be cautious of potential dangers.
Below the rapids, you'll find a large swimming area perfect for doing laps. Remember to bring your snorkelling gear to explore the fascinating rock formations along the river's edge and bed.
- Location: Todmorden
Our next destination for a unique wild swimming experience is Gaddings Dam, an enchanting reservoir nestled near the border of Lancashire in West Yorkshire.
This hidden gem boasts a small sandy oasis known as Todmorden Beach, providing effortless access to the pristine water.
However, do bear in mind that due to its elevated location amidst the moorland, the water tends to be refreshingly cooler, and reaching the reservoir demands a challenging uphill trek. Nevertheless, the awe-inspiring vistas of Yorkshire that await make every step worthwhile.
There are various paths to embark upon in order to reach the mesmerising Gaddings Dam.
One alternative is to park your vehicle near Shepherd's Rest Inn, making sure to exclude their designated parking area.
It is of utmost importance to exercise caution and avoid obstructing the narrow road designated for buses and emergency vehicles.
It's worth noting that this particular route has encountered some erosion, thus it is advisable to consider alternative paths for pedestrians.
We highly recommend embarking on a delightful 4.5-mile stroll from Walsden to the reservoir. Parking in this area is significantly more convenient, as you can readily find parking spots along one of the side streets in the village.
From there, your journey unfolds along Birks Lane, leading you to Hollingworth Lane, and eventually guiding you onto Salter Rake Gate.
Following the charming footpath that meanders through the picturesque moorland will ultimately lead you to your desired destination.
Wain Wath Waterfall
- Location: Keld
Nestled within the captivating Yorkshire Dales National Park in North Yorkshire, lies our cherished open-air swimming spot. Wain Wath Waterfall, an awe-inspiring cascade reaching a height of 3 meters, presents a captivating plunge pool that exudes both serenity and grandeur, making it an idyllic setting for unhurried swimming.
Accessing the water is a breeze, facilitated by the rocky beach situated on the opposite side of the waterfall, although it is advisable to bring along a pair of swimming shoes.
Additionally, for those yearning for a tranquil picnic experience, a grassy area awaits. When the location isn't too bustling, convenient parking spaces can be found alongside the road, just a short 30-second stroll away from the pool.