10 June 2024

Best Wild Swimming Spots in Yorkshire

If you’re looking for a refreshing splash amidst nature, there’s really no better place than the wild swimming spots in Yorkshire. With its stunning landscapes, tranquil waters, and hidden beauty spots, Yorkshire is a wild swimmer’s paradise. Whether you’re a seasoned swimmer seeking a new challenge or a beginner wanting to dip your toes into the wild waters, Yorkshire has something for everyone. It’s no wonder then, that this region is a favourite among locals and visitors alike.

Why is wild swimming so good for you?

Wild swimming is essentially swimming outdoors in natural spaces, such as rivers, lakes, or the sea. Recently, we’ve seen a big rise in wild swimming which has been attributed to people searching for alternative exercise regimes and wanting to immerse themselves in the great outdoors.

As well as being fun and good for the soul, wild swimming has some great health benefits such as boosting immune systems, improving circulation, and boosting your brain power.

Boosts the Immune system: Over time, cold water helps to increase your white blood cell count as your body is forced to react to the change in conditions. If you become a regular swimmer, your body naturally becomes better at activating its own defences.

Improves Circulation: Cold water swimming flushes your veins, arteries, and capillaries by forcing blood to the surface to help warm your extremities. Repeated exposure also helps you to adapt to the cold.

Reduces Stress: We all know the feeling of immersing yourself in cold water. Whatever the location, whether it be in the sea, the swimming pool or simply in the shower, it can make your skin sting and take your breath away. To combat that sensation, your brain releases endorphins (painkillers produced by your body), which results in a feeling of wellbeing, once you’re back on dry land.

So where to go? 

Scaling Dam

Located between the North York Moors and the rolling Cleveland Hills, this charming little gem is not just a place to dive into serene waters, but also a natural haven for wildlife. Scaling Dam is a photographer’s paradise, with the calm waters of the reservoir reflecting the flourishing greenery and vibrant wildflowers that surround it, creating a mirror image that’s perfect for a captivating scenic shot. Alternatively, if you’re looking for an idyllic setting for a family day out, Scaling Dam will provide! With numerous picnic spots scattered along the shoreline, you can enjoy a leisurely lunch while gazing at the picturesque views around you.

Janets Foss

Janet’s Foss may just be one of the prettiest spots for a dip in Yorkshire. This beautiful plunge pool sits underneath a descending waterfall providing a magical swimming experience. It’s just a short walk from the village of Malham which has plenty of spots for a snack break before or after your swim!


A truly surprising hidden gem tucked away in the North Yorkshire Dales, Semerwaters untouched beauty offers an intimate encounter with nature in its purest form. The largest natural glacial lake in the area and the biggest lake behind Malham Tarn, this unspoiled spot doesn’t just offer a rejuvenating swim in its enticing waters, but also a visual treat with its diverse natural landscapes. One of the most accessible wild swimming spots, Lake Semerwater, is an ideal place to enjoy a leisurely swim surrounded by the beautiful Yorkshire Dales.

Thomassen Foss at Beck Hole
Experience the enchanting beauty of Thomason Foss at Beck Hole, a stunning waterfall nestled amidst lush greenery with a deep plunge pool, perfect for a real swim as opposed to a quick dip. A uniquely calm and peaceful spot that is easily accessible along a short path from Birch Hall Inn (also a good place to stop for a quick coffee or tea to warm up afterward!) and offers a tranquil little woodland area to enjoy nature and the refreshing water. 

Bolton Abbey

Along the River Wharfe, there are many good places to enjoy a refreshing dip. One of the best spots though is opposite the picturesque Bolton Abbey. Here the river is a little wider and there is a good plunge pool which gives the depth and space for wild swimmers to stretch out their limbs and even practice some diving. This spot is easily accessible and has some nice stepping stones to get you across the river, so you can enjoy the beautiful backdrop of the 12th century Abbey.

Another popular spot along the River Wharfe, Appletreewick boasts a rocky pool accompanied by a small beach area with plenty of smaller pools for exploring and swimming. A perfect place for families to spend an afternoon enjoying all that nature has to offer. Bear in mind that due to the rocks, you should be extra vigilant for any submerged rocks that can make it tricky for swimming and no diving!

Ingleton falls

You’ll be absolutely captivated by the majestic charm of Ingleton Waterfalls, a charming spot that’s teeming with natural beauty. Nestled in the heart of Yorkshire, this stunning cascade is a testament to the fascinating Ingleton geology. The unique limestone and sandstone formations, carved by the water over thousands of years, create a landscape that’s simply breathtaking.

So, if heading out into the great outdoors for a refreshing dip amidst Yorkshire’s natural beauty sounds tempting for you, why not base yourself right on its doorstep? Here at Space Homes, we pride ourselves on building high quality, spectacular homes and with various locations all across Yorkshire your forever home could be a lot closer than you think! Get in touch now to see where your dream home awaits.