Nestled near Manchester, Yorkshire and Sheffield, the Peak District covers more than 550 square miles and welcomes around 13 million annual visitors. It is home to some incredible rolling hills and traditional British countryside landscapes – including small and quaint villages that are often connected by intricate hiking trails.
Wild Swimming in the Peak District
This location means that it’s extremely accessible from several major cities across the North West and Yorkshire, and the winding roads carry you beside rivers, lakes and reservoirs. This article will take a closer look at some of the best spots you can go to wild swim in the Peak District this summer…
Top Three Wild Swimming Spots in The Peak District
While there aren’t large enough bodies of water that will give you scope to practice your endurance swimming, the Peak District offers some spectacular locations to have a cooling dip after a long day of hiking. Here are three of our favourites.
Slippery Stones, Upper Derwent
A short walk from the famous and scenic Lady Bower Reservoir, Slippery Stones have become a famous wild swimming spot in the area. The water here isn’t too deep, but parts of it do allow for full submersion and even diving (though we don’t suggest doing this without thoroughly scoping it out first).
The name of the spot derives from a myriad of stones scattering the river, all beneath a rather beautiful bridge that frames the surrounding nature perfectly.
Chee Dale, Buxton
This walk beside the River Wye leads you down into a gorge, creating some rather panoramic scenery on the way. The water eventually widens, and there are placed stepping stones to get by – but it is well worth stopping for a swim in this stretch. Soak in the views and enjoy the refreshing bite of the water early in the morning.
The walk will eventually lead you out into Buxton village, where you can grab yourself a nice warming coffee and a slice of cake. A rather replenishing and soul-nourishing day out if you ask us!
Technically Youlgreave is a 10-minute drive south of Bakewell, but we suggest swinging by one of the Peak District’s most famous market towns to pick up an authentic Bakewell Tart to enjoy by the fire when you get home. Situated on the River Bradford, Youlgreave provides a perfect spot for children and adults to enjoy a paddle and dip beside the gentle and small waterfall.
The area attracts a lot of birds and wildlife too, which enhances the wonderful experience you’ll have with nature here.
Your Essential Wild Swimming Kit
So you can plan your trip to the Peaks easily, we thought it would help to compile a checklist of Wild Swimming essentials to put in your car boot and kit bag…
Wetsuit and boots (these locations can be rocky)
Swim cap (if you’re precious about your hair staying dry that is!)
Flask of hot drink (we will leave the drink choice up to you)
Multiple towels (a towel robe to change in is ideal)
Water or energy drinks (natural energy drinks are best)
Warm, dry clothes (for after your swim)
A wet clothes bag (to stop your car seats from sopping)
A map (to ensure you can find your rewarding coffee shop or pub afterwards)
An open mind to enjoy and explore the area from an aquatic perspective!
We hope you found this list helpful, and do go away and complete your own research on the areas we highlight above to get a true feel for them before your visit. Exploring the local area is as much a part of the experience as the swim itself, so ensuring you are in the know of where to go is a must. The Peak District will make you fall in love with the British countryside all over again, we can guarantee that much.