Wild swimming in North Yorkshire

There are lots of places you can go wild swimming in North Yorkshire. It’s a really fun thing to do, and a unique way to experience our beautiful part of the world.

Check out some of the best places to go wild swimming in North Yorkshire and let us know if you give them a try!


Appletreewick in the Yorkshire Dales is one of the best places for a dip. The River Wharfe has lots of safe spots to swim in, but this is one is a hidden gem. Rocky pools and islands form in the water and the flow is reasonably calm. There are grassy banks to picnic and relax on after your swim too.

Lake Gormire

Underneath Sutton Bank, you’ll find Lake Gormire surrounded by trees. It’s a beautiful spot for a dip and gets very deep. As there are no stream feeding in, it can also sometimes be described as warm…in a wild swimming context! Just be aware, there might be leeches in the water.

River at Bolton Abbey for wild swimming

Bolton Abbey

The river running past the ruins of Bolton Abbey is a favourite. The iconic stepping stones allow people to cross without getting wet, or swimmers and waders can enjoy time in the water. Just make sure you stay upstream of the stepping stones for safety.

Grassington weir

This is a favourite spot for swimmers and for those who like the adrenaline rush of a jump. The plunge pool at Grassington weir offers lots of fun, but jumpers need to be careful to clear the overhanging cliff. If you don’t fancy a jump, you can swim in the pools or relax on the grass.

Ghaistrill’s strid

This is a fantastic spot full of natural pools that fill with warmer water for a relaxing bathe and plenty of space for lengthier swimming in the lower pools. Please note, this site isn’t suitable after heavy rain as the flow becomes dangerous.

 river for wild swimming

Kidson Force

On the River Swale, you’ll find Kidson Force. It has a pool for swimming in as well as places suitable for plunging if you’re feeling brave! The waterfalls and stunning location are also great for a wander around even if you’re not planning a swim.

Loup Scar

We’ll leave you with another favourite for wild swimming in North Yorkshire – the Loup Scar. There’s a long stretch of grassy banks, mini beaches, and of course, river to enjoy here! The brave can also enjoy jumping from the limestone cliffs into the plunge pool below.

Where are your favourite places to go wild swimming in North Yorkshire? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.