Swimmers take the plunge for New Year's Day dips across Yorkshire

A bracing New Year's Day dip has become a festive tradition.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 1st January 2019, 4:23 pm
Updated Tuesday, 8th January 2019, 10:08 am
Wharfemeadows Park
Wharfemeadows Park

Huge crowds gathered at Wharfemeadows Park in Otley to watch swimmers brave the freezing River Wharfe in memory of local swimming teacher Joe Town, who ran the event for over 25 years until his death in 2011. Mr Town had learned to swim in the Wharfe as a child. In nearby Ilkley, other hardy souls headed for the White Wells Spa Cottage on Ilkley Moor, where the historic plunge pool is still in use. New Year's Day is the attraction's most popular day for 'plunging'. On the coast, swimmers in fancy dress took to the waves at Scarborough's South Bay for the town's long-established winter dip.

Stuart Tasker was taking part in his 20th New Year's Day dip
Jules Hooper, of Ilkley, braves the water

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Many swimmers wear fancy dress for charity
Crowds enjoy the festive swim
The dip is held in memory of swimming teacher and former organiser Joe Town
Richard Parkin, of Otley, chose to swim in fancy dress
Ali Nash, from Addingham, takes the plunge
Swimmers leave the water after their bracing dip
The swim is a popular annual event
Francesca Macina, Isabelle Starr, Chari Macina, Charlotte Thorpe and Isabel Macina brave the springs
Hundreds of spectators also gathered to watch the swim
Conditions were clear, calm and mild