Wharfemeadows Park

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

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

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.

The dip is held in memory of swimming teacher and former organiser Joe Town

5. River Wharfe, Otley

The dip is held in memory of swimming teacher and former organiser Joe Town
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Richard Parkin, of Otley, chose to swim in fancy dress

6. River Wharfe, Otley

Richard Parkin, of Otley, chose to swim in fancy dress
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Ali Nash, from Addingham, takes the plunge

7. White Wells, Ilkley

Ali Nash, from Addingham, takes the plunge
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Swimmers leave the water after their bracing dip

8. River Wharfe, Otley

Swimmers leave the water after their bracing dip
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