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

Wharfemeadows ParkWharfemeadows Park
Wharfemeadows Park
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.