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Everything You Need To Know About Wild Swimming Near Scarborough

Wild swimming is the next big thing! There's a big community of wild swimming enthusiasts out there, and we're not surprised.

There are tons of good bits about wild swimming, such as relieving stress, boosting your immune system, helping lift low moods and simply because it's a great workout!

You can't just dive straight in though (excuse the pun). You need all the gear and some idea before you get started. Here's some wild swimming must-haves that you need before you can get stuck in:

Silicone Hat

Wearing a coloured silicone hat will keep your head warm, as well as ensuring that you can be spotted in the water, just in case. We're sure you can pull off the bright hat look, so don't worry.


We're not known for our tropical waters in Scarborough, so a wetsuit is a must unless you want to feel like an ice cube. A wetsuit will help keep you warm in cold water and prevent you getting ill, no sniffles round here!

Gloves and socks

It's important to layer up once you come out of the water to stop yourself getting even colder. So stick on your gloves and socks to keep your hands and tootsies cosy after you emerge from the water.


Apart from being EXTREMELY stylish, goggles are also vital to your wild swimming excursion. Nobody wants water going in their eyes, it's not a pleasant experience for anyone which is why goggles are a must-have in your kit.

Now you've got your kit sorted, you need somewhere to show it all off. We've rounded up the five top spots, so you can swim to your heart's content or just until your legs get a bit tired.

Scarborough South Bay

Now we couldn't talk about wild swimming without mentioning the glorious Scarborough South Bay! Feel the sand between your toes and dive into the chilly North Sea for the ultimate summer wild swimming.

Even better, this swimming spot is right on our doorstep! So you can splash around and get that beachy hair look, then get nip back for a nice hot shower and a cheeky slice of cake in our hotel. It's all about balance after all!

Scarborough South Bay

North Yorkshire Water Park

This one's for you sporty people out there! The North Yorkshire Water Park is one of the largest natural watersport lakes in North Yorkshire. It provides adrenaline junkies with plenty of water sport options, as well as gentler laid-back activities like pedalos and mini electric boats.

They also run open water swimming challenges that are perfect for wild swimming with a twist! Get stuck into the 250m circuit and enjoy the peaceful setting, whilst trying to hide your competitive side, of course. The sessions run on Tuesdays, Thursdays and on weekends, so make sure you book your place online.

North Yorkshire Water Park

(Image credit: North Yorkshire Water Park)

Falling Foss

This picturesque spot in the North York Moors is great for light paddlers and committed wild swimmers. The main attraction is the 30ft Falling Foss waterfall, as well as a two-mile trail that passes a lovely tea room for a cheeky slice of cake and a cuppa. You can paddle at the top of the waterfall as the water is nice and shallow if you just want a quick splash around.

If you fancy a challenge, you can venture down to the bottom of the waterfall which has a deep plunge pool, making it an ideal spot for some wild swimming. Make sure you have sensible footwear on though (no stilettos or clown shoes), as the walk down to the bottom of the waterfall is tricky and uneven.

Falling Foss

Scaling Dam Reservoir

Every Tuesday, the sailing club at Scaling Dam Reservoir do open water swimming sessions, where you can rock up and dive in. Make sure you're an eager beaver though, as only the first 60 swimmers are allowed in the water. You can even drag the kids along too if they're above the age of 12 and a confident swimmer- make it a family outing!

You can only swim in scaling dam reservoirs during authorised swimming sessions, so don't try to take a sneaky dip outside the Tuesday swimming sessions. Not only will you put yourself in danger, you'll also look like a bit of an idiot and we don't want that.

Scaling Dam Reservoir

(Image credit: Jacky - Tripadvisor)

Thomason Foss

This pretty, wild swimming spot is located underneath a waterfall, perfect for those Instagram piccies. It's nestled away in a woodland area, so get your comfy shoes on and prepare for an adventure. The North Yorkshire Heritage Railway passes just above the waterfall to make it even more scenic.

Prepare yourself for the cold though - people have said that these waters are extremely nippy!

Thomason Foss

That's our wild swimming hotspots all rounded up for you. Squish yourself into that wetsuit and take a dip.