Where to wild swim in the Peak District

Splash about, take a casual swim, and discover wild places in the refreshing waters of the Peak District

Ever since we started to design our own Open Water Swimming Wetsuits, we've been diving into more and more wild waters around the UK and beyond.

Being a good couple of hours away from the nearest beaches and estuaries, the Peak District isn't strictly known for wild swimming. However, although Wild Swimming spots may not be in abundant in the region, there are plenty of places to swim, splash, or just simply be in wild water.

If you aren't an experienced open water swimmer, we'd recommend heading along to our Open Water Swimming course on Saturday morning rather than taking the plunge on your own. If you prefer warmer waters, Hathersage Lido gives you the option to swim beneath the open sky in a heated pool.

Here are a few of our favourite Peak District spots; to explore further afield, visit the WildSwim.com crowd-sourced map.

River Derwent, Chatworth

A magnificent spot for a swim, you can follow the River Derwent as it sweeps past the majestic setting of Chatsworth Estate. With fantastic parkland views, expect a red, sandy river bed with the shallows shelving to over 2 metres in depth.

A great early morning or summer evening spot that's best avoided at peak visiting hours, we recommend keeping a healthy distance from the main visitor area around Chatsworth House and Gardens

Access: Parking is available in Carlton Lees Car Park and costs about 3 quid.

Slippery Stones

Venture to the upper Derwent Valley, beyond the reservoirs, and you'll feel like you're stepping off the beaten track to discover wilder places. Whether you're looking for a casual swim, a refreshing dip, or a place to escape the daily grind and forget your troubles with a beautiful Peak District backdrop, Slippery Stones plunge pool is an ideal venue.

Access: Park at Fairholmes Visitor Centre, Bamford and cycle or take the shuttle bus up to King's Tree (parking is available at King's Tree but the road is restricted on weekends from Easter until October). From King's Tree, follow the main path until the cycle way turns right up a hill, cross the small wooden bridge and follow the grassy path left until you reach the plunge pool.

River Derwent, near Calver

The training ground for a local triathlon club, this spot of the River Derwent is known for beautiful scenery, accessible 'beach' entry points, and being a little on the chilly side! You can swim a reasonable distance in this spot, and wetsuits are advised!

Access: The best entry point is rumoured to be at New Bridge, and there are submerged bits of tree beyond the Calver bridge. The Derwent Valley Heritage Way runs along this stretch of river, and is ideal for a pre-swim recce.

Hathersage Lido

Not quite as wild as the other locations on the list, but an ideal spot to bask under the open sky all the same. Park up in the swimming pool car park, and don’t forget to drop in and say hello to the Alpkit Hathersage team whilst you’re there!

Access: Oddfellows Road, Hathersage, Hope Valley, S32 1DU

Remember: all outdoor activities involve risk, you must have a clear understanding of these risks before pursuing any activity.

We have tried to make all information as accurate as possible, however trails are not marked on bridleways and use of any of information is entirely at your own risk, please always take a map out with you.

You are responsible for your personal safety and must exercise your own independent judgment as to whether the activity is suitable for you in the context of your fitness, training, skills and experience.

02 01 2018

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