The UK is in the midst of a full-blown outdoor swimming boom. Praised for their social, mental and physical benefits and spurred by lockdowns and staycations, the country’s alfresco swim destinations – from lidos to wild swimming spots – are enjoying something of a renaissance.
And that boom looks set to continue with plans for a brand-new outdoor pool in West Yorkshire. A new company called Yorkshire Swim Works wants to build a lido near the village of Oxenhope, which is around 20 minutes’ drive from Bradford in the Yorkshire moors.
At a whopping 378 metres above sea level, the new pool will be the highest-altitude of its kind in the UK – but that won’t be its only claim to fame. It’ll also be remarkably eco-friendly, as it will be chemical-free and cleaned with biological filters like mineral gravel. It also won’t be heated, despite being open all year round, and the project’s plans also include a poolside sauna. In the long term, the site could even see lodges built for overnight stays.
Yorkshire Swim Works is the brainchild of Caroline Kindy, a local businesswoman and avid outdoor swimmer. It’s worth noting that the project is still in its very, very early stages, as so far it has only outlined permission to buy a site near to the Thornton Moor reservoir. Kindy has received a research grant from Bradford council but she’s still looking for more investors and funding.
So all this could be a very long way off, but, should it go ahead, it could well add a fresh boost to the West Yorkshire moors. Oxenhope isn’t far from Haworth, once home to the Brontë sisters, and it’s near lots of popular walking routes. So maybe next time you head off on a Wuthering Heights-themed trip through the moors, you’ll be able to stop off for a rather chilly dip?
To find out more, check out the Yorkshire Swim Works website here.
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