Top Wild Swimming Spots In Sheffield

Outdoor swimming is a great way to feel at one with nature. There’s just something thrilling about immersing yourself in the wild that you can’t get from your local pool — and, natural swimming spots have remained accessible throughout the past year of lockdowns and restrictions. We’ve given you our top tips for wild swimming in beautiful Bristol, but now it’s time to look north. This list highlights some of the best swim spots around Sheffield and the Peak District.

Before you read on, check out the Outdoor Swimming Society’s top tips for swimming safely this summer here.

By Lewis Bowman

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Crookes Valley Park

5-10 minute walk from the University of Sheffield

The most central spot in Sheffield to get your outdoor swimming fix is Crookes Valley Park. A sunny day provides the perfect excuse to take a dip in the lake. But, be aware: the council does not permit swimming in the lake (although in my experience, there’s usually little opposition to this).

Wherever you swim, make sure you do so sensibly and with respect for the people and wildlife around you. 

Rivelin Plunge Pool

Roughly 10-minute drive

If you’re after a quick and exciting dip – look no further than the Rivelin Valley plunge pool. It’s a short walk away from the Packhorse Bridge that crosses over the River Rivelin. The pool offers the perfect reward after a run along the valley path or, for those who aren’t faint of heart, provides a reinvigorating awakening on a cold morning. The Rivelin Valley Conservation group does some amazing work in maintaining the valley – please check them out if you take the plunge.

Stanage Millpond

Roughly 25-minute drive

My favourite swim on this list is the Old Paper Millpond at Stanage. Don’t let the name put you off – a short walk down from Hollin Bank car park, past the public toilets, the millpond is hidden deep in the woods surrounded by luscious flora and fauna. On sunnier days, it’s great to walk around the Stanage Edge Path which ends at the pond. And the best part: there’s a rope swing!

River Derwent at Chatsworth

Roughly 35-minute drive

Most people around Sheffield and the Peaks are aware of the beauty within the Chatsworth House grounds. However, not many people know that you can swim in the river. Depending on where you enter the river, you’ll either be met with knee-high water to paddle in or deeper water for a swim. The flowing river is a lot colder than a lake or pond would be, so make sure you bring a few extra layers for when you get out!

Slippery Stones

Roughly 45-minute drive

The longest walk to get to the final destination is at Slippery Stones. Located in the Upper Derwent Valley past the reservoirs, after two to three hours you’ll come across a small bridge crossing the river. You can stop at the bridge to enter the water but if you walk a bit further up the path and take a left towards the stream you’ll see a pool with a stream running into it. Bring a picnic, some tea, or your favourite book to escape the mundane 9-5 for a few moments.

You could also look to join a local Facebook or WhatsApp group for fellow wild swimmers. Here in Sheffield, we have a great wild swimming community. Join the Sheffield Outdoor Plungers for even more outdoor swim spots, helpful tips and further safety guidance.

Where would you go with your group of friends? Let us know!

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Do you have any tips of your own that you’d like to share? Then let us know in the comments below or send us a DM @studenttraveltipsuk on Instagram.

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