A 90 mile walk across the glorious high country of the Yorkshire Dales
A Dales High Way Walk: a 90 mile walk across the glorious high country of the Yorkshire Dales

A Dales High Way

News Archive 2019

Cold plunge at White Wells greets New Year

Plunge pool at White Wells, new years day 2019 - T&A

New Year's Day got underway with the traditional cold water bath at White Wells, overlooking Ilkley.

Volunteers signed up at the White Wells cafe before walking next door and taking the steps down into the murky water. The first to tackle the Ilkley challenge was Sandra Gale, who was followed by families and people of all ages.

Charli Oliver, 19, from Perth, in Western Australia, was joined by her boyfriend Matthew Lloyd and 15-year-old sister, Amy (see photo (c) Bradford Telegraph & Argus)

"It wasn't as bad as I was expecting," said Charli, who claimed the water was about six degrees centigrade. "My sister said she couldn't breathe when she got in because it was so cold."

White Wells is a spa bath situated on Ilkley Moor, on the route of A Dales High Way. It was built in around 1700 as an open air spa bath, later baths were enclosed and a single plunge pool survives today.

The current tenants have been there for nearly 20 years, but there are fears that the historic building could fall into disrepair, following council plans to double the rent. Previously the site stood empty for some time.

Town councillor Anne Hawkesworth said: "At that time the cottage was empty because a tenant could not be found. The security costs were exorbitant and a solution had to be found. It was decided that the answer was probably to find a tenant who would act as a caretaker on a nominal peppercorn rent- in reality who else would live up there - I certainly wouldn't."

She said the arrangement also included a requirement to open the cafe at specific times.

See more of White Wells here, and see the T&A report here.

2 Jan 2019


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