Leeds & West Yorkshire

Moorland spa pool draws 183 dippers on New Year's Day

White Wells pool 2017
Image caption The plunge pool is housed on Ilkley Moor in West Yorkshire

A total of 183 people took a dip in a plunge pool on the Yorkshire moors on New Year's Day.

The pool, at White Wells Spa Cottage on Ilkley Moor, is open for bathers all year round but it is traditional to take the plunge on 1 January.

Joanne Everall, who runs the bath house and adjoining cafe with Mark Hunnebell, said the pool usually attracted 100 to 150 people at new year.

The current record was made last year, with 212 bathers taking part.

Queues formed throughout the day outside the cottage, as bathers of all ages braved the water.

The bath was built in around 1700, when it was open air with surrounding walls but no roof.

Its waters were advertised as having healing properties. Charles Darwin is believed to have visited Ilkley in 1859 and "took the waters" at White Wells.

Image caption There were 183 plungers on Sunday
Image caption Queues formed for the spa pool throughout the day

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