Saturday, May 19, 2018

Wild Swimming in the Peak District - The Old Mill Pond by Stanage

I used to think that I know the area around Stanage Edge like the back of my hand. That is why I was really surprised when someone told me that there is a small Mill Pond not far away from it where you can go for a swim. Surely not, I thought. I have been walking around there for years and I have never seen it! But after some serious searching and with the help of my trusty ViewRanger , I found it. And yes you can totally swim in it!

 If there was a competition for the best wild swimming spot in the Peak District, the old Mill Pond would not win the main price. Although the water is clean enough for a swim, the bottom had a muddy feel to it so the best thing to do is to plunge in and keep swimming. However, because of the short proximity to Stanage and the hidden and secret feel to it, it would definitely place!

 It is deep enough to swim and the access it easy from either side of the bank.It is lovely and secluded and there is a flat area next to it for those summer picnics. 

Getting environmentally friendly swimwear isn't the easiest thing but I invested in these Patagonia ones which are made from 83% recycled nylon/17% spandex blend. It is not perfect but is a lot better than some other options. 

 Someone even put up a swing up although I’m not sure how exactly you are supposed to climb on it as it is really high! It is better used for pull ups in my opinion.

How to get there

It is easily approachable from different locations. You can either park at Dennis Knoll  or by Stanage Plantation car park.  There are easy paths leading to it from both points. If you start from Dennis Knoll car park,  walk past the cattle grid and turn right. Follow the path with the edge of the forest  on your right until you come to a farmhouse. Turn left and continue straight on through a field on a marked footpath.  The pond will be on your left. 

If you start from Plantation car park you will eventually see these stone steps, so just skip through them and the pond is hidden just up those steps! 

I think half of the fun is finding the wild swimming spots. 

 The walk to and from is just so lovely and if you are lucky you can see some curious baby lambs. It seems that summer days trad climbing at Stanage have got even better!