Solstice swimmers get up early for longest day dip at Ilkley Lido

Ilkley Gazette: (7466225)One of the families who turned up for the Solstice Swim at Ilkley Lido (7466225)One of the families who turned up for the Solstice Swim at Ilkley Lido

MORE than 100 people took the plunge and turned up at Ilkley Lido at sunrise for the Solstice Swim.

The event, organised by the Friends of Ilkley Lido and Bradford Council to celebrate midsummer's day, proved a hit for the second year running.

The outdoor pool, on Denton Road, - featured in June as the Winning Tip in The Guardian Travel Section’s top UK Lidos - opened from 4.45am until 6.30am for people to take an early swim.

The Solstice swimmers warmed up with hot drinks and bacon sandwiches from Le Chat Cafe on site especially for the event.

Local youngsters Harvey, 11 years old and his brother Oscar, 13 years, pictured with their father Dan and his sister Emily were amongst the first people into the pool.

Harvey, who has been in the Lido every day since it opened in May, said: “It was cold but nice, really good fun”.

Davy Simpson of the Friends group came up with the idea for the event.

He said "People of all ages and swimming abilities came along to enjoy the unique experience of being in the Lido at 5 o'clock in the morning.

"Many local residents including families with children through to retired people were here and lots of people had travelled a fair distance to take part. We had people here from Selby, East Yorkshire, Lancaster and further afield and one couple from Leeds even bought their dressing gowns with them."

The event got a mention on the 3.46 Club on Radio 2.

The Friends of Ilkley Lido has organised a range of activities at the Lido to try to get the pool used as much as possible.

Yoga sessions have recently started running twice a week, from 6pm to 7.15 pm on Mondays and 7pm to 8pm on Fridays.

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