Ilkley in the Wharf valley

Welcome to Ilkley

Nestled in the Wharfe Valley under the famous Cow and Calf Rocks and the heather covered Ilkley Moor, Ilkley is an elegant yet quiet and friendly Victorian Spa town on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.  In the nineteenth century people came from far and wide to take the waters and benefit from hydrotherapy.   The town became a centre of tourism for those seeking healing, rural peace and an escape from the dark, satanic mills.  In 2014 the Grand Depart of the Tour de France passed through Ilkley.

The railway station in the heart of the town has regular trains taking about 30 minutes from Leeds and Bradford.  From the station its a short, stiff climb up to White Wells and the moor to enjoy fabulous views and stimulating fresh air.

Down in the town we have everything from exclusive dress shops to some of the most visited charity shops in the region.  Excellent restaurants and convivial pubs provide satisfying food and drink, or you can people watch at the famous Betty's tea rooms.

The moor is criss crossed with paths and you can roam wherever they take you.  To the 12 Apostles stone circle, to cup and ring marked prehistoric rocks, or to green glens, open moorland and tumbling streams.  Or maybe a pint at the Cow and Calf Inn.

The river runs through it.  Delightful footpaths along the banks of the Wharf take you for a stroll through the park and between the three bridges.  We've also the open air Ilkley lido swimming pool for hot summer cooling off.  Or maybe a pint at the Riverside Inn.

Bluebells in Middleton Woods Ilkley

Across the river and into the trees.   Middleton woods puts on a show in the spring with a thick carpet of bluebells and ferns.  Lots of footpaths to stroll through quiet and beautiful woodland. And there are plenty of peaceful glades to relax and meditate.  


A green and pleasant land.  The Dales Way long distance footpath starts in Ilkley and wanders up the beautiful valley of Wharfedale through Calendar Girls country and hence to Bowness on Windermere in the Lake District. 

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