Nice moor walk with a bit of towny thrown in, well worth the effort!
Take the A59 from Harrogate towards Skipton, a few miles and look for the B6451 towards Otley. At Otley you’ll pass the home of Thomas Chippendale (c1718). Not many people know but he started the first all male stripping dancers. However this was frowned upon in the seventeen hundreds so he moved on to the next best thing, cabinet making. He was a pretty good one too! none of that self-sembly rubbish. Anyway, from Otley take the A65 to Ilkley, at Ilkley head for the Railway Station and park. We parked in a street opposite, but there is a large Tesco car park just past the station. Walk along from the station (pic. 1) to the round about at the bottom of Mill Ghyill gardens (pic 2.) Ilkley has quite a good shopping, pub, cafe scene, but you can check this out after. Walk up through Mill Ghyill gardens to the top. The top is Queens Road, turn right and walk along a bit, on the right you’ll find a green railed enclosure containing the Panorama Stone. (pic 3.) If you like bis stones!
From here wakl along Queen’s Road past the church on the other side of the road. (pic 4.) Take the little stepped path on the left after the church. (pic 5.) This leads up a small wooded track, that has a few small waterfalls. (pic 6.) Watch out for the dog poo here, or you may need the aid of a pointed stick. This track only continues for a few hundred yards. At the top you pass through a small gate, continue straight till you reach the road. (pic 7.) I think there was a bench here, so you could take a breather if you are an unfit so and so.
From here go straight across the road and up the lane. (pic 8.) It starts to climb quite steeply. On the way back down at this point if you carry on down the road and take the footpath on the right (it would be walking left down the road as you look at pic.8. and taking the footpath to the right a few hundred yards down the road) This takes you to White Wells, see map, you don’t have to do this bit, but hey, that’s up to you. Back to the walk, following the lane you will come to a small bridge (pic 9.) Time for another short brake and perhaps a Kit-Kat. Back on the move, follow the lane up again untill the road ends and it turns into a gravel track. From here you should be able to see the view point I’ve marked on the map at the top of the moor. (pic. 12)
Now you can either follow the track round untill you reach a crossroads with a footpath (pic 10) Or head straight across and up the moor, as we did (pic 11) Once at the cross road with the footpath its quite level (pic 13) and an eash walk to the view point (pic 12) There are some rather large rocks here, just right for a picknick – if you remembered to bring one. The view of Ilkley is stunning, would have been better on a sunny day though! It was slightly overcast when we went so you couldn’t see quite so far. There are numerous footpaths marked, and if you feel more adventurous you could explore these – we didn’t! We headed back down (pic 14) by a slightly different route. Back down the track just out of view in pic 10 there is a footpath marked (pic 14) Its a little steep and slippy in the wet, so take care, and watch out for the sheep droppings, wouldn’t like to fall in that!!
Back down off the moor and it’s time for a nice cup of tea and a sticky bun. looks like Mr Sheep has the same idea! (pic 15).
Now it’s time to check out Ilkley, and buy a few usless souvenirs for granny, an ice cream for the kids, and with any luck a pint for me!