North West

Ilkley Moor, Yorkshire

  • Distance

    10 miles

    Equivalent of walking up the Eiffel Tower 50 times

  • Duration

    5 hours

  • Difficulty

    Moderate

  • Terrain

    Good moorland paths, some steep paths towards end of walk

  • OS grid reference

    SE 132467

  • Calories burned

    1,000

    Enough for a rewarding portion of fish and chips

Route Info

With its tearooms, flowerbeds and genteel Victorian architecture, Ilkley is the picture of a Yorkshire spa town. The settlement’s roots stretch back much further, however: more than 250 rocks on nearby Ilkley Moor bear intricate carved patterns of cup indentations, concentric circles and grooves from Neolithic and Bronze Age times.

This 10-mile circular walk, which could also be split into two shorter parts, takes in Ilkley Moor’s most impressive carvings and also some of its natural rock wonders. Start in front of the town’s Victorian railway station, then follow Wells Road up to the moor’s edge.

Above you’ll see White Wells, an 18th-century natural spa (now a café) where brave customers can still take a plunge. A footpath to the left leads to a tarn. From here, you can make the steady climb towards crags on the skyline.

Kit List

  • Good walking boots
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Rucksack
  • Extra food
  • If you fancy a dip in the spa, don’t forget your swimming costume!

Did you know?

Ilkley Moor was the inspiration for the Yorkshire ‘county anthem’

Route Highlight

Many rocks on Ilkley Moor are decorated with 'cup and ring' patterns - including the Pancake Rock, near the start of this walk.

Where to stop

The Crescent Inn in the centre of Ilkley serves up fine real ales from the local breweries, as well as an unpretentious menu.