High above the town of Ilkley is Ilkley Moor, immortalised in the Yorkshire anthem "On Ilkla Moor Baht 'at", and featuring a rocky outcrop and large boulder known as the Cow and Calf Rocks.
Evidence of settlement at Ilkley dates from at least the early bronze age and there are still stone carvings to be found from that age.
A Roman fort controlling a crossing point on the River Wharfe occupied a site close to the town centre and stone from it is believed to have been used in the building of the town's parish church, later extensively rebuilt in Victorian times.
Another historic river crossing in the town is the old Ilkley Bridge. The stone bridge with its three large arch spans was built in the late 17th century and is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
Ilkley's growth came as a Victorian spa town when tourists flocked to the area to take its waters, bathe in its spring and try treatments at a number of hydrotherapy establisments. The arrival of the railway in 1865 helped to make Ilkley more accessible and brought an influx of tourists from West Riding mill towns and beyond. The railway once continued via
Ilkley had already become well-known for its waters in the 18th century and through the Georgian era. Today, White Wells House on the side of the moor survives as the earliest spa building in the area. Bathing started nearby from at least the beginning of the 1700s and there is still a Roman-style plunge pool dating from the latter part of the 18th century.
People still go to Ilkley to bathe, but today it is usually at its outdoor lido pool, first developed in the 1930s. The town's wide Victorian spa town shopping streets and gardens beside the River Wharfe can also still be enjoyed.
Ilkley is close to the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Ilkley is on The Dales Way, a signposted 80-mile walking route with Ilkley in West Yorkshire and Bowness-on-Windermere at its end points.
The town is on the River Wharfe.
The town has a range of shops and supermarkets. Ilkley offers bakery goods, butchers, books, clothes, jewellery, an outdoor market (Food and local produce - 1st Sun in month except Jan).
The town has a Post Office.
Ilkley has bank and building society branches.
The town has pharmacies.
Ilkley has a number of pubs to choose from.
The town offers a choice of inns, bistros, cafes, restaurants and take-aways.
Takeaway food outlets in the town include fish and chips, chinese, curries, pizzas, sandwiches.
The town has a library.
Ilkley has a museum.
The town has a cinema.
Ilkley has a theatre.
The town has a leisure centre with swimming pool.
Ilkley has a community centre.
There are public toilets in the town.
Places of worship: Anglican, Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, United Reformed.
The town has a historic Manor house and old bridge.
Ilkley has tourist information.
Places to stay in Ilkley include hotel, guest house, inn accommodation.
Ilkley stationManaged by: Northern
Operator/s: Northern -
Northern - Ilkley Station and departure information at Northern website.
Bus travelThe town has buses to neighbouring towns and villages.
Road travelIlkley can be reached via the A65 .
Places to visit
Bolton PrioryBolton Abbey, North Yorkshire
The beautiful setting at Bolton Abbey in the
More information at
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Skipton CastleThe Bailey, Skipton, North Yorkshire
Skipton Castle is one of England's best restored medieval castles, standing between the town of
Find out more at
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Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway
Operates from Embsay, about 1.5 miles from Skipton, to Bolton Abbey station about a mile away from the attractive priory ruins and beauty spot beside the River Wharfe at Bolton Abbey. The railway runs trains on most days during the summer and at weekends at other times of year, except January. It also has a range of special weekend events, dining trains and footplate and signal box experience courses. Tank engines are the mainstay of steam operations on the line, but the railway also has a collection of historic diesel locomotives.
More information at the
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Ilkley Toy MuseumWhitton Croft Road, Ilkley
The museum features one of the finest private collections of toys with exhibits dating from 350BC to the present day. It includes early English wooden dolls and dolls houses, teddy bears, fairground models, tin-plate toys and die-cast vehicles, toy soldiers and cowboys and indians, and toys based on more modern TV characters. The museum opens on weekend afternoons and by appointment to weekday school visits.
Further details at the
East Riddlesden Hall
The attractive 17th century home of a cloth merchant includes an array of needlework from the era. The house is set in colourful and peaceful gardens with an outdoor discovery garden and children's play area. The property, around 1.5 miles to the north-east of
Find out more at the
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Yorkshire Dales National ParkThe Yorkshire Dales National Park starts just north of
Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural BeautyExtending across an area of 232 square miles (600 sq km), the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Beauty starts at the edge of
Emergency servicesWest Yorkshire Police
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service
Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust
Civil parish councilIlkley Town Council
Provides some local services in the area.
Link to council website
Metropolitan district council
City of Bradford
The City of Bradford authority covers an area extending many miles beyond the city itself, including areas of moorland of The Pennines and Ilkley Moor, parts of Wharfedale and Airedale and the Worth Valley.
The area includes many separate small towns and villages, among them
Councillors are elected across 30 wards with three councillors per ward.
One councillor per ward is elected for a four-year term on each of three years out of four. An election of one-third of the council due to be held in 2020 has been postponed to 2021.
City of Bradford MDC website.
Political composition after the May 2021 election:
County strategic authority
West Yorkshire Combined Authority
Covers some combined services of the five metropolitan district councils of
Will work with an elected mayor as chairman and as decision-maker for some responsibilities after May 2021 election.
Police and Crime Commissioner
The Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire
Role will become one of the responsibilities of a West Yorkshire elected mayor after the May 2021 election.
West Yorkshire Fire Authority
The fire authority is made up of elected members of each of the five metropolitan district councils of West Yorkshire - Bradford, Calderdale, Leeds, Kirklees and Wakefield.
-1974 Within the West Riding of Yorkshire.