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.
The Manor House, also known as The Castle, is another historic building in Ilkley largely dating from the 17th century, although its origins date back to the 14th and it was built on part of the site of the Roman fort. The building was saved from demolition in 1955 when it was donated to the community and converted in 1961 to be Ilkley's art gallery and museum. It passed to the council of the City of Bradford metropolitan district, which closed it in 2015 with a plan to sell it. After a long campaign by Ilkley residents the go-ahead has been given for it to be run by the community as a community asset in the future.
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
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
Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam RailwayEmbsay, near Skipton, and Bolton Abbey
One of Yorkshire's
More information at the
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 HallBradford Road, Riddlesden
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
Locate on map:
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
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.
The political composition in April 2019 was:
County strategic authority
West Yorkshire Combined Authority
Covers some combined services of the five metropolitan district councils of West Yorkshire - Bradford, Calderdale, Leeds, Kirklees and Wakefield - which were at one time provided by a West Yorkshire metropolitan county council, with the addition of the non-contiguous City of York council and unelected Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership.
Police and Crime Commissioner
The Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire
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.