Walk #98: Shipley to Ilkley
Map of the walk
Maps courtesy of Google Maps. Route for indicative purposes only, and may have been plotted after the walk. Please let me have comments on what you think of this new format. For a detailed table of timings for this walk, please see the table file.
This was a lovely walk that took in two Trig Points (Baildon Hill and Ilkey at 282 and 402 metres respectively). This was very much a last-minute walk - the meeting that I was attending finished early and so I decided to take advantage of this and do a walk. Consequently I had very little walking gear with me, but as the weather looked reasonable and I had my waterproof jacket with me I was not that concerned. What followed was an incredibly pleasant afternoon and early evening walk - I wish that our office had walking country like this just around the corner.
The highlight of the day had to be lying in the middle of the Twelve Apostles Stone Circle and singing "On Ilkley Moor bar'tat" at the top of my voice, to the obvious amusement of a fell runner who just happened to be passing. I was rather happy, you see ;*)
Just below Ilkley Crags at the end of the walk is a prominent building called White Wells. The sign on it proclaims the following: "White Wells - Former bath-house built by Squire Middleton for the people of Ilkley in the eighteenth century. Restored by Eric Busby in 1972 - 1974. Opened to the public in 1976.". Unfortunately when I passed it was shut, but I must say I like the idea of being able to have bath in such a beautiful location.
From the Holiday Inn Express Hotel in Shipley (a few minutes walk from Shipley station), leave the complex and head south along the A6038 dual carriageway. After crossing over the River Aire, take the first left down Green Lane. Follow the road as it bends to the right and then left. Follow it uphill as it bends right past a phone box. A short distance uphill from here is the Cricketers Arms Public House on the right hand side of the road.
Opposite the pub there is a road (Bankside Terrace) that heads away to the left. Go to the top of this short road and then pass behind the terraced houses. At the end of the terrace a path starts to lead to the right steeply uphill. Follow this path for a short distance, and where it meets another path at a T-junction take the path that heads to the left along a shallower gradient uphill.
Turn right to join a tarmac path (Hardaker Lane) that heads northwards. At the end of the lane turn right, and follow the road around as it bends to the left and then almost immediately turn right onto a busier road. Pass a reservoir and opposite a school take a footpath leading off northwards to the left.
At the end of the footpath turn right onto a road and follow it around. At a crossroads continue on to a T-junction. Turn left at this junction up the hill and when the road bends around to the right take a footpath that leads uphill to the left. This footpath brings you out at Dove Hall Farm. Turn right onto the driveway of the farm and follow it past Hope Farm. Just past this farm a path leads to the right and takes you past Baildon Hill. Many paths lead up to the trig point on the top of this hill.
From the trig point go downhill and walk past the farm and caravan site to the north at Dobrudden Farm. Continue to the north past the farm and down the hill to cross Glovershaw Lane at a cattle grid. Turn left down Glovershaw Lane and follow it downhill before turning right up the driveway to Golcar Farm. This is part of the Dales Link, linking Bradford with the Dales Way, and we will be following it for the rest of the day.
At Golcar Farm head north to a house, and then turn west and then north once again until a road is reached. Turn left down the road until just past a public house and turn right to head north across the moors.
What follows is a very pleasant and easy moorland walk. It heads almost exactly northwards, and the path is clear at all times. After a couple of miles of walking the path along the moor you reach the Twelve Apostles Stone Circle, just off the path to the right. Shortly after this a path leads up to the Trig point on Ilkey Moor, the highest point on the moor at 402 metres.
Rejoin the Dales Link from the trig point and head north again past Gill Head and to the top of Ilkley Crags. At Ilkey Crags the path turns to the northwest and descends steeply past White Wells and into Ilkey.
This makes a total distance of 10.4 miles, with 1595 feet of ascent and 1513 feet of descent.
I was staying at the Holiday Inn Express, Shipley. It is a reasonable hotel of its class, and which was even the better for the fact that my firm was paying for it.
There are regular train services from Ilkley to Shipley.
Please note that I take no responsibility for anything that may happen when following these directions. If you intend to follow this route, then please use the relevant maps and check the route out before you go out. As always when walking, use common sense and you should be fine.
If you find any information on any of these routes that is inaccurate, or you wish to add anything, then please email me.
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And finally, enjoy your walking!
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