Ilkley, Wharfedale virtual tour and guide to the Town.
Are you ready for 'Le Tour'? - the Grand Départ 2014 as the Tour de France makes its way through the town en route from Leeds to Harrogate.
Take a look at the entire route in our 30 minute Grand Depart film on VR Leeds
The attractive Yorkshire town of Ilkley lies between the banks of the River Wharfe and the fell of Ilkley Moor in the north of England. It is a lovely spot for a short (or long) break, with lots of small, independent shops and a preponderance of cafes, tea shops and restaurants. These include the famous Betty’s Tearooms and the Box Tree Restaurant (Michelin starred) as well as many other delightful places to eat out. The town has a population of approximately 13,000, over 100 of which (according to a 2003 survey) are millionaires, so you can sit on the Grove and watch the Bentleys drive past.
The Victorian Arcade and wide pavemented streets add to the ambience of wealth and comfort here. The town is well served by train services and the railway station is close to the Springs Pavement shopping area. Down by the River Wharfe is a waterside park, known as Riverside Gardens, popular with young families.
One of the oldest buildings in Ilkley is the Manor House, which is a museum and art gallery. There is also a toy museum here and a rock carving, called the Swastika Stone, which dates from over 2,000 years ago (some say even up to 4,000 years old!)
Many keen walkers come to Ilkley to walk on Ilkley Moor, made famous by the folk song, “Ilkley Moor Bah't 'at”. The magnificent rock structures on the moor are known as “The Cow and Calf" and are popular with rock climbers (you can even drive up to the moor along Hanging Stone Road and park almost at the foot of the rocks). It is less well known that the Dales Way to Bowness in the Lake District ends here, 80 miles away from Bowness, at the Old Bridge.
Ilkley can boast the largest and oldest literature festival in the north of England, a popular Ilkley Beer Festival and the Moor Music Festival (which is held at Addingham Moorside). In addition, it is one of the few towns which still has a Lido (built in 1935): an open air swimming pool, open from May to September despite the sometimes inclement northern weather - a tip for you is check on the board outside for the water temperature before deciding to take the plunge!.