Ilkley, Yorkshire

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

I am constantly visiting Ilkley. At least once a month I make the 3 hour journey from home and it's always worth it because I'm going to visit family. Over the years, I feel as though I have become a semi - local and have lost count of the times I've visited.

A former spa town, Ilkley is in West Yorkshire, north of both Leeds and Bradford. You may have heard of the song 'On Ilkla Moor Baht'at' which, translated from Yorkshire dialect, means 'On Ilkley Moor without a hat'.

Pubs, cafes and restaurants appear every few metres. They have the usual chains (Pizza Express, Piccolinos, Carluccios, Costa etc) but there are a few more individual places that we frequent:

Outside the Box 
Outside the Box is a community cafe that supports adults with learning disabilities. The food is lovely, and the staff are wonderful. It is kitted out for children with an area full of toys and is wheelchair friendly.

Situated on The Grove, Tiplings is a cafe that is worth the visit - a perfect stop for afternoon tea. Although it's not as easy for prams and wheelchairs, it can be done and Demelza, the owner, is so helpful. In the summer, sit outside and watch the world go by on The Grove.

The Crescent Inn 
Visit The Crescent for a proper Yorkshire lunch with classic such as Sausage and Mash, Homemade Pie and Fish and Chips. 

Ilkley is, of course, home to a Bettys - which is celebrating 100 years in 2019.

The Grove is the main street running through the town. Tree lined, with wide pavements and a variety of shops, it's perfect to stroll down. At night, the trees twinkle with fairylights. If you're lucky you might catch some music from the bandstand, or even better - an ice cream van!

There is a lot of shopping to be done in Ilkley. With everything from individual gift shops to furniture stores to the high street giants (Paperchase, Crew, FatFace etc) there is something for everyone.

I always enjoy popping into The Grove Bookshop. I love independent bookshops and always find something that I want to buy here. I think the building is great too, a proper old fashioned shop with big windows, full of wonderful books.

Whilst visiting Ilkley, you are nestled in the middle of the Yorkshire Moors, similar to the evocative landscapes that inspired the Bront√ęs. Visit to find walking routes such as the Cow & Calf Heritage Walk.

If you're staying the in the area, why not visit Bolton Abbey and then stop off at The Devonshire Arms for a drink. If it's summer, you can often catch a game of cricket on the grounds. How very English. 

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