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Ilkley & Ilkley Moor

Humans have been this way since prehistory, and the moorlands south of Ilkley have the most impressive collection of prehistoric rock carvings in Britain. About 275 carvings have been identified, including cup-and-ring marks (circular hollows surrounded by a ring) and more elaborate patterns, including grooves and swirls.

In the eighteenth century, Ilkley developed as a spa town (the tough can still brave the cold plunge pool at White Wells cottage). The nineteenth century brought more tourists, including - according to one theory - a local chapel choir who rewrote the words to a hymn tune to create the song Ilkla Moor baht ' At. (Baht 'at? Dialect for without a hat, of course.)

Cyclists can get a taste of the moors on the old by-road between Ilkley and Keighley past Whetstone Gate, or can head north on the bridleway which begins as Hardings Lane and runs over Round Hill to reach the A59 at Blubberhouses. Villages and hamlets such as Beamsley and Nesfield are good places to explore if you have your road bike with you.

CYCLE ROUTE
GRADE DISTANCE
     
© Pennine Prospects 2012.
Routes compiled by Walk England.
© Photography by Steven Morgan,
www.stevemorganphoto.co.uk
all images © Pennine Prospects.
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