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Top Things to do in Ilkley!

I recently wrote a post on how to cope with wanderlust when you work full-time, and one of the suggestions I said was to be a tourist in your own town! That’s exactly what I have done recently, and I have compiled a list of the top things to do in Ilkley, a little town in West Yorkshire, about 20 minutes from where I currently live. Even though it’s about an hour away out from the town I was brought up in, I’ve been visiting with my family since I was very young. Read on to find out my favourite things to do in Ilkley, including the Cow and Calf rocks, Ilkley Carnival and more!


One. Ilkley Carnival

With it being less than a month away, it seemed silly not to include it! Ilkley Carnival has all sorts of things to do and see, from dog shows and a classic car show, fairground rides, food and drink stalls, everything you need to have a lovely day out. Something I find really sweet is that the local primary school children design costumes for the parade and the theme for this years parade is ‘TV Programmes! The main act this year is also pretty impressive – Joseph Peace and his Fire Stunt Spectacular, as seen at Glastonbury Festival!

I love these types of days out, where there truly is something for everyone! Something even nicer about Ilkley Carnival is the fact that all proceeds go to local charities and organisations, with the primary organisation this year being the Burley Scouts and Guides group. They will receive 50% of the money raised, with the rest split between other great organisations.

Be sure to go down and support the local causes, whilst still having a great day out! This year Ilkley Carnival is on the 7th of May, with tickets priced for pre-sale at £13 for a family ticket, £5 for an adult and £2 for children, you can pre-buy tickets from either the Tesco on Springs Lance, The Ticket Office Bar and the Ilkley visitor information centre. Tickets are also available to buy on the day, though may cost slightly more. But also, be sure to check out my twitter for a 4 ticket giveaway, a simple retweet and follow and you could win!

Check out Ilkley Carnival on Facebook and Twitter and visit the website here!

Two. The Cow and Calf Rocks

The Cow and Calf rocks, also known as Hangingstone Rocks, are large rock formations set just outside of Ilkley town, perfect for climbing! This makes for a lovely day out – with a little car park for people to park up whilst you wander, and a cafe to grab a drink to warm yourself up with after! The idea behind the name is due to the shape of the rocks, with one large one and a smaller one beside it, just like a cow and it’s calf!

Nearby there is also a lovely pub/restaurant and hotel, The Cow and Calf (yep, pretty easy to remember!) that does amazing food, I highly recommend it after the being out climbing rocks in the pretty unforgiving northern weather!

Three. Walks by the River

Down the other end of Ilkley from the Cow and Calf rocks, there is a lovely river called the River Wharf. This has a pathway with greenery all around, a great place for a stroll or dog walk! I go here all the time with my partner, and love skipping stones in the shallower parts of the river. I love going down here, as I don’t have my dog with me in Bradford, he’s back with my parents because I moved here for university. Heading down for the walk by the river means I get to meet lots of dogs along the way too, so it’s a win win!

I hope you liked my top things to do in Ilkley! I do really love it there, it’s a real breath of fresh air for me, as I’m a real country girl at heart. Don’t get me wrong, I love the city I live in, but I don’t think anything will quite beat looking out in the countryside and seeing for miles and miles or heading out for a fun day at an event like Ilkley Carnival.

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Elle Louise




  • Megan

    I love Ilkley! I have family there so am probably there at least once a month!!

    • EleanorLGriffiths

      Really! Well if you’re around for the Carnival let me know because I’m going! x

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