A Walk on Ilkley Moor…

I had been hoping to explore some different moorland this August but with a trip to Scotland coming up at the end of the month (more on that soon) I only managed to fit in a quick trip to Ilkley for a stroll on the moor.  Still, I’d not been for quite a while, so I was looking forward to it…

Cow and Calf Rocks on Ilkley Moor

I arrived at Ben Rhydding and walked up the hill to the Cow and Calf Rocks on quite a misty morning.  This had been the forecast and I’d hoped to make it to the moor before the mist lifted as I had some nice heather and rock in diffused light shots in mind, but as I neared the Cow and Calf the sun was already burning through the mist and it was clear that by the time I got onto the moor itself the sun would be shining, so I treated myself to coffee at the little cafe at the Cow and Calf car park and watched the sky clear over the rocks.

Path on Ilkley Moor

After refreshments and a clamber on the rocks I set out across the moor.  I’ve walked on Ilkley Moor a few times and always found the network of paths on the ground relate little to what’s on my map, but I found the main Dales Way Link path south towards Lanshaw easily enough…

Boundary Stone on Ilkley Moor

It wasn’t far to the Lanshaw Lad boundary stone, which was what I had in mind for a few images with it surrounded by heather, before retracing my steps and following the path to White Wells.

White Wells Spa Cottage on Ilkley Moor

At White Wells the Spa Cottage was closed but it’s still a nice spot to admire the view over Ilkley nestling in Wharfedale below.

The Swastika Stone on Ilkley Moor

I continued along the Millennium Way following the edge of the moor to Woodhouse Crag to have a look at the Swastika Stone which I’d never actually visited before.  It’s quite an interesting rock marking – it’s origins are somewhat mysterious – which doesn’t look a fat lot like a swastika.  It’s protected by railings and a locked gate so in the sun shadows of the railings are cast across it – that diffused light under the early mist would have come in handy here!

View over Wharfedale from Woodhouse Crag

Despite the railings around the rock marking, Woodhouse Crag is a nice spot commanding fine views over Wharfedale – an ideal stop for a bit of lunch on a warm day!

Hebers Ghyll near Ilkley

From here I had no particular plan, so had another look at the map and decided to head back down into Ilkley via Heber’s Ghyll, a nice shady woodland with a steep path descending by a stream.  The trees in their drab summer greens weren’t of interest (it may be worth a look in autumn) but the dappled light on forest ferns was quite nice and a few mossy rocks in the stream made a nice image to round off the shoot and a nice walk on Ilkley Moor. And if you’re wondering, no I wasn’t wearing a hat…

About marksunderland

Mark Sunderland is a retired landscape and travel photographer still taking the occasional photograph! For image licensing and prints see linktr.ee/marksunderland.

3 Responses

  1. My favourite place,filled with memories. Sdly, the swastika you can now see clearly is a copy, cut to preserve the original design as it began to deteriorate. Even within my own memory it has faded so much that you really need to know what you are looking for and where in order to spot it.

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