A Guide to Ilkleywith Linley & Simpson Estate Agents & Letting Agents

The historical spa town of Ilkley is located on the edge of the banks of the River Wharfe, in the district of Wharfedale – among the jewels of the Yorkshire Dales.

Ilkley is the ultimate travel-to-work commuter town as it is just 15 miles from the bright lights of Leeds, 15 miles from Bradford and 17 miles from Harrogate.

Its Victorian architecture and acres of spectacular, unspoilt scenery make the town a magnet for many tenants and residents – which have historically included novelist Jilly Cooper and Kaiser Chiefs star Ricky Wilson among them.

The famous Ilkley Moor – and accompanying song 'On Ilkley Moor Baht'at' (translated as On Ilkley Moor Without A Hat!) - and the breath-taking Cow and Calf rocks add to its appeal.

Also on the Moor is famous whitewashed building known as White Wells – which houses a bath at a site reputedly dating to Roman times. Other attractions include the Victorian bath house in the town itself and the recently-refurbished Ilkley pool and lido – one of the country's last remaining outdoor public swimming pools.

The Ilkley Literature Festival – which has attracted the likes of local boy made good Alan Titchmarsh - and the Ilkley Music Festival are two other summer highlights for residents.

Known as the 'town of millionaires', Ilkley's residents enjoy a quieter pace of life, with its Victorian shopping arcade, famous Betty's tearoom and Yorkshire Fat Rascals, this area proves ever popular with tenants and visitors alike. The Victorian parades of The Grove and Brook Street have collections of speciality shops. The town's original Victorian arcade has been restored as an indoor shopping walkway, complete with fountain and hanging baskets.

Of particular note is Lishman's of Ilkley, an award-winning butcher shop whose owner, David Lishman, became one of Rick Stein's superheroes. Ilkley is also home to the Michelin-starred Box Tree restaurant where Marco-Pierre White trained.

Charles Darwin famously stayed in the town during publication of The Origin of the Species – commemorated by the town's Darwin Gardens and the Millennium Maze.

More recently, Alan Bennett's film A Private Function was filmed in the town, which was also used as one of the locations for the filming of Calendar Girls with Helen Mirren and Julie Walters.

Just north of Ilkley lies Bolton Abbey in the Duke of Devonshire's extensive country estate, and the beautiful Yorkshire Dales national park. It is also the start of the Dales Way, which takes walkers up to Bowness on Windermere in the Lake District.

As well as an unrivalled choice of good schools, there are many picnic areas, as well as gorgeous parks and boating on the river which make Ilkley the perfect location for couples and families.

For sports enthusiasts, there is an array of choice. Ilkley Lawn Tennis and Squash Club, founded in 1880 hosts the Ilkley Squash Open which has attracted world-class players.

Ilkley Golf Club is Yorkshire's third oldest golf club, founded in 1890 and was the club where Ryder Cup star Colin Montgomerie learnt the sport. Other clubs include Ilkley Harriers, Ilkley Cricket Club, Ilkley Rugby Union Football Club, and Ben Rhydding Hockey Club, founded in 1901.

Thinking of selling with Linley & Simpson's Estate Agents Ilkley branch, click here to book your marketing appraisal or if you are thinking of buying in Ilkley click here to view current available properties for sale in Ilkley and surrounding areas.

Thinking of letting your property in Ilkley click here or renting in Ilkley click here to view current available properties to let in Ilkley and surrounding villages.


Ilkley Grammar School
St Mary's School
Bradford College

4 to 11 year olds

All Saints Primary School
Ashlands Primary School
Ben Rhydding Primary School
Addingham Primary School
Burley & Woodhead Primary
Burley Oaks Primary School
Menston Primary School
Sacred Heart Primary School
Askwith Primary School
Westville House
Moorfield School
Ghyll Royd School
Clevedon House Prep


All Saints Pre-School Playgroup
Ben Rhydding Pre-School Playgroup
Ilkley Pre-School Playgroup
Addingham Pre-School Playgroup
Menston Pre-School Playgroup
Little School
Jolly Tots
Burley Grange Creche
Burley Nursery
The Village Nursery, Menston
Esscroft Private Nursery
Red Brick Nursery
Moorfield School
Acorns Nursery
Clevedon House Prep
Ghyll Royd School

Other Sites of Interest

Musical Express
Mothers & Toddlers
Bullying Online - (a Charity for parents and children)
Steve Butler's Educational Site
Burley Middle School (now closed)
Bradford Council
Water Babies


Wharfedale Rail Users' Group (Trains from Ilkley to Leeds or Bradford)
"Hoppa" [960 to 963] bus times [Buses around Ilkley and to Otley/Bradford]
Ilkley & District Good Neighbours Community Transport

Also Try:

Northern Rail
Dalesbus .. transport to the Yorkshire Dales
Metro Public Transport Information

About Ilkley

by Frazer Irwin

Gateway to the Yorkshire Dales

Ilkley, Verbia of the Romans and Ylcanley of Saxon time. For over four thousand years the area has been populated by various tribes. None more so than the Victorians and present crew! Rombalds Moor of which Ilkley Moor is but a small part, covers an area from Hawkesworth in the east to Skipton in the West, with Dales of Wharfe and Aire being North and South respectively.

The Town has been in existence only a comparatively short time. In 1800 was nought but a mucky little hole with a beck running through it. A scattering of farms and thatched cottages, a population of around three hundred (give or take the odd dying wretch) and not much else apart from a cold spring high on the Moor. A few years earlier, the then Squire Myddleton, built what was to become the Country's first Cold Water Spa. So it was these small buildings became the Foundation of Modern Ilkley. Over a passage of time the 'Well' or 'Bath' house became known as White Wells.

The taking of 'spring' water which brought about such change to Wharfedale and it's effects on the local countryside were astronomical. Hamer Stansfeld (Lord Mayor of Leeds) put Ilkley and Wheatley on the map! One might say he turned "Water into wine" or as they say in yorkshire "Water into brass". Large Hydropathic establishments grew from the virgin earth, such was the demand for this remarkable substance. The first of many mill owners, industrialists and their families moved to the countryside for fresh air without fumes. Not only had Ilkley become a fashionable watering hole, it was now a commuter town.

Modern Ilkley is a commuter town with an ever growing population. The town boasts a thriving business community with over two hundred outlets and excellent shopping facilities within easy reach of bus, car, rail or nearby Leeds/Bradford airport. Ilkley also boasts many clubs, groups, activities and hosts exhibitions and festivals which have gained the town international acclaim. Quality hotels make the town a popular venue for holidays, conferences, country pursuits or just dining at one of the town's many eating houses.

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