New Year’s Day Walk on Ilkley Moor

You are invited to join us on New Year's Day as we go for our traditional walk seeing in the New Year on Ilkley Moor. We will meet at 10.30am at the White Wells car park in Ilkley and there will be a range of options of walk depending on what you have energy for. Some of the walkers will walk across to the Cow & Calf pub and stop for a drink or for lunch before heading back to the cars. Others may do a short explore near White Wells and then drive around to the pub.
For more information please take a look below.

on the edge

If you've not been before - please be warned that it can get cold and icy or muddy. Please wear strong footwear and appropriate clothes. If it is cold in Leeds it is VERY cold on the Moor. Look at the map and meet at the car park on Wells Road, Ilkley (about 30 mins drive from Leeds). When you head up the hill on Wells Road go over the cattle grid and keep going until you get to a small car park on your left next to the path up the hill. There is plenty of roadside parking if the car park is full.

But, ....if anyone really wants to chase away the cobwebs on New Years Day there is the White Wells Dip, freezing arctic conditions in the amazing Victorian spa pool located next to the lovely cafe, where you warm up with a hot chocolate after! Bring swimming stuff, towels and warm layers for afterwards for the walk...if it's snowing, bring sledges. Come earlier for the dip kids and dads! Bring picnic snacks, and/or money to buy refreshments (e.g. hot chocolate) at the Old Spa Baths tea shop. Toilet provision is basic.

Weather permitting we will go for a walk. There are several options

  • Little ones or buggies can simply walk back down the hill.

  • If you simply want to walk you can do the 2.3 mile circuit (route in blue described below) that includes the Rocky Valley and the Cow and Calf rock formations.

  • Many of us will walk to the Cow and Calf pub for lunch and then head back to the car park.

In previous years, the walking party has split at the Cow and Calf pub, with some stopping for lunch there. Please note that the pub is usually extremely crowded on New Year's Day. If you'd like to stay for lunch please book yourself a table by calling 01943 607335!

Route:White Wells, Rocky Valley, Cow and Calf Rocks and the Tarn: Allow 2 hours for the 3 mile (5km) walk. From the car park on Wells Road, go up the pathway to the white buildings of White Wells. Follow the track behind White Wells that goes through Rocky Valley - bearing left at the steps. Cross Backstone Beck over some rock slabs and across (half left) to the top of the Cow and Calf Rocks. Keeping height, turn left along the edge to a wooden stile among the pines, then descend to a lower path and a wooden bridge, which takes you to the tarn. The tarred path from the tarn leads back to Wells Road.

snow apostles