Sunday 27 December 2009

Snow's Going...

The snow is melting but it really has been a fab white Christmas. We spent most of Christmas Day sledging outside the gates on the road down from the top of Ilkley Moor. Great stuff!

Monday 21 December 2009


Although we do have snow, the main roads through Wharfedale are all clear (as at 0930 Tuesday 22nd December) and guests should be able to reach us without undue problem. Trains are largely running to schedule and the airport is open. For the latest information, go to: for the latest on the trains to Ilkley for the latest on flight arrivals into Leeds Bradford International for road travel news Don't forget to pack snacks, water, warm clothes, fully charged mobile phone, shovel, blankets and a full tank of fuel just in case you have problems en route. Have a safe journey Tim

Saturday 5 December 2009

Christmas FULL - last chance for New Year

The decorations are up and we are pleased to report that we are completely full for Christmas 2009 and currently just have one apartment for New Year 2009/10. We are now taking bookings for next year at this years' prices and VAT at 15% (we'll absorb the extra 2.5% if you book now!) See our website for details.

Monday 23 November 2009

Original Victorian Arch restored

The winter refurbishment programme has set off with the original pedestrian arched entrance being restored. Bricked-up for many years (some say since the First World War!) it too a digger two days to clear the rubble and debris that was almost hiding it from view. Working with neighbours, we will be continuing to restore The Carriage Road that runs at the back of the gardens, by clearing up to 100 tonnes of overgrown stinging nettles, laurel, leaf mulch and garden debris.

1st Ilkley Science Festival

Ilkley has just had it's first ever science fair and Westwood Lodge guests were among the first audiences. A group of leading scientists from Leeds University gave various lectures at Ilkley Grammar School in a bid to help boost funds for a student trip to Ecuador. Headteacher Gillian James officially opened the talks, which were held over two days. They covered a wide range of science topics such as Marion Hetherinton’s talk on chocolate addiction. Prof Hetherington described how we learn to like bitter foods including vegetables. She encouraged parents to keep giving their children vegetables because they need to eat them at least ten times before they develop a taste for them! Another speaker, Catriona Morrison, a world expert in memory, made the audience recall their earliest memory and suggested that our earliest memories date from when we first have the words to describe an event. All in all - a great weekend and we hope the event will become an annual one.

Sunday 15 November 2009

Christmas Lights Switched on 21st November

Amazingly, it's that time of year again! The Ilkley lights get switched on Saturday 21st November at 5pm. The Parish Council have invested in some new lights and a huge tree has already been erected at the end of The Grove ready for the big switch on!

Wednesday 29 July 2009

Swine Flu Latest

We have today (29th July 2009) been informed that our recommended cancellation insurers will NOT apply the normal exclusion clause relating to Pandemics. Therefore, guests who take out a UK Plus Holiday Cancellation Insurance policy will find it COVERS SWINE FLU AS PER ANY OTHER MEDICAL RISK in accordance with the normal Policy Terms and Conditions. This will come as a great relief to many planning holidays. If you do NOT take out our recommended cancellation insurance or have alternative cover, do check and consider what would happen if you had to cancel your stay due to a member of your party being taken ill with Swine Flu. We will apply our Standard Booking Conditions to any such cancellation. In short, we cannot afford to have empty accommodation and, if you do not have suitable cover, you may find yourself having to pay for a holiday you are unable to take. Yorkshire currently has a much lower than average incidence of the illness but this situation may change as the summer progresses.

Friday 12 June 2009

Bradford becomes world's first "City of Film"

Bradford may not be top of your "must do" places to visit this year, but it has a lot going for it. There's The UK National Media Museum, The Alhambra and the best curry in the North, for starters! Now there's another reason as Bradford has been chosen to become the world's first-ever city of film. Awarded by the United Nations, the city is being recognised for films made in the city, the dedicated media museum and several film festivals held each year. Billy Liar and part of Monty Python's The Meaning of Life were made in Bradford and The Railway Children was filmed on the nearby Keighley and Worth Valley Railway. Bollywood stars often visit the city and Simon Beaufoy, the screenwriter for the Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire, said the accolade was "superb news" for his hometown. "Not only has Bradford played a crucial role in the story of cinema and helped shape its history, it has inspirational plans to enhance its future relationship with film, which will benefit both the local community and the industry at large." Bradford is just 25 minutes by rail from Ilkley with trains every half-hour throughout the day.

Tuesday 5 May 2009

Enjoy England Gold Awards

We are delighted our three courtyard cottages have each been awarded the first self-catering Gold Awards for high standards and service excellence. Gold Awards are only given to those properties in the Four Star category scoring a minimum of 84 out of 86 in the annual inspection by Enjoy England (the old English Tourism Council) and unable to be rated as Five Star due to not being able to meet certain requirements (in our case being Listed Historic Buildings and having restricted bedroom space).
This means that all 7 properties at Westwood Lodge have either been rated as Five Stars or Four Stars GOLD.

Monday 27 April 2009

Charles Darwin in Ilkley!

It's 200 years since Charles Darwin was born. He became world famous for his book "On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection" published exactly 150 years ago. What is less well known is that Darwin came to Ilkley just before his work was published. He arrived on 4th October 1859 to take the "water cure" at the Wells House Hydro - just 200 yards down the road from Westwood Lodge. He was joined by his wife and family and they enjoyed Ilkley so much that they took an apartment here at North House (now known as Hillside). Darwin received his review copy prior to publication, was here when his book was officially published (24th November) and where he started revisions for the second edition of his great work. Visitors to Westwood Lodge can still see both Wells House and North House as well as stroll around the Darwin Millenium Gardens and maze, just a couple of minutes walk from Westwood Lodge Ilkley Moor.

Monday 16 March 2009

We've got Puppies!

There's been great excitement here! Pudding has given birth to a litter of 5 English Springer Pups. If you come to stay before early April (2009), you're sure to meet them - Bread and Butter Pudding, Rice Pudding, Chocolate Pudding, Summer Pudding and Sticky Toffee Pudding! They've all been snapped up and will soon be going to their new homes. However, it's been great fun and a huge hit with children of all ages! Well done Pudding (and Eric who had something to do with it...!)

Winter Wonderland!

We've had some great snow here (February 2009). Here's a couple of pictures to give you a taste! Rest assured, we've never been snowed in here. The road to us is kept clear for the shuttle bus to operate. So don't be put off coming to stay, will you?