Friday 14 December 2012

Tour de France Yorkshire - The route...?

Although it won't be revealed by until a press conference (in both Leeds and Paris) on 17th January, "usually reliable sources" suggest the following is likely: -

Day 1 - Saturday 5th July 2014 - the start will be in Central Leeds, heading out through the grounds of Harewood House and then up and across - probably Sutton Bank - through The North Yorkshire Moors National Park - and across for a sprint finish on the sea front in Scarborough. 

Day 2 - Sunday 6th -  is expected to start in York City Centre heading across into The Yorkshire Dales National Park, coming down - hopefully through Ilkley and up past The Cow and Calf Rocks on Ilkley Moor, then down through Halifax and maybe ending in Sheffield City Centre.

All this is yet to be confirmed! It may prove wrong.  I'll bet it's not far off the mark though!  

We'll just have to wait - in the meantime go to for the latest news

Tour de France - Latest

It is official: The world's greatest cycle race - the Tour de France - will start in the world's greatest county on 5th & 6th July 2014 bringing millions of fans to the Yorkshire roadside to cheer on the champions of the sport.

Welcome to Yorkshire reports...  "It will be the first time Le Tour has visited the north of England having previously only made visits to the south coast and the capital. We guarantee it will be a festival and a spectacle for fans and first timers alike and are sure Yorkshire will rise to occasion and give the riders, the teams and the race organisers a Grand Départ to remember. Yorkshire is a world class county and it will deliver a world class event.

This is Yorkshire's moment to shine. Over 2 billion people watch Le Tour live on television every year providing a wonderful advert for our county and hopefully it will prompt people who maybe haven't visited before or not been in a while to book a break to visit us.

This is undoubtedly Yorkshire's opportunity to welcome the world.

With the recent success of British riders, notably Bradley Wiggins becoming the first Briton to win Le Tour in 2012 shortly followed by a gold medal time trial performance in London, the popularity of cycling has never been higher. With that in mind it might be a good idea to think about booking your favourite Yorkshire hotel, bed and breakfast or campsite early to avoid disappointment!

Yorkshire is rightly proud to be able to say it will host the Tour de France. The county is a heartland of the sport and over the next few pages we celebrate Yorkshire's Grand Départ, Yorkshire's cycling champions, the county's iconic cycling landscapes and hopefully inspire more people to consider going uphill and down dale on two wheels in future".

Le Grand Depart will be in Leeds on Saturday 5th July 2014.  Competitors will tour the city and then head for The Yorkshire Dales.  Sunday will be in the North Yorkshire Moors (based on information provided by Welcome to Yorkshire). An announcement on 17th January 2013 will confirm the route and dates.

Vive le Yorkshire!

Yorkshire has won the bid to host the Grand Départ of the Tour de France in 2014.

News that the "Back le Bid" campaign has been successful is terrific for Yorkshire.
"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to stage the biggest annual sporting event in the world, in Yorkshire" commented Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive Gary Verity
"Two billion people watch Le Tour live on television every year and the Grand Départ, which is held outside of France every two years, is the most eagerly anticipated and widely publicised few days of the whole race" 
More details about Yorkshire’s Grand Départ will be revealed by Welcome to Yorkshire in January.

For the latest follow this story on Twitter and Facebook (direct links to this story!)

(OK! You're right! I'm not likely to be in the lead peloton - but they just might tackle our local steep climb at Langbar!)

Sunday 2 December 2012

Snow expected overnight - Monday 3rd December

The first snow of winter was expected overnight, but came to nothing!  Remember, if there are any serious issues regarding travel to us, we let arriving guests know by text message/ SMS as well as posting news on Blogger, Facebook and Twitter. 

In 15 winters, we've never been cut off due to weather.  We have a 4x4 vehicle and can collect anyone stranded in snow!  There's always a warm welcome when you arrive!  Tim

Sunday 18 November 2012

Christmas Lights switch on 24th November

Ilkley Christmas lights will be switched-on next Saturday - 24th November.  Special offers at Westwood Lodge Ilkley Moor!

The Aagrah is coming to Ilkley?

Curry Capital Stop Press!  - There's a planning application in for a new restaurant in Ilkley.  It's at the site of Oakley's and the adjoining former healthfood shop.  The application in the name of "Mr Mohammed Aslam".  Now Mr Aslam just happens to be Managing Director of The Aagrah Group of Restaurants... 

Many people think that the award-winning Aagrah would be a great addition to Ilkley's culinary fayre!  Watch this space!

Monday 29 October 2012

Bradford wins again! Curry Capital of Britain for second year running!

Bradford has been named Curry Capital of Britain for a second year running.

The city is said to have "hung on to its title by the narrowest of margins" after receiving the same number of points from the judges as Glasgow.

The title went to Bradford because the city received a higher number of votes in the public poll.

Organiser Peter Grove said Bradford was "Curry Central - they eat, sleep, breath and export curry and it is part of the city makeup."

The four restaurants representing Bradford this year were Shimla Spice, Aagrah Shipley, Zouk and Akbars.

"Well done to everyone who has helped Bradford retain the Curry Capital of Britain crown. A great achievement by some great restaurants."

Thursday 27 September 2012

Enjoy one of our Courtyard Cottages this winter!

Winter Warmer - Low occupancy deals. If there's just one or two of you, we're offering 7 night stays in our courtyard cottages in November or December at 25% off our already low Winter Warmer prices!   So you can enjoy more space and bring your dog (for a small charge). Book online and the system will calculate your extra discount! (Note that this very special offer can't be combined with any other discount!)

Deluge Fails to Dampen County’s Spirit

Wet weather has failed to dampen the county’s spirit as key festivals and tourism business have declared they will not be beaten by the deluge.

Despite the county experiencing torrential downpours this week festival organisers at the hugely popular Masham Sheep Fair have announced they will open for business as usual this weekend. The River Ouse may have burst its banks but the majority of York businesses are trading as normal including key tourist attractions such the National Railway Museum, the Jorvik Viking Centre and the city’s popular Food and Drink festival. Hebden Bridge, which has been repeatedly hit by the bad weather is open, and has an exhibition highlighting the town’s strength during the recent poor weather at the Heart Gallery. The nationally renowned Ilkley Literature Festival goes ahead as normal as does the Helmsley Folk Weekend.
Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said:
Yorkshire, like the rest of the country, has experienced extremely high rainfall this week however it doesn’t mean the entire county is closed - far from it. Festivals, towns and businesses are fighting back and it’s extremely important to get the message out there that Yorkshire is not a washout, where possible we are open for business ready and waiting with a warm Yorkshire welcome that won’t be beaten by the wet weather.
Westwood Lodge Ilkley Moor is open as usual.  Local shops,  roads and rail links are open and operating normally 

Thursday 20 September 2012

October and Autumn half-term prices cut!

LATEST - We've cut the prices of a wide range of short breaks and full week stays for the remainder of September and all of October, including the peak autumn half-term weeks!  So, whether you're after a crisp morning walk on Ilkley Moor, scrunchy leaves in our courtyard, watching the sunset from The Roof Garden or just sitting by the cosy Orchard Cottage log fire - book now!

Examples: (available at the time of writing this post, but subject to still being available when you come to book!)

The Glenmoor - 5th October, now £399 for 3 nights

The Old Gallery - 15th October, now £599 for 4 nights

The Wells - 19th October, now £399 for 7 nights

Coach House Cottage - 26th October, now £695 for 7 nights 

Friday 17 August 2012

September Offers Booking Now!

September is always our most popular month. The weather is often excellent, The Dales and Moors are quieter and the days still long - often with beautiful sunsets.

All our offers are made by us (not an agency) and are guaranteed to be currently available if listed here! We're taking bookings all the time - so grab a bargain now!

Click here for our September offers!       

Sunday 12 August 2012

Ilkley Summer Festival in full flow!

A varied programme of events is taking place throughout August as part of the Ilkley Summer Festival.  One of the highlights is always the Ilkley Continental Market - a range of goodies from across Europe for you to enjoy!
As usual the Grove will be closed for allowing everyone to enjoy a traffic free experience whilst browsing and shoping.  Various Bands will be appearing on all market days at  The Bandstand to entertain while you shop and relax.

Tuesday 17 July 2012

Summer is coming - hopefully!

Yorkshire (and the UK) is expected to get drier and warmer as we approach August.  There are signs that the jet stream may shift northwards which means it should feel more like summer, at last!  It's all down to pressure building in the Azores!

BBC Weather says: -
"The jet stream s a great river of wind flowing through the upper atmosphere. Its path is the cause of the repeated flooding being suffered during a British summer that has so far been one of the most miserable on record.  It usually passes along a steady path from west to east across the Atlantic - sometimes a bit to the north of the UK, sometimes a bit to the south.  As a relatively small island, on the borderline between the Atlantic Ocean and the European continent, the precise location of the stream matters hugely and, at the moment, the UK is on the wrong side of it.  However, if it shifts, the weather should prove to be more like summer."

Saturday 14 July 2012

New late-night pharmacy ideal for guests

We're delighted that a new late night pharmacy has opened here in Ilkley.  It's a joint venture involving our local GPs from the Ilkley Moor Medical Practice on Springs Lane.  It intends to be open 7 days a week and until 11pm Mondays to Saturdays.
"We regularly get guests asking about obtaining their prescription medicine.  Often they didn't get time to hand their prescription in before coming away on holiday.  So this new pharmacy should prove a big hit with our guests"

Friday 13 July 2012

Big names coming to Ilkley Literature Festival

Paddy Ashdown, Michael Portillo, Sandy Gall (ex ITN), Michael palin, Sandi Toksvig, Jeremy Vine, Clare Balding, John Suchet...

They're all going to be at the Ilkley Literature Festival which will be held from 28th September until 14th October 2012.  Click here to find out the latest on who will be attending.  Tickets go on sale in mid-August with popular names getting snapped up in hours (or even minutes!). 

Book your stay at Westwood Lodge now!  If for any reason you don't get the tickets you were hoping for, we'll change the dates of your stay - even to the 2013 Festival if necessary!

Thursday 12 July 2012

Ilkley Stones on Radio 4

Don't miss Radio 4 this Sunday (15th July) Put it in your diary!

BBC Radio 4 will be broadcasting a special 30 minute documentary called Poems from the Pennines, a documentary featuring the Stanza Stones project on Sunday 15th July at 4.30pm. Repeated on Saturday 21st July at 11.30pm. BBC Radio 4 Website 

Tune in to hear interviews with Simon Armitage, Ilkley Literature Festival and young people involved in the project

Wednesday 11 July 2012

Great Yorkshire Show 2012

After 3 months of unprecedented rainfall the organisers have had to take the difficult decision to cancel The Great Yorkshire Show on the evening of the first day (Tuesday 10th July) after suffering a further 30 minute deluge.   Sadly the car parks cannot now be used to park cars safely and so they simply couldn't continue.

The Great Yorkshire Show is the largest agricultural show in the UK and has never been previously been cancelled.
"This is a heartbreaking decision for everyone who loves the Great Yorkshire Show and is involved in making it so special"

Thursday 28 June 2012

Special July and August Deals!

All summer weeks are now available for short breaks and full week stays with some big reductions - even during peak season! Click the Special Offers link to see what's available!

July is a favourite time to come with The Great Yorkshire Show at Harrogate. It's the best time to spot bats flying up to the eaves at Westwood Lodge. Or head to Malham Cove to spot the peregrine falcon or Harewood House to see red kites. Ilkley Lido is open daily.

August is the time for the smaller traditional agricultural shows such as Kilnsey and Malham. They'll be fell races, hay bale competitions, sheepdog trials and sheep and cattle judging. Don't forget the Ilkley Summer Festival throughout August and the Kettlewell Scarecrow Festival too!

Sunday 24 June 2012

Olympic Torch comes through Ilkley!

After all the excitement, there were great crowds lining the streets through Ilkley this afternoon. At exactly 4.46pm - right on schedule - the procession, having arrived from Skipton, started from the town boundary, just west of Victoria Avenue and headed through Ilkley town centre towards Leeds. Huge traffic jams occured in both directions as those foolish enough to try to drive, were diverted into the back streets and inevitably to a standstill. Everyone had a fantastic time, cheering and waving the flame - carried intitially by 38 year old Richard Milner - on its' way!

Sunday 17 June 2012

White Rose Classic Sportive

White Rose LogoTim donned his Lycra and joined 1000 other cyclists for the revival of the White Rose Classic sportive cycle ride.  Tim undertook the "medium" course - that's 130km and 7,800 feet of climb!  Others completed an even longer route at 180km!  The medium route still took in Otley, Greenhow, Grassington, Halton Gill, Settle, Burnsall and Bolton Abbey. 

Sunday 10 June 2012

1000 Women Run Race for Life in Ilkley!

More than 1,000 women signed up and ran the women-only 5k event in Ilkley on Sunday 10th June 2012.  They hope to raise upwards of £50,000 for Cancer Research UK.
Jenny Key, event manager for Race for Life in Yorkshire, said: “We are thrilled that so many women entered. It helped create a fantastic atmosphere on the day and raised crucial funds".

“The battle against cancer never stops. Women of all ages, abilities, shapes and sizes take part in Race For Life. They motivate and inspire each other to complete the course.”

Paula, Alice and Annie from Westwood Lodge all ran in the event, alongside many friends and with sponsorship from family, friends and guests. With a close friend (who also lives in Ilkley) currently being treated against cancer, the race had a particularly special meaning this year.  She still managed to complete the course and - like all the other runners - crossed the line with a smile!

Wednesday 30 May 2012

Late availability deals 8th June

Although we're FULL for the Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend, we have cut prices for stays at the end of the week.  So, with most children not returning to school until Monday 11th June, why not grab yourself a discounted weekend stay? 

Ilkley Lido Opens for Summer 2012

Ilkley Lido is one of the last surviving outdoor pools in the north of England.  Now a Grade II Listed structure, lidos became hugely fashionable in the 1930s, which is when ours was built. 

There's nothing better on a hot summer's day and it's less than 5 minutes drive away or a 20 minute walk.  There are changing rooms and a cafe plus a picnic area, water slide and fountain

Saturday 19 May 2012

June is a great time to stay!

The upland hay meadows will be coming alive with wild flowers, insects and small mammals.   Ilkley Moor will start to look spectacular.  The Grassington Festival will celebrate the best in music and the arts and they'll be lots of local celebrations for the Queen's Jubilee, with the double Bank Holiday to enjoy!

First Yorkshire Show of the Year

Saturday 19th May sees the season of shows get underway with Otley Show. Well worth a visit with loads of things to see and do!

Saturday 12 May 2012

Hundreds Participate in Ilkley Moor Filming!

Hundreds of people turned out on a gloriously sunny Ilkley Moor this morning to play their part in the filming of the new Yorkshire Anthem - On Ilkley Moor Bah't 'at. 

The filming is the latest part in the making of a new video song about our famous Moor.  Brian Blessed has already recording some of the lyrics (see below) as have several local choirs.  Soldiers from the Yorkshire Regiment joined the town crier and local residents throwing their hats in the air and singing along.  Funds raised will go towards the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.  

More news about the release soon!  

Thursday 3 May 2012

Ilkley Carnival time!

It's Ilkley Carnival on Bank Holiday Monday (7th May). There are still a few vacancies just up the hill here at Ilkley Moor Cottages at Westwood Lodge ( There's a street parade with local school children and floats, a fabulous fun fair and traditional competitions and stalls.

The chosen theme for 2012 is 'The Summer Of Celebrations'. Over the last 25 years the carnival has raised money that has been given back to the community to help fund local projects, organisations, sports clubs and help enhance local facilities for everyone.

Friday 30 March 2012

Bring the Tour de France to Yorkshire - Back le bid!

Yorkshire is bidding to bring the Tour de France to Yorkshire in 2016 and your support is needed! 

The tour de France is the WORLD'S LARGEST ANNUAL SPORTING EVENT watched by 88 million people around the world.  Hosting the race in Yorkshire will provide a multi-million pound boost to the economy and showcase yorkshire globally! 

Top cyclists MARK CAVENDISH and BEN SWIFT have already shown their support.  Click here to see more on this story! 
"It would be amazing to be part of the peloton through the Dales" (Ben Swift)
You can show yours by backing Le Bid today! 

Wednesday 28 March 2012

Brian Blessed to sing On Ilkla Moor Bah't 'at in RAP!

Yes! It's true! Brian Blessed is to star in a rap version of the Yorkshire Anthem On Ilkla Moor Bah't 'at!

It was announced today at Y12 - Welcome to Yorkshire's Official Convention announcing record growth in tourism to Yorkshire.

(Photo: Telegraph and Argus)

STOP PRESS: Gary Richardson our ace number 1 handyman interviewed by ITV1/ Yorkshire Television for this story! See the feature here!

Friday 23 March 2012

Cottage guests help our Annie raise £203 for a good cause!

Our 11 year old daughter - Annie - organised a special Mother's Day fayre last weekend. With help from classmates and mum Paula, they made cakes, buns and handmade gifts. The event was held in our grounds in aid of Ilkley Grammar School's nominated charity Aquabox. Annie had hoped to raise £50 but ended up handing over a cheque for £203. A number of guests staying with us gave generous support by uying gifts and coffees. The final total was reached after the last of the trays of cakes were sold to visitors walking on Ilkley Moor!
The money will go to buy lots of things to make up boxes that will be kept ready to be sent anywhere in the world where there is a big natural disaster in the future, such as took place at Haiti.

Monday 19 March 2012

Olympic Torch Coming to Ilkley - Confirmed!

Day 37. Sunday 24th June 2012. 1646 hours.

That's when the Olympic torch will be coming through Ilkley on the A65.

We've still got some accommodation free that weekend. Why not join us by celebrating the event - witnessing the runners in their gold and white outfits carrying the flame aloft!
(Photos: BBC)

Friday 9 March 2012

New Cottage Progressing Well

We have been building a new cottage to the north of Westwood Lodge through the autumn and winter. Progress has been good and major work is scheduled to be completed during April.

All facilities, except the terrace gardens will be open as usual. This means that access to the animal corner, Wendy House and trampoline is from our car park rather than the terrace. Also, access to The Scullery Garden Apartment is from the The Cellars Leisure area, whilst the work continues.

We will continue to try to keep any disturbance to a minimum. Guests staying during the next few weeks should email if needing further clarification

Tuesday 28 February 2012

Easter Offers Go Live!

We've released all remaining dates over Easter as both short bresaks and full week stays. All vacancies arriving on Good Friday 6th April have been reduced. Click the Special Offers button on the right and scroll down.

Monday 27 February 2012

The Dales is back! ITV1 - Mondays 8pm

The new second series of The Dales returns to ITV1 (27th February 2012) and once again, Adrian Edmondson returns to the county of his birth, Yorkshire, to bring us the stories behind life in the Yorkshire Dales.

Spectacularly beautiful they may be - but the Dales are also a challenging environment for the people who live there in some of its remote communities.  Adrian used to spend many of his childhood summers in the Yorkshire Dales with his family (mainly here in Ilkley!), but in this series he meets a number of characters who live all year round there amidst the stunning scenery of landmarks like Bolton Abbey and Aysgarth Falls.

Find out more about The Dales

Tuesday 21 February 2012

Behind the scenes of the Bartons' car crash - Videos - Emmerdale - ITV

Behind the scenes of the Bartons' car crash - Videos - Emmerdale - ITV
So poor John Barton didn't survive the spectacular car crash scene filmed here out on Ilkley Moor last month. Find out more from this behind the scenes clip!

A few questions you've asked...

1 Where were the first shots (low loader and stuntman) fimed? Just over from Keighley Gate (Whetstone Gate on maps) on the road back across to Silsden

Is the drop off from the Cow & Calf Rocks really that big? Yes

3 Can we see where the filming took place? Yes indeed. Ilkley Moor is open access land

How long did filming take? 3 nights. We could see that the floodlights were still on at 3 o'clock in the morning!

Friday 10 February 2012

Current weather conditions 10th February 2012

We are open for business and fully intend to remain so. Main roads in the area are open (drive with care) and rail services into Ilkley are operating normally. Local shops are receiving deliveries and pubs and restaurants report brisk trade. We're always prepared for extreme weather here. The boilers are all recently serviced, we have plenty of cut logs for open fires and our 4x4 vehicle is ready to ferry guests up the hill from the station or town centre.

We appreciate that media reports are indicating a severe situation, which is currently just not the case. Of course, the position is different in other areas of the country and extra care and measures such as carrying a shovel in your vehicle, extra warm clothing and flasks of hot drinks are always wise precautions. On the positive side, Ilkley and Ilkley Moor look like Christmas card scenes and snowballs and sledging are the order of the day out here. Have a safe journey!

Tuesday 7 February 2012

Original Harry Ramsden Saved!

The original Harry Ramsden's Restaurant in Guiseley closed late last year has been saved!  Contrary to rumour, it's not going to become an Aldi supermarket but will stay as an iconic fish and chip restaurant.  The Wetherby Whaler Group  is said to be planning a £500,000 revamp before it re-opens.

Harry Ramsden's opened in 1931 in the art nouveau-styled building. The restaurant once served a record number of portions of fish and chips and also attracted celebrity diners including Margaret Thatcher, who paid it a visit during her 1979 and 1983 election campaigns.
"The famous fish and chip restaurant in Guiseley is the spiritual home of fish and chips in England," said Phillip Murphy of the Wetherby Whaler Group. "It would be a national scandal if it were to close at this time of economic uncertainly. Our investment has saved a Yorkshire landmark and will ensure the tradition of fine fish and chips continues at this important location. The new Wetherby Whaler in Guiseley will be our flagship restaurant."

Saturday 4 February 2012

Snowed in (almost!)

Snowing since noon.  We're almost cut off here tonight.  Guests planning to go clubbing in Leeds had their minibus cancelled.  Everywhere still open in Ilkley though.  Best advice - forget the car, wrap up warm and head down into town on foot!  Pudding dog loving the snow tonight...

Friday 13 January 2012

Dramatic Emmerdale Story being filmed on Ilkley Moor!

Nightime filming has been taking place this week for what is said to be a huge Emmerdale story to be aired later in February.  The Yorkshire TV team have been filming dramatic scenes on night shoots on Ilkley Moor until 3am.  Although they have been keeping exact details of the stunts under wraps for now, it is rumoured locally to involve some sort of major mock car crash.  An insider reported "it's a top secret stunt - they've got a stunt crew, fire engines, paramedics on stand-by. They're really big scenes coming up in about six weeks' time which are top secret. It's going to be big." 

Certainly, there have had some very powerful searchlights up there!

Filming has also been reportedly taking place on the moors above Silsden and Riddlesden.

An Emmerdale spokesperson recently confimed "It's a big dramatic storyline that will be on screen in February. It does involve a big stunt so we've had paramedics and fire crews."

Emmerdale continues at 7pm on ITV1.  (Logo and title Yorkshire Television)

Friday 6 January 2012

Fresh Radio/ Yorkshire Dales Radio ceases broadcasting

Lots of folk in Ilkley and across the Yorkshire Dales will be saddened that Fresh Radio (formerly Fresh AM and originally Yorkshire Dales Radio) has ceased broadcasting tonight with the frequencies to be taken over by the big UKRD Group who run Stray FM.  For the past few years Fresh has broadcast from Broughton Hall (well the business park there) but before that it came from what looked like a caravan in the centre of Skipton.  We understand that Fresh will be rebranded as Stray FM taken over as part of an enlarged area across Harrogate. 

Since 2007 Ilkley has enjoyed Fresh Radio in FM Stereo from a transmitter in Ben Rhydding.  OK, sometimes it went down and it was rumoured at one stage that the transmitter had been turned off due to unpaid bills (under previous ownership).  But we enjoyed Fresh!  It was friendly.  It was enjoyable.  It was local.

Annie visited the studios to collect a prize she had won on the breakfast show, last summer.  Even aged 10, she invariably correctly answered the breakfast trivia quiz and regularly texted the answer whilst eating breakfast!  The first we would know was when her name was read out as the winner!.  At the Fresh studios, she met Head of News James Wilson (I think he WAS Fresh Radio news!) and made very welcome.  We were just amazed how low-key everything was - just three folk and that included the afternoon presenter and someone selling on air advertising!  

Sad days for truly local radio.

Thursday 5 January 2012

Winter Work 2012 - Latest news

Work continues on our new cottage through the winter.  The green oak timber frame was dropped in just before Christmas and more eco-polystyrene walling is being added throughout January.  Next it will be the grass roof and starting work on the ground source heating supply.

The work is having very little affect on guests staying at Westwood Lodge and we continue to be fully open throughout the winter months.