Thursday 2 October 2014

Don't miss The Witching Hour!

This is an absolute "must go" event.  Brilliant local writers such as Rachel Hagan, Mary Colson and John F King will be coming together for an hour of flash fiction, poems and stories inspired by the ever-changing landscape of Ilkley Moor.  And it's FREE!  See you there! 9pm Thursday 9th October 2014, Ilkley Playhouse.  Click here for more information

Friday 19 September 2014

Comedian Deborah Frances-White Joins Festival Programme

Half a Can of Worms

Deborah Frances-White was adopted at ten days old - up until late October 2012 she had no idea who or where her birth-family were.
An extraordinary run of events means that she is suddenly living as a round the clock internet Nancy Drew, finding out more information every hour about her birth mother, aunts, uncles, grandparents and even possibly half brothers and sisters.
What she is learning, is that you can't open half a can of worms.
Come and discover her mysterious past, inevitable future and heart-pounding present as her story unfolds.

Saturday 11 October, 7.30pm, Ilkley Playhouse, £6/4
This event has two 30 minute sets, with a 15 minute interval

Tickets on sale NOW.

Festival Highlights:

Festival Steward Adrian Thompson picks his Top 5 events from the programme.

My Father and Other Superheroes: Performance by Nick Makoha
Last year, around this time, I saw Nick Makoha walk into a classroom full of disenchanted inner city fifteen year olds, and produce the most inspirational hour I'd ever been a part of, changing some of those students lives for ever. This is a moving and powerful performance exploring the journey from childhood to fatherhood. It's quite unlike anything else in the programme, and definitely worth going to.
Friday 17 October, 7.30pm, Ilkley Playhouse, £6/4

Francis Pryor: A Time Traveller's Tale from Prehistory
Francis Pryor's probably best known for his appearances on TV - particularly Time Team, but he's also a well respected academic archaeologist who's very easy to like. When he came to the festival a few years ago, he was great, and his event this year looks every bit as good. Looking forward to this one!
Sunday 5 October, 2pm, Craiglands Hotel, £8/6

Andy Kershaw
This is my 'must see' for the Festival. Andy Kershaw - from giving up on his politics degree to become Leeds University Ent. Sec. via. presenting Live Aid, accidentally inventing World Music, becoming a Radio 1 DJ then a Radio 3 DJ, to being the man who reported for the Today programme from inside Rwanda just after the genocide in 1994 Andy has a lot of stories to tell, and he'll bring them all to life in his own inimitable style. Unmissable!
Friday 10 October, 7.30pm, The Kings Hall, £12/10

Bryan and Mary Talbot
Another unmissable couple of events. Bryan Talbot is one of my favourite comic book artists. The wonderful, lyrical Tale of One Bad Rat lingers long in the memory, and Alice in Sunderland is brilliant too. He's in Ilkley doing two events, and if you're any kind of comic fan, you should try and get to both. The Masterclass, where he'll be talking about how he creates a graphic novel, is a 'don't miss' and his event with his wife Mary, on their new graphic novel Sally Heathcote: Suffragette looks brilliant too.
Bryan Talbot Masterclasses: Sunday 12 October, 1.45pm, Manor House Education Room, £15/10
Bryan and Mary Talbot: Sunday 12 October, 4.30pm, Ilkley Playhouse, £6/4

Barbed Wire for Kisses
This is a real surprise, and typical of the sort of jewel that pops up in the programme, almost under the radar. It features two of my favourite storytellers - Hugh Lupton and Nick Hennessey working with two musicians to tell the story of World War 1 by focussing on families in a small Lincolnshire villlage. I could listen to Hugh and Nick for hours, and the event sounds great.
Thursday 16 October, 7.30pm, Ilkley Playhouse, £10/8

Adrian will be hosting his own Fringe event to share his experiences as a volunteer on Book Bus, which works with children in rural schools in Zambia.
All Aboard the Book Bus, Mon, 13 October, 9.15pm, Ilkley Playhouse, FREE

Book online at
Box Office: 01943 816 714 (10am - 4pm Mon - Fri, 10am - 1pm Sat)

Tuesday 26 August 2014

Ilkley Literature Festival Tickets now on sale!

Tickets for all Ilkley Literature Festival events have now gone on sale. Book now to see Clare Balding, Ken Livingstone, Andrew Motion etc etc.

Monday 11 August 2014

Ilkley Literature Festival 2014 Programme announced!

Margaret Atwood, Clare Balding, David Starkey, Ken Livingstone, Diane Abbott, Sheila Hancock, Michael Rosen, Andrew Motion, Charles Spencer, Barrie Rutter and Giles Brandreth.  They are all headline speakers at the biggest ever Ilkley Literature Festival 2014. 

The 17 days of exciting literary events for the whole family runs from 3rd to 19th October 2014.  YOU WILL NEED TO BOOK TICKETS FOR HEADLINE EVENTS AS SOON AS THE BOX OFFICE OPENS ON TUESDAY 26TH AUGUST! We are always full for this fortnight, so you should book your accommodation with us NOW! We are happy to hold your accommodation booking until you are certain of securing tickets.  Just mention this on your online booking form. 

Friday 8 August 2014

Ilkley Summer Festival 2014 - it's all happening!

The biggest and best ever Ilkley Summer Festival is now underway!  It continues throughout August and includes many free events!  There's the Continental Marget which sees The Grove closed to all traffic.  How about The Dolce Vita Weekend with Take That 2 and Robbie? There's Folk on Saturday, Jazz Day on Bank Holiday Monday and Tonight is Music Night.  The Festival finishes with Last Night at The Proms on August 30th.  There's Open Studio days for Art Lovers and Festival Fringe events too!

The full list of events is here:-

To find out more visit or call The Visitor Information Centre on 01943 602319.

Tuesday 15 July 2014

The Grandest of Grand Départs!

     When The Tour Came to Yorkshire...
“The Grandest ever Grand Départ” Christian Prudhomme, (Director of the Tour de France)
The Tour de France in numbers
(most figures supplied by Welcome to Yorkshire)
3 Stages of the Tour de France in the UK

3.5million spectators lining the route of the 3 Stages

Nearly 2m fans watching live on ITV on both Saturday and Sunday

Over 25 hours of live TV coverage

A million spectators at the spectator hubs, starts and Fan Parks to watch across all three stages - 25,000 of whom were in the Ilkley hub out of an estimated 45,000 visitors to the town!

100 kilometres of barriers and fencing

Over 70 kilometres of event bunting

Busiest day in the history of Leeds Train Station with 243,000 passengersNearly 10,000 Tour Maker volunteers en route - the first ever to accompany a Tour de France

Accompanied by the first ever cultural festival of its kind, the Yorkshire Festival attracting over 750,000 people to 1,400 performances

37 police forward escort riders giving high fives!

Close to 100 different agencies working on delivering the event

Over 3million pageviews on over race weekend

Over half a million people hashtagging in the build up to the Tour de France

Yellow bikes everywhere!

One amazing experience no-one will ever forget!

When The Tour Came to Yorkshire!

(Watch the film! 3 mins)


Tuesday 17 June 2014

Le Grand Départ of Le Tour de France - key information

If you're coming on 5th/ 6th July, you should visit our Ilkley community website
We’re delighted if  you’ve chosen to stay with us for Stage 1 and 2 of Le Grand Départ of The Tour de France 2014. (If you haven't - sorry - but we've been fully booked for 18 months! See for accommodation options)  It will be a hugely memorable occasion as Ilkley and Wharfedale will be the showcase for this major world sporting event. The fact that we have Le Tour passing through on both days will make Ilkley and Wharfedale the natural choice for watching this spectacular and world famous race.  There are other things taking place too including The White Rose Classic cycling sportive, Ilkley town centre races and a major four-day hub event at Ilkley Riverside.

Hundreds of thousands of spectators are expected to line the route.  All major roads - including the A65 - will be completely closed for much of the weekend making normal road communications and parking impossible. Trains are being strengthened with extra coaches but are expected to be extremely busy.  Bus services will be largely cancelled. Car parks many miles outside of the area (even stretches of the A65 will be used for parking) will be full with people probably having to walk into town. The only vehicles that will be allowed through the blockages will be the emergency services (police, fire and ambulance).  Due to the large number of people and the (hopefully small) risk of some less than honest people being amongst the crowds we are taking a few extra security precautions here.  

Friday 4th July - our normal check-in arrangements will apply on Friday 4th July.  If you are arriving that day, we will be ready at 4pm prompt.  Please don’t arrive earlier as we have a lot of preparation to do.  However, we do urge you to arrive and get settled in as soon after 4 o’clock as possible.  Only vehicles that have been notified to us will be allowed to park at Westwood Lodge Ilkley Moor, so we will need the registration number of your car(s).  We strongly urge you to have all your weekend shopping, supplies of essential medicines etc. completed before Friday afternoon!       

Saturday 5th July – the big day!  The event will pass through Wharfedale - including Ben Rhydding, Ilkley and Addingham - on it's way into the heart of The Yorkshire Dales and round to Harrogate. The caravan parade comes through from 1025 and the riders at around 1226.  All main roads are expected to be closed from 0530 until late afternoon.  As you will not be able to drive anywhere in Ilkley, we will be locking our main gates from 0800 until 1600.  Security will be in place and our premises monitored by CCTV by a member of our team.  

Sunday 6th   Le Tour returns from York, crossing the A65 and heading down through West and South Yorkshire, finishing in Sheffield.  Whilst the roads into Ilkley will be open, there will be no access along the A65 beyond Ilkley (towards Skipton) or on the back roads.
Where can I find out more?

Le Tour Ilkley Moor silkscreen print from local artist

Local artist, Joy Godfrey, has produced a great new silkscreen print of a cyclist on Ilkley Moor.  It's £250 (unframed) or £50 for an A2 reproduction.  Joy will arrange a tour of her workshop for serious purchasers and you can see her work at Weaverbird on Wells Road.  See more of Joy at   

Tuesday 22 April 2014

"Another great stay thank you. The Flying Duck pub visited twice. Good beer, well kept and a selection of good bottled beers. No problem with getting a table and bar staff very friendly. The Siam Square Thai was very good. A little expensive, but service and food good. The Wells cafe was lovely, but defintely needed to book which we had before we arrived. The choice was limited, but that's what gives you the quality and excellent. The chef/owner was very engaging, quality food and good value. The wine list was small but reasonably priced. A proper bistro, reasonable priced, small menu, good food, good atmosphere. The Panache which you know anyway, couldn't be faulted. It stood up against the Birmingham curry houses.
Great walks, great food. thanks!"

JB and VB from Shropshire - April 2014

Ilkley Carnival May Day 2014

 (photo Ilkley Carnival)
"The wheels are in motion for another spectacular Ilkley Carnival with the 2014 theme, The Yorkshire Tour" - say the organisers of The Ilkley Carnival

"With a nod to the Tour de France which is careering through our town and some of Yorkshire’s most stunning landscapes in July, you can expect Ilkley Carnival 2014 to deliver another memorable parade as local schools, businesses and local groups reflect and recreate Yorkshire's historic landmarks, destinations, history and culture on May Day Bank Holiday Monday, 5th May.
Ilkley Carnival is embraced by the entire community so look out for an array of stunning shop window displays reflecting this year’s theme. And any child under 16 can join in the fun by entering the Carnival Cover design competition where the winning 2014 themed-design could adorn the cover of the event programmes.  Ilkley Carnival is an entirely volunteer-run event which invests profits made back into the community. Last year's sponsorship, ticket sales and donations raised over £12k for local charities, sports clubs and community groups and this year, beneficiaries will include local schools.

It will be a year to remember for Ilkley with the world's biggest annual sporting event, the Tour de France, racing through our town. May sees Ilkley Carnival kick off a season of unique celebrations and we’re counting on you to join us, join in, help make history and make a difference to our future.
Ilkley Carnival 2014, it's going to be one 'eck of a ride!"
(Ilkley Carnival 2014 website )

At the time of writing, we have just one apartment vacant for the May Day Bank Holiday 2014 weekend!

Tour de France Team Presentation

Yorkshire’s Grand Départ of the Tour de France is just weeks away and the first major event of this historic occasion is the official Tour de France Team Presentation Ceremony on Thursday 3rd July at the Leeds arena.

For the first time ever the presentation of the teams, featuring some of the greatest names in cycling, will be part of a unique show – making it the biggest in the history of the Tour de France.

Tickets for the Team Presentation Ceremony, held early evening on Thursday 3rd July at Leeds arena will go on sale on Friday 25th April from 9am with ticket prices at £45, £55, £65 and £85 at

For an exclusive opportunity to purchase tickets ahead of this, join the thousands of others who have already pre registered by visiting before it closes at midnight tonight (Tuesday 22nd April).

We have accommodation from Friday 27th June or Monday 30th until Friday 4th July, to enable you to be at Le Tour presentations.  Like everywhere, we're full for Le Tour weekend but can suggest local camping (bring own tent) and glamping (posh tent supplied)!
For more on Yorkshire’s Grand Départ see:

Tuesday 11 February 2014

Half-term week

Whether your half-term is 17th to 21st or 24th to 28th, here are some top places to visit during your stay with us.  Click for our special accommodation deals at Westwood Lodge Ilkley Moor  

Skylanders SWAP Force™ Spectacular at National Media Museum, Bradford: Join the National Media Museum for a week of swappable unstoppable fun with Skylanders SWAP ForceTM. Take inspiration from your favourite Skylanders characters to make your own Swap Box and create an animation, as well as play the latest Skylanders game - Skylanders SWAP ForceTM - on PlayStation® 4 and PlayStation® 3 consoles.

Thackray Medical Museum, Leeds: February is Skeleton Science month! Beating away every second of every hour of every day, is our heart. In the month that celebrates Valentine's Day and all things romantic, what does a heart look like up close? Join them to dissect a real heart. Find out how it works, what an important role it has in your body and why it is so important to look after it.

Flow House at Xscape Yorkshire: Book on to the Kids Surf Academy where there's the a daily session from 10-11am for kids 16 years and under to come along and improve their Bodyboarding and Flowboarding skills.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton. Families are invited to make their own plaster trees and to explore what might emerge from it as we look forward to springtime. They will be using wire, plaster bandage, paint and wool.

Royal Armouries, Leeds: Mosey on down to the Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds this February half term and be transported to the Wild West. Take on the role of Sheriff and search the museum for bandits, desperados, rustlers and thieves, hear tales of the most famous faces from the time, take part in themed activities and watch demonstrations of whip cracking and knife throwing.

February Fun at Stockeld Park, Wetherby. Get active in the great outdoors this February half term at Stockeld Park, in the beautiful surroundings of their Yorkshire estate. Join them for a host of activities and ‘February Fun' at Stockeld Park from 15th - 25th February 2014. With ice skating sessions for young skaters, general skating and an ice disco as well as The Enchanted Forest and the Maze to be explored, plenty to keep you busy. They are also reinstalling their indoor play for the period so you can bounce and play to your heart's content.

Keighley and Worth Valley Railway. This beautiful railway, KWVR, will be running trains on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday during Half Term week. So wrap up warm, head down to the tracks and experience the magic of steam in the Worth Valley.

Yorkshire Welcomes The World!

With the Tour de France rapidly approaching, a programme of 100 days of world-class music, dance, theatre, film, art and sculpture has been announced. Spanning the county, engaging the widest posssible audience, and finally welcoming the Grand Départ of the Tour de France it's another reason to come to Yorkshire!

For more details visit The Yorkshire Festival 2014

Friday 17 January 2014

Tour de France LATEST!

So now we know the timings!

Saturday 5th July 

DEPART FICTIF ("virtual start") Leeds City Centre 1110.  This is the parade!

DEPART REEL at NOON.  This is when the action starts for real!

Caravans and sponsors pass through ILKLEY from 1029.  Riders come through at 1228

Sunday 6th July 

If you missed them in Ilkley - head just up the road to Addingham (3 miles) to see them again!  

Caravans and sponsors pass through Addingham from 1050. Riders come through at 1241

More info at