Wednesday 9 December 2015

Tour de Yorkshire 2016 Routes Announced!

Welcome to Yorkshire announces details of the 2016 Tour de Yorkshire
  • STAGE 1 on Friday 29th April will start in Beverley and finish in Settle - 185km
  • STAGE 2 on Saturday 30th April will start in Otley and finish in Doncaster - 135.5km
  • STAGE 3 on Sunday 1st May will start in Middlesbrough and finish in Scarborough - 198km
Stage One begins in Beverley, home to one of England’s finest Minsters, before the peloton races to Tadcaster and on to Knaresborough which was the scene of some of the biggest crowds for the Tour de France in 2014. Taking in some of the Grand Départ 2014 route, a series of climbs takes the riders past Brimham Rocks before a finish in Settle.  

On Stage Two, men and women will face exactly the same stage which starts in Otley, home of the current women’s road World Champion Lizzie Armitstead. From Otley riders travel south, on roads not raced on in the Tour de France or Tour de Yorkshire, towards Conisbrough Castle and on to Doncaster.

Stage Three will be familiar to those who raced in 2015, starting in Captain James Cook’s home town of Middlesbrough, then into Herriot Country before tackling the infamous Sutton Bank, the first of six King of the Mountain points in just one stage. Riders then head over the North York Moors and down towards Scarborough for what promises to be a thrilling finale and a race to the very end.
View the Tour de Yorkshire routes maps:
In addition to the professional races, the Maserati Tour de Yorkshire Ride will give amateur cyclists the chance to ride many of the roads ridden by the pros in a newly designed sportive route, which will start and finish in Scarborough on Sunday 1 May. The sportive route will follow parts of Stage 3 of the men's race whilst also taking in several alternative roads to allow for all 6,000 participants to finish in their own time. 
A highlight of the sportive will see amateur riders finishing with a 1km sea-front sprint finish and crossing the very same finish line as the professional riders with the same support from the waiting crowds. There will be three distances for riders to choose from; 40km, 85km and 115km.  The sportive sold out in a matter of hours in 2015 and those hoping to secure a place in the 2016 ride can register their interest and be first to hear when this year's event opens at

You can keep up to date with all the latest information about the Tour de Yorkshire here:

Wednesday 18 November 2015

Christmas Markets and Lights Switch On

Here's the news about the local lights switch on and Christmas markets - courtesy of Ilkley Chat. 

Saturday 24 October 2015

Hen Boot Camp!

We get some great - and some wacky - ideas for activities here. This weekend, our ever so slightly hungover hen group invited a personal trainer to organise a fitness boot camp! They got soaking wet in the rain but a good time was had by all - before returning to warm up in front of The Main House Aga!

Monday 31 August 2015

Ilkley Literature Festival Box Office OPENS 9am TUESDAY!

Tickets Go on Sale from 9am, Tuesday 1 September!

Book Online:
By Phone: 01943 816 714
From Wednesday 2 September the Box Office is open 10am - 4pm Monday to Friday and 10am - 1pm on Saturdays for phone bookings.
You can book online at anytime.

Online booking:
If you booked online last year or already have an online account you will be able to login using your username and password.

If you choose to book online for the first time this year you will need to create an account. To do this click here. We recommend doing this now in order to save time once ticket sales open.

Jenny Eclair Joins the Festival Line Up!

Event 235: Jenny Eclair: Moving

Jenny Eclair is an extremely popular broadcaster, comedian, actor and writer. She is one of only two female comedians to have won the prestigious Perrier Award, and often features on BBC radio and television, best known for her roles in Grumpy Old Women and Loose Women.
Moving – Jenny Eclair’s fourth novel – reveals a writer at the height of her powers. Gripping, heart-breaking and laced with black humour, it is a novel of family secrets, shocking betrayals and most of all, of home. Edwina Spinner has lived in the same house for over fifty years. It used to be a busy, crowded family home but now Edwina lives alone and it has grown too big for her. She has decided to sell it.
Sunday 11 October, 12,30pm, Kings Hall, £12/10

Two more new events also recently added to the programme as well:

Event 233: One Night of Love
One Night of Love, starring Geraldine Woodhouse, Nick Pennington, Jan Thomas, James Kingsley and Lucy Campbell, explores every aspect of love through the medium of poetry. Some of the poems are very well known, others less so; some are old, others bang up to date. An entertaining evening guaranteed!
Devised by local author, Alan Hall, and directed by Moira Ferguson.
Friday 2 October, 7.30pm, Ilkley Playhouse, £6/4

Event 234: The Science of Everyday Life with Marty Jopson
Have you ever wondered why ice floats and water is such a freaky liquid? Or why chillies and mustard are both hot but in different ways? Or why microwaves don’t cook from the inside out? In this fascinating scientific tour of household objects, The One Show presenter and all-round Science Bloke Marty Jopson has the answer to all of these, and many more, baffling questions about the chemistry and physics of the everyday stuff we use every day.
Monday 12 October, 7.30pm, Ilkley Playhouse, £6/4

Tickets for these event will go on sale on Tuesday 1 September when general booking opens.

Programme Updates

Time Changes:

The History of the Reader: Frank Furedi (Event 17) will now take place at 7.30pm on Monday 12 October, at Ilkley Rugby Club
Vince Cable - After the Storm (Event 115) will now take place at 2.30pm on Sunday 11 October at the Kings Hall.

Event Cancellation

Unfortunately, due to unforseen circumstances, The Book of Tokyo (Event 140) has been cancelled. We apologise for any inconvenience.

For full details of changes to the programme please click here.
Copyright © 2015 Ilkley Literature Festival, All rights reserved.

Thursday 25 June 2015

Westwood Lodge and Ilkley’s historical links with Poland

Guest post by Dr Sarah Dietz


A group of Polish visitors from the town of Marki near Warsaw have made a pilgrimage to Ilkley to seek out their historical roots. Their fascinating story began in 1883 when three Bradford industrialists: Edward Briggs formerly of Westwood Lodge, John Briggs of Hebers Mount and Ernst Posselt long-resident of Victoria Park, Shipley built a large worsted mill and workers’ community in Poland, which the Bradford Observer described in 1886 as ‘a second edition of Saltaire’. (Saltaire is a nearby Victorian woolen village built by Sir Titus Salt and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site)

The last Markians to visit Yorkshire were 100 Polish girls, sent by Briggs-Posselt partnership to learn factory skills in 1883. Among this week’s group of Marki town councillors and history aficionados was Marek Borkowski whose grandmother was among those early workers at the Polish ‘Bradford Mills’ near Warsaw and Antoni Widomski, president of Marki’s Volunteer Fire Brigade (inspired by the British industrialists’ Fire Watch est. 1884), along with volunteer fireman Dariusz Chmielewski. The visit to Yorkshire was instigated by town councillor and esteemed Marki historian Zbigniew Paciorek and the leader of Marki’s town council, Tomasz Paciorek. The group was guided by Ilkley resident, Dr Sarah Dietz, who will talk about her book British Entrepreneurship in Poland: A Case Study of Bradford Mills at Marki 1883-1939(Ashgate: 2015) at the Ilkley Literature Festival in October.

The Polish party began their visit to Yorkshire with a tour of the Briggs’ Bradford factory, Briggella Mills, by the current owner Chaker Chamsi-Pasha. The Victorian mill is one of very few in the city still producing worsted cloth for a thriving export business today. Members of the Saltaire History Club warmly welcomed the Marki delegation on Wednesday when Trevor Hart showed the group round the World Heritage Site and Maggie Smith talked about her research Polish Journeys which explores the lives of Saltaire’s Polish employees. Finally, joined by Kate Brown of Ilkley Civic Society, Tim Edwards welcomed the group to Westwood Lodge in Ilkley, the former home of Edward Briggs; founder of their Polish town.

Marki has a street named after the Briggs brothers (Braci Briggsów) and the Poles were keen to compare Westwood Lodge with their own ‘Little Palace of the Briggs’ (Pałacyk Briggsów) which has its own fascinating history not only as the industrialists’ residence, but also as a strategic military base during the Battle of Warsaw in 1920 and latterly as a school. They were delighted by the spectacular views of Ilkley from Westwood Lodge’s roof terrace and showed their warm appreciation for the delicious afternoon tea provided by Paula Hunt by singing some traditional Polish songs.

The people of Marki have always cherished their historic links to Ilkley and Bradford, now town councillors, Tomasz and Zbigniew Paciorek hope very much to revitalise the connection and show that the spirit of cooperation and shared history between Yorkshire and Poland dates from long before the war.

Friday 27 March 2015

Aegeon Ilkley Tennis trophy

The Aegon Ilkley Trophy event is to be held at Ilkley Lawn Tennis and Squash Club  from 13th - 21st June





The Schedule

  • Saturday 13th June - men's qualifying
  • Sunday 14th June - men's & women's qualifying
  • Monday 15th June - final qualifying and main draw
  • Tuesday 16th - Friday 19th June - main draw
  • Saturday 20th - men's finals and women's semi-finals
  • Sunday 21st - women's finals

Tickets for all days from Monday 15th onwards (there will be no charge for qualifying weekend) will be for sale to the general public on the Ticket Factory website at £5 per person (concessions available) for a ground pass which will allow access on a first-come-first-served basis to the seats in the stands. This is not including the Friday and final Saturday and Sunday where tickets will need to be purchased at £15 per person (concessions available) for allocated seating.

There is currently self-catering cottage availability at Westwood Lodge Ilkley Moor.
For more details of the event go to

Tuesday 24 March 2015

Another good reason to come to Ilkley in April!

Thursday 23rd to Sunday 26th April 2015 sees the annual Harrogate Spring Flower Show.  Held at The Great Yorkshire Showground (HG2 8PW) it's a 30 minute drive from Westwood Lodge or take the X52 bus from Ilkley Station.

Around 90 of the country's leading horticultural nurseries will be exhibiting and selling plants.  There will also be special interest groups exhibiting plus gardening accessories, arts, crafts and local food.  Find out more and book tickets at

Check our late availability offers at Westwood Lodge Ilkley Moor arriving Monday 20th or Friday 24th April by clicking the Special Offers button on the right hand column!  

Wednesday 18 March 2015

Tour de Yorkshire - NEW RIDE PLACES RELEASED - Limited numbers available


As operational elements of the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire Ride have been firming up, organisers of the Ride, Human Race have been keeping a close eye on the rider capacity for the day.

Many people were disappointed to miss out on a place with all 5,000 places in the event selling quickly.
So we are delighted to hear that having finalised the start wave structure for the Ride and the timings of the pro race, they are now able to release 500 additional places in the Ride.  
Good Luck!

The Details

The start and finish will be from Roundhay Park in Leeds and the majority of each route will be on the same roads as the Pros, on the same day on the 3rd and deciding day of the Tour de Yorkshire. There are three distances to choose from (140km, 100km and 50km - including a Women Only Cycletta over 50km).

Benefits for all riders will include:
  • Same routes, structures and spectators as for the pro race
  • Finish on the Tour de Yorkshire finish line
  • Tour de Yorkshire ride and pro race public village for you and your family
  • Ceremonies on the Tour de Yorkshire podium
  • One lucky rider will be part of the Tour de Yorkshire pro prize presentation
  • Sportive riders dedicated viewing area of the pro race finish
  • Tour de France legend and 5 times winner, Bernard Hinault, to provide everyone with his top training tips
  • Yorkshire style support through the towns and villages
  • Comparison climb times with the Pros (check how you compare with the best)
  • Tour de France memorabilia mass giveaway at the Tour de Yorkshire village for 100s of lucky riders
  • Etape du Tour bibs prize draw
  • Tour de France VIP access prize draw
Event also includes:
  • Mechanical support – like the pros
  • Medical support
  • Sweep vehicle for those who cannot complete the route
  • Energy drinks, bars and gels provided at feed stations
  • Electronic chip timing
  • Results texted to you as you cross the line
  • Finisher's medal

Monday 16 March 2015

Tour de Yorkshire Timings

The highly anticipated start and finish times for the Tour de Yorkshire have been announced along with the precise location details of the race starts and finishes

Stage one on Friday 1st May will have a ceremonial start at 11.45am on South Marine Drive outside the Bridlington Spa. Riders will have a 5km neutralised section before the official race start at Sewerby at 12 noon. Depending on rider’s speed the race will finish between 4pm and 4.30pm on Royal Albert Drive in Scarborough.

Stage two, from Selby to York, will have a ceremonial start at 11.20am outside Selby Abbey. Riders will have an 8km neutralised section before the official race start just outside Selby on the A163 at 11.45am. Depending on riders’ speed, the race will finish between 3.30pm and 4pm on Knavesmire Road in York.

On the final day, Stage three, from Wakefield to Leeds, will start at 12.15pm outside Wakefield Cathedral. Riders will have a 4km neutralised section before the official race start at Agbrigg Road on the A61 at 12.30pm. Depending on riders’ speed the race will finish between 4.30pm and 5pm at Roundhay Park in Leeds. 

*** This stage sees a sprint section into Ilkley at about 3.30pm, before climbing Le Cote de Cow & Calf just down the road from Westwood Lodge passing before 4pm ***

We've got ONE COTTAGE available (as of 14th March) for The Tour de Yorkshire Bank Holiday weekend! Book soon

For more details of The Tour timings go to

Thursday 22 January 2015

First ever Tour de Yorkshire will feature Ilkley and the famous climb up the Cow and Calf onto Ilkley Moor!

Latest news from Welcome to Yorkshire
We are proud to announce details of the first ever Tour de Yorkshire

Stage 1 on Friday 1st May will start in Bridlington and finish in Scarborough - 174km

Stage 2 on Saturday 2nd May will start in Selby and finish in York - 174km

Stage 3 on Sunday 3rd May will start in Wakefield and finish in Leeds - 167km

Stage 1 will start in the seaside town of Bridlington and 174km later finish further up the coast in Scarborough. The riders, from all over the world, will pass through spectacular coastal scenery and the iconic North York Moors landscapes. From the start line in Bridlington the riders will head along the Flamborough Head Heritage Coast before turning away from the coast into the North York Moors National Park, through Dalby Forest and towards Pickering. They’ll then take a spectacular journey back to the coast at Whitby, and then south to Robin Hood’s Bay with the ultimate race to the finish line on the seafront at Scarborough.

Stage 2 will see the race start outside the imposing Selby Abbey. The route takes in much of the Yorkshire Wolds, and from Selby will take the peloton towards Market Weighton, through North Newbald and on to Beverley, where they will turn north to Malton, then on to Stamford Bridge. Spectators will have the chance to see a circuit of York and organisers are hoping for a dramatic finish in the city. And as part of the legacy of the Tour de France to get more women cycling there will also be a dedicated women’s event on a circuit through York on day 2, the 2nd May.

Stage 3 will see the peloton make a return to some of the roads raced in the 2014 Yorkshire Grand Départ of the Tour de France, only with a twist; starting in Wakefield, riders will travel south to Barnsley before heading to Holmfirth where they pick up the Grand Départ route in reverse, racing to Ripponden before riding the iconic Cragg Vale – which in the Tour de France was the country’s longest continual climb and now becomes the longest continual descent. The riders will then make their way to Hebden Bridge, Oxenhope and through the famous cobbled streets of Haworth, one of the most iconic images of the Tour de France in Yorkshire. After a steep climb at Goose Eye the riders will once again see Ilkley, with the famous climb up the Cow & Calf before a sprint point at Arthington and then what is expected to be a hugely popular finish line in Roundhay Park in Leeds.

Here are the Tour de Yorkshire routes maps:

Many in the media are already dubbing it as one of the biggest and most exciting cycling events in the UK in 2015 and we hope you will be part of it. The race will start around midday each day; we will be issuing more detailed timings shortly, and you can watch anywhere along the route for free. It will also be shown live on television in the UK and across Europe and a huge television audience is expected, once again shining a spotlight on Yorkshire.

Amateur cyclists can also take part in the Tour de Yorkshire Ride, a mass participation bike ride which promises to be one of the most challenging and popular sportives in the British calendar. Organised by Human Race, it will take place before the pro race on the morning of the final day, Sunday 3rd May and thousands are expected to take part. You can register here, more details will be released next week.

Welcome to Yorkshire is also organising a month long Tour de Yorkshire Festival from 1 April to 3 May 2015 to showcase the county’s rich and diverse cultural offering. The Yorkshire Festival, which accompanied the Tour de France Grand Départ, will be held in 2016.

Welcome to Yorkshire will shortly be contacting the Tour Makers who supported the Grand Départ of the Tour de France in 2014 and recruiting a smaller number of Tour Makers to support the Tour de Yorkshire.

The race is being organised by Welcome to Yorkshire and the Amaury Sport Organisation, with support from British Cycling and local authorities throughout the county, especially the start and finish towns and cities; Bridlington, Leeds, Scarborough, Selby, Wakefield, York and North Yorkshire County Council and East Riding Council.

You can keep up to date with all the latest information about the Tour de Yorkshire here: