Ilkley Moor Baht’at

  • Pleasant moorland walk
  • Interesting rocky playground
  • Views over Lower Wharfedale

Although the walking is good up on the moor and on a bracing winter’s day even better than good, I find the main attraction the multitude of legends that create the moor’s character. ‘Ilkley Moor Baht’at’ is a folk song which describes a young lady telling her fella that he really should wear a hat whilst walking on the moor or he will perish and end up being eaten by worms whilst the famous rocks of the Cow and Calf were allegedly formed when the giant Romald stamped on them whilst fleeing from his enemy.

All good stuff but what is without question is the superb gritstone boulders which sprinkle the entire moor, offering some great scrambling at the Cow and Calf and many which have carvings dating back to the bronze age. I prefer tackling Ilkley Moor by starting at the Cow and Calf (which like the Lion & the Lamb at Grasmere) is difficult to reconcile; name and rocks. From here take to the summit ridge before dropping down part way to Ilkley before heading across the slopes and enjoying the excellent views of this part of Wharfedale..


There is something mythical about walking here and it is heightened in the winter months. A misty. cold day above Ilkley is very appealing.

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Ilkley Moor map


All maps are copyright of Where2Walk © 2020

OS Map: O/S 1/25,000. 297 Wharfedale & Washburn Valley
Start Point: SE 130468. Car park at the Cow & Calf, head through the rocks and keep heading up!
Height to Climb: 191 ms (626 feet)
Terrain: The paths on the moor may be well used but they are good for walking. The only troubles are that there are so many but in reality keep heading west on the ridge and east on the return and you will never go far wrong
Eating & Drinking: There is a hotel at the Calf and Cow for bad weather days but usually a small hut opens in the car park for teas and nacks which should suffice
Similar Walks Nearby: Cataracts of the Strid
Addingham to Bolton Abbey
Sharp How from Skipton
Places to Stay:


Wheatley Arms, Ilkley