Scenic Ilkley Road Run
If you are a fan of road running over trail, but still desire a more rural, scenic run, then this route around the back roads of Ilkley is just the one for you!
Run, walk or cycle it – the choice is yours – enjoy.
The route starts and ends at Ilkley train station, so you can leave the car behind. There are direct trains from Leeds station to Ilkley (see train timetable links below in the ‘getting here by public transport’ section below).
If you follow the route map, head left out of the train station towards Tesco supermarket and cross over the pedestrian bridge and down a few steps. Take care crossing the road at the bottom of the stairs (Railway road), and head straight downhill along a residential street, Wellington Road.
You will cross another main road onto Little Wellington Road, past Booths supermarket (which also has toilets and supplies should you need them). Keep heading downhill and cross the A65 main road. Take a right, and follow the A65 for a short distance, then a left onto Bath Street, which takes you down to the River Wharfe. Turn right and follow the narrow wooded path that runs alongside the river and brings you to a lovely suspension bridge, which you will need to cross.
This bridge takes you onto Denton Road, but take care, the cars can be quite fast on this section. (There is an alternative and shorter road free route up through Middleton woods opposite the suspension bridge if you prefer – but this is all off road.)
If you are sticking to the road route, turn right and follow Denton Road. You will go past Nell Bank Outdoor Activity Centre and eventually some stepping stones on the right hand side of the road. Eventually you will reach a smaller road on the left called Carter’s Lane, turn onto this to begin quite a steep climb. Keep following the lane upwards, passing Westville House School. Keep going straight on past the aptly named Hunger Hill and Curly Hill junction, where Carter’s Lane turns into Slates Lane and starts to level out.
Continue straight on along Slates Lane and enjoy the wonderful views. Slates Lane turns into Hardings Lane as the road curves around, don’t be tempted to turn off downhill! At the junction go straight on, and past Middleton Grange Retreat. There is a track at the end, when you see a large stone cross – turn right and up past a small hamlet until you reach a gate, don’t go through this gate, but turn left. The sign will say private road, but it is a permissable bridleway, and a beautiful tree lined road (featured in the photo). The Calvary is on the right (owned by the Catholic Church – Middleton, it depicts the Stations of the Cross).
Continue along this quiet private road, past the fields and onto a very attractive bridleway track which will eventually bring you out onto Owler Park Road. Here you do not go straight on, but turn left heading downhill on a small road through some of Ilkley’s finest homes and gardens.
Keep following Owler Park Road downhill and back towards the river. Take a slight left at the bottom of the hill onto Nesfield Road, then turning right onto Langbar Road, hopefully passing the ice-cream van just before you cross the bridge over the the river.
Take a sharp left down some small steps on the other side of the bridge and follow the riverside path back towards the town. There are public toilets and the riverside pub and cafe if you need refreshments. If not then keep following the riverside path past the play park and under the short bridge tunnel. On the other side of this bridge tunnel are some steep steps on the right, which take you back up to the main centre of the town, past Ilkley Little Theatre and across the A65.
Keep heading upwards past the various shops, restaurants, pubs and cafes (there are plenty to choose from!) back to the train station and your starting point.
How to get there by public transport
The is a direct train from Leeds to Ilkley, for train times see link here
There is also the X84 bus from Leeds to Ilkley which leaves from Leeds Bus Station. To check times see here
Where to park if travelling by car
There is a carpark next to the train station, as well as carpark in the centre of Ilkley, you will need to pay for these.
Ilkey has a number of cafes, pubs, shops to cater for every taste. There are also public toilets by the riverside, as well as in the supermarkets Tesco and Booths.