Situated in the Wharfe Valley, the spa town of Ilkley
is surrounded by glorious countryside. The southern slopes of the valley form Ilkley Moor
, immortalised in Yorkshire's anthem—On Ilkla Moor baht'at. Prehistoric man lived on the moors and left behind stone circles and hundreds of rock carvings, including the famous Swastika Stone.
Nowadays walkers and nature lovers have unlimited access to Ilkley moors and are free to enjoy the spectacular views across Wharfedale. There is a permanent orienteering course and opportunities for rock climbing on the Cow and Calf Rocks and in Rocky Valley.
In AD79 the Romans built the fort of Olicana near the River Wharfe. A portion of the west wall can still be seen at the site, which is now occupied partly by the Elizabethan Manor House Art Gallery and Museum and partly by All Saints' Church. The Church itself was established before the Norman Conquest and you can see three famous Saxon crosses inside the church. Nearby is the Old Bridge over the river, which dates from 1675. Two long-distance footpaths—The Dales Way and The Ebor Way—start and finish here.