Bridging the Wharfe; Walk: Ilkley riverside circular Distance: 2- miles.
ILKLEY is best known for its elegant buildings and nearby moorland settings, but close to this most stylish of towns are some lovely routes along the banks of the River Wharfe.
Starting from All Saints' Church at the junction of Church Street and Brook Street with its 13th century doorway we walk around the northern side of the churchyard to pick out the perimeter wall of the Roman Fort of Olicana.
Continuing to the eastern edge of the churchyard we join the pavement beside New Brook Street and turn left down the slope where most of the old township is located.
Riverside Gardens are on our left as we reach the road bridge over the River Wharfe and turn right down the flight of steps that leads to a tarmac pathway.
We continue ahead along the path with houses on Castle Road lining our right hand side and soon pass the terraced properties of Bath Street.
Keeping along the sunken riverbank path we soon pass Beanlands Parade (right) as the wide river channel bends gently away to the left.
Mature trees and shrubs line both sides of our route as we pass the cemetery on the right to reach the impressive suspension bridge across the Wharfe.
After crossing we turn left, before Denton Road, and follow the riverside path around the gentle curve with Ilkley Pool and Lido prominent across open ground to our right.
Walking ahead our path follows the course of the river and we cross the public road beside the bridge to rejoin the riverside path.
There is open ground on our right hand before we reach Denton Road and at this point we turn left to cross Ilkley Bridge.
This fine three-arched bridge probably dates from 1673 and after crossing we make our way to the left into Stockeld Way.
Continuing ahead into Bridge Lane we pass the Riverside Hotel on our left and follow the tarmac pathway through Riverside Gardens and up the slope leading to New Brook Street.
We turn right up the wide roadway and continue back up the slope to reach our starting point at All Saints Church.
Factfile LOCATION: Ilkley is 17 miles north-west of Leeds via A65. START: All Saints' Church, Ilkley. DISTANCE: 2- miles.
MAP: Town plan of Ilkley available from Tourist Information Centre.
GOING: Pavements and walkways. Moderate slope from church to riverbank and return. REFRESHMENTS: Choice of venues in Ilkley.
DOGS: Under proper control. WHEELCHAIR ACCESS: Steps at the bridge on New Brook Street may prove difficult. If riverside path on north bank of Wharfe is problematic alternative route along Denton Road to old bridge.
THE Stepping Out In Stockton team has walks taking place across the borough during December.
Dates for your diary include: BILLINGHAM Mondays, 11am - December 5 and 12. Meet at entrance to Billingham Forum. EAGLESCLIFFE Mondays, 1pm - December 5 and 12. Meet outside Eaglescliffe Medical Centre.
INGLEBY BARWICK Tuesdays, 10am - December 6 and 13. Meet at Ingleby Barwick Community Centre.
THORNABY Tuesdays, 11.15am - December 6 and 13. Meet at Thornaby Medical Centre. NORTON Wednesdays, 1.30pm - December 7 and 14. Meet outside Norton Medical Centre.
NEWTOWN RESOURCE CENTRE, DURHAM ROAD Thursdays, 10am - December 1, 8 and 15. Meet in reception area.
RAGWORTH NEIGHBOURHOOD CENTRE, ST JOHN'S WAY Fridays, 10am - December 2, 9 and 16.
Meet at reception area.
FRIENDS WALKING GROUP at noon Gilling West, near Richmond. Meet outside the Village Hall. Walks of 8 miles to 10 miles. Tel 07739 777399.
MIDDLESBROUGH RAMBLING CLUB at 10.30am Stokesley. Walks of 6 miles to 8 miles. Tel 01642 764961.
RAMBLERS at 1.30pm Lythe, opposite The Stiddy. Walks of 6 miles to 8 miles. Tel 01642 474864. STOCKTON RAMBLING CLUB at 10.30am Three walks from Ingleby Greenhow to Chop Gate. Walks of 9 miles to 16miles. Pick ups at Billingham, Stockton and Acklam. Tel 01642 570861.
CROSSING POINTS: Ilkley Bridge, above and the suspension bridge across the Wharfe