Heber’s Ghyll, Ilkley

Heber’s Ghyll, Ilkley

Heber’s Ghyll is a cracking family-friendly walk in Ilkley. Given it is less than 3km in length, this is a wander that really packs a punch!

The woodland surrounding the Ghyll is full of places to explore. During the spring, you’ll see it packed full of bluebells. If you take a trip there during the late summer and autumn, you’ll find blackberries to pick (and eat, of course!).

The path that leads around the woodland climbs out onto the open moor and then up onto Woodhouse Crag, where you’ll find the Swastika Stone.

The Swastika Stone, Woodhouse Crag

What on earth is the Swastika Stone? Well, it’s probably the finest example of one of the hundreds of Neolithic stone carvings found on Ilkley Moor. It’s a scheduled monument, and is pretty cool to go and see.

Dating back to c. 2800 – 500BC (at a best guess), experts are still undecided as to what purpose these ancient rocks served. Some believe that there is a religious connection, but they could equally be way markers, star charts or perhaps a bit of graffiti left by a prehistoric farmer who had a bit of time on his hands!

Had your fill of this little history mystery? Head back into the woodland at Black Beck and you’ll descend alongside the waterfalls of Heber’s Ghyll.

The waterfalls of Heber’s Ghyll

The path criss-crosses the descending water, with plenty of bridges to trip trap over. You’ll also find spots to get down to the water’s edge too, so on a sunny day, why not dip in your toes and have a splash?

However, the most important thing to know about Heber’s Ghyll when you’re walking with little ones is that it is the home of not one, not two, but TEN hidden dinosaurs. So keep those eyes peeled for some roar-some discoveries!

For the full route description, head to thereluctantexplorers.com. We’ve paired the walk up with some whinge-reducing walking activities, perfect for a magical woodland wander.

One of the resident dinosaurs of Heber’s Ghyll

The Bluebells of Ilkley’s Middleton Woods

This Mother’s Day, finding a beautiful spring walk is high on every mummy’s agenda (well, that and breakfast in bed, which I’m still waiting for five years into my motherhood journey).

If you’re local to Ilkley, you are EXTREMELY lucky to have my absolutely FAVOURITE display of bluebells on your doorstep. In fact, the circular walk along the river bank and up through Middleton Woods is probably my favourite spring walk in Yorkshire! With fantastic views across the Wharfe Valley, beautiful woodland to explore, a pretty riverside and the chance of seeing lambs, what’s not to love?

The walk is only 4-5km, so it’s a great walk for children too (though it’s not buggy friendly). Starting at Riverside Gardens, follow the river before reaching the leisure centre and the bottom entrance to Middleton Woods. Continue uphill and in a north-westerly direction, passing behind the monastery, then head back downhill to join the river path. The bonus is that children can be bribed to the end with a fab play area (and an ice cream). Read the full walk description on the Muddy Boots Mummy site here. If your children need a little encouragement, perhaps you could try this Spring Walk Bingo!

This is actually one of the first walks I did on Muddy Boots Mummy. I launched the blog whilst I was pregnant with my son to motivate me to get out and about. It’s become a go-to resource for families across West Yorkshire to find child-friendly walks and places to enjoy the outdoors. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram to discover more places as we venture further afield in the upcoming months!