There is a right of access across all of Ilkley Moor on foot and on horseback. This means you can walk or ride anywhere on the moor but we would encourage you to stick to the extensive network of paths and tracks. Ilkley Moor is surrounded by other privately owned moors and these access rights do not necessarily apply to those areas. The map shows the boundary of Ilkley Moor in relation to the rest of Rombald's Moor.
If you take a dog onto the moor, please keep it under effective control at all times and on a lead when there is livestock around and during the ground-nesting bird breeding season (March to July). Dogs roaming off the lead in this period can disturb the birdlife and cause nests (and young) to be abandoned. The moor is recognised internationally for these birds (golden plover, curlew, short-eared owl, lapwing, twite etc) and your help in protecting them is appreciated.
The Council currently allows neighbouring moor owners onto Ilkley Moor on up to 8 days per season to drive and shoot grouse, as part of an agreement between the two parties. Consequently, between 12 August and 10 December in any year (whilst this agreement is in place), visitors to the moor may occasionally encounter grouse shooting on the upper parts of the moor (above 300m). Shooting does not take place on the lower slopes and around popular areas like the Cow and Calf, Rocky Valley, White Wells etc. The shoots take place during the week and do not operate at weekends or on public holidays. It will be apparent that this is taking place and all the drives are marshalled. If you are in the vicinity of a drive or shoot, you will be notified by employees and asked to wait until they have gone through. If you do not wish to wait, the drive will be halted and you will be able to pass through until safely distant.
Wildfire is a major risk to moorland areas and can be devastating when the moor is dry. Please do not discard matches and cigarettes and do not light fires or barbecues. If you see fire or smoke on the moors outside of the period 1 October – 15 April (when heather can legally be burnt for management purposes) – please alert the Fire and Rescue Service by phoning 999.
Although not included in the legal right of access the Council, as landowner, allows cycling on the moor as long as there are no significant conflicts with other users or damage to routes. A protocol has been agreed and is available at the bottom of this page. Please avoid cycling across wet areas and boggy parts of the moor as these are important habitats and can be very easily damaged.
Ilkley Moor is the hatched area on the image below.
For further information about Ilkley Moor, please have a look at the Friends of Ilkley Moor website.
In granting lawful authority, Bradford Council expects that mountain bike users will comply with this protocol.
Some routes on the moor are being regularly used for time-trail/downhill racing – times being recorded via web applications such as Strava. This directly conflicts with the Protocol and encourages dangerous behaviour and damage. It is not allowed anywhere on Ilkley Moor