Ilkley to Bolton Abbey
7. Ilkley to Bolton Abbey (13 miles return) - We park on the far side of the River from Ilkley alongside the park or take the train with bikes to Ilkley and through town centre passing over the river bridge. From here the route uses the back road to Beamsley. Turn left just past the Old Bridge passing Ilkley Golf Club and thence Nesfield and Beamsley. When the main A59 (Skipton - Harrogate) is reached turn left along the footway. This becomes a cycle/footpath for 400m and descends to River Wharfe passing under main road and emerging at the old Bolton Bridge. Take this road past the Devonshire Arms and the Priory and turn right down to Cavendish Pavilion (refreshments).
The route is undulating although none of the hills is severe. The back road to Beamsley is very quiet and the worst traffic is encountered at the Devonshire Arms as this is the road to Grassington. For this route we would allow 45 minutes each way
The route can be lengthened starting from Otley and using the back road through Weston and Asquith
We have utilised the train service to Ilkley and back on many occasions to avoid taking the car to Ilkley or using the busy A65. It should be possible in normal circumstances to put up to 2 bicycles on the train at no extra charge although guards I have approached have said that the limit is not rigidly enforced especially on off-peak services. There is normally ample room at weekends