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Ilkley Moor

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Ilkley Moor is a mysterious and beautiful section of the expansive Rombalds Moor between Ilkley and Keighley in Yorkshire. Millions of years ago, the moor was at sea-level, often being flooded and having sediment deposited upon it by the river channels travelling down from the north, which was then eroded leading up to the last Ice Age, removing over a kilometre of rock from the surface. The leftover millstone grit gives the area its characteristic heather-covered landscape, acidic soils, and soft water.


Ilkley Quarry exists towards the northern edge of the moor, and is home to the “Cow and Calf” rock formation (above), where a large rock sits with a smaller part “sliced” off right next to it, much like how a cow and its calf sit close together. This can be attributed to freeze-thaw weathering, a type of erosion common in areas with rainy tendencies and below-zero temperatures overnight; however, according to legend the splitting of the Calf and Cow was done by the giant Rombald, who had stepped on the rock while leaping across the moors to flee his angry wife, who also dropped some stones held in her apron to form the nearby aptly-named formation: The Skirtful of Stones.  More mysterious is the Swastika Stone, which exists atop Woodhouse Crag in the northern moors amongst various other carved stones. The carvings were dated back to the Neolithic age, and historians still ponder the implications of such a symbol existing well before its infamous use in modern history.


Representaton of the Ilkley Moor AlienIn 1987, ex-policeman Phillip Spencer was crossing the moor taking photographs when he encountered, and quickly snapped a photo of, what he believed to be an extra-terrestrial being on the hill. He told the media at the time that it had raised one of its arms as if to warn him, and soon after he witnessed a “dome-topped craft” quickly raise from behind the hill and blaze into the sky at a blinding speed. Many critics dispute that the photograph is really too blurry to clearly make out the figure, and many sketches and mock-ups have been made of a small girl sitting on a hill that filled the same profile as the creature in the picture.



Camping and Caravanning Club Site
Bar Lane, Roecliffe, Boroughbridge
North Yorkshire, England, YO51 9LS
+44 (0)1423 322 683

Contact Details

  • Address: Hangingstone Road, Ilkley, Yorkshire, England, UK, LS29 8BT
  • GPS: 53.9143644,-1.7974349999999503
  • Part of UK: England
  • Sat Nav Postcode: LS29 8BT
  • Entrance Fees: Free Access
  • Disabled Access: Poor
  • Visibility from Road: Good

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