Jo’s Monday walk : Cow and Calf, Ilkley

One thing I was desperate to do in England this summer- aside from hugging people – was to feast my eyes on heather in full bloom. For me there is no more glorious sight than rolling moorland, crowned in shades of lilac and pink. I didn’t really mind where I found this phenomenon, but when my son suggested that he fancied a look around Ilkley I knew at once that we’d be able to climb the Cow and Calf. I had only ever seen it at a distance so this was tremendous excitement for me.

Our starting point was the car park at Darwin Gardens and Millennium Green, south of this small, pretty town.

Towering over us, the boulders that form the Cow and Calf brace themselves against the skyline, as well they might. Over millenia the millstone grit of which they are formed has been eroded, leaving chunks of rock scattered down the hillside. There’s always a colourful legend to explain nature, and it’s said that the Calf was split from the Cow when the giant Rombald was fleeing an enemy and stamped on the rock as he leaped across the valley.

On Ilkley Moor baht tat, without a hat, could be a bleak place to be, but I was enjoying a rare moment in this wild and beautiful place in the company of my son, and my smile was wide.

A fine moist drizzle was sweeping towards us and the moors are no place to be when the weather sets in. Reluctantly I turned away, but a cheery welcome in the hotel of the same name put a sparkle back in my eyes. Truth be told, it could have bounced with hailstones and I would have been happy that day. An exhilarating landscape with my son by my side was more than enough for me.

The rain did not persist and we had sufficient time for a look around the town. Enough to convince me that I’d come back. There are a number of trails around the Cow and Calf and ancient sites to be inspected. It’s become a favourite place for James too- a great day out with a picnic after a clamber to the very top.

Who’d be a sheep? Baa-aa! Still collecting walks if you’ve time for a stroll?

walking logo

Another vibrant and beautiful city seen through the eyes of Teresa :


Sarah is obviously smitten with Paris, and it’s very easy to see why :

A sunny Sunday walk in Belleville

Water, water everywhere could well be the title of I.J.’s offering :

Rite/rite of Passage

Denzil takes a lot of trouble to put his posts together. This one is beautiful :

Leuven Street Art Walk

I’ve shared Lynn’s posts before. This is another lovely one :

Further Afield: Into the Mountains

Hard to resist a beautifully photographed garden walk :

Walk around in Strasbourg: Botanical Garden

While Terri welcomes Autumn with a flurry of activity :

Sunday Stiils: Sports and Hobbies

This will probably be my last English episode for a while. Time to return to real life here in the Algarve, though my daughter will be joining me next week, so not quite real life. Have a great week and I’ll catch up with you soon.

52 thoughts on “Jo’s Monday walk : Cow and Calf, Ilkley

  1. How funny that I mentioned both the song and the Cow and Calf in my comment! I had no idea this is where you were going! We used to visit regularly when growing up in Wakefield. I suspect mum and dad sat on the bench admiring the views whilst us kids clambered over the rocks. Nice to hear that Lisa will be joining you (this week?) and James I guess over half term. Your life must be flowing over now with travel almost back to normal. Keep well and enjoy the family visits xx


  2. You’ve captured the spirit of the place so well Jo and you obviously had a splendid day. Ilkley’s just that bit too far ton be a regular playground, but luckily we have not dissimilar moors nearby too. All guaranteeing a Grand Day Out.


    • We felt the same when we were in the north east, Margaret. Those little windy roads were too much, but the friends who met me in Harrogate often used to pop down there. I was always happy on our more local moors. Anything else was a treat πŸ€—πŸ’• Thanks hon!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Very Wuthering Heights Jo! I remember camping on Ilkley Moor as a child. We arrived late evening. Bleak, dark and scary. At least it was to a 9-year-old. I’m sure it was different in the daytime.


    • I think it can still be a bit bleak and scary, even as an adult, Denzil, but I love it. You’re welcome for the link. It’s a beautiful piece and I wasn’t sure whether to attach it to my street art post last week. All’s well that ends well?

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  4. Ahhh…. taking a deep breath imagining that moisture laden air… and heather! It’s a favorite of mine. I inherited some plantings at a previous house and loved it. I can just imagine the joy of tromping through entire hillsides of it! What a great outing and to have your son along! Joy! joy! doubled! πŸ₯°


    • I’m always hesitant about posting family photos, LolaWi. They regard it as an invasion of privacy sometimes, but I did want to sneak this one in. Not his best side, but who cares? Thanks, darlin!


  5. Thanks for including me – I’m sorry I haven’t been here in a long time. It’s great news to hear that you were able to spend time back in England. Heather – it has never moved me for some reason and I suspect that I need to see it where you did, not in someone’s garden stateside. Then I think I’d appreciate it. πŸ˜‰ I love the rocks here and the wide, wide views. Thank you!


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  7. Walking with you, Jo, has me absolutely convinced that I GOTTA get over to the UK to walk these areas! That heather on the moors, what a sight! I can tell how excited you were to visit and see friends and family. Funny how areas get their names: yours highlights the Cow and Calf, ours is called the Bowl and Pitcher. Fun stuff! Thanks for including me and have a wonderful week!


    • It truly is beautiful walking country, Terri, and August on the Moors takes some beating. So long as it doesn’t pour, of course! Here Spring is easily the best time. For us that’s February till May. πŸ€—πŸ’•

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