The best of intentions!


With the promise of a weekend full of chocolate eating, our plan was to do a circular walk on the moors surrounding Burley-in-Wharfedale and Ilkley. My IT band problem had been niggling me last week and a gruelling physio session resulted in me being sat with a bag of frozen peas on my leg. However, it felt a bit better and with the best day of the weekend forecast we planned to head out and make the most of it.
Well that was the plan, feeling lazy we slept in and were late setting off so on the outskirts of Burley were met by the gridlocked snake of holiday traffic. I grew up in the area so with a quick change of plan we decided to start the walk at the moors on Burley Woodhead instead of in Ilkley. The walk up from the main village to the moors is quite a steep trek but we’ve walked most of the way up there quite regularly with our family. We were quite surprised that it was here that our smallest child started whinging so early on in the walk, and didn’t really stop the whole time! She is very independent at getting dressed so was rocking her usual eclectic mix of clothing including probably unsuitable lacey ankle socks!
With our change in plan we didn’t have a big picnic with us, the refuelling stop hadn’t happened, so we were armed with hot cross buns, chocolate bars and lots of water. Our little whinge bob had already started to demolish the snacks and we weren’t even at the start of where we wanted to be. The anticipated original walk should have been 7 miles, it just wasn’t going to happen.​We made our way to the top of the moor, quickly putting back on the coats we had discarded only a moment ago as we were met by a howling wind. Plan C?  It was soon decided that we would just make our way across the moor to Ilkley and the Cow and Calf rocks and leave the bigger circular one till another day. There wasn’t any point in dragging the kids across the moor trying to find the paths with the wind blowing as it was and their current mood. We couldn’t even bribe them with a decent picnic!
The terrain was more difficult than the kids have done before. Our eldest loved jumping from rock to rock and across the odd stream, he thought this was the most interesting walk we had done so far. Typical!
Just over three hours after we first set off and we made it to the Cow and Calf rocks. Being the Easter weekend it was teaming with people trying their luck climbing the rocks and the carpark was heaving. The Cow and Calf pub and the café in the carpark looked to be doing a roaring trade.
​To finish our walk we came down the moor and walked into the town of Ilkley. There was no way our little lady was up for walking back the way we came for another three hours, so we decided to use public transport back to where we came from. In her opinion the best bit of the walk was riding on the bus and pressing the bell for it to stop!
A little bit of liquid refreshment at the Red Lion pub in Burley-in-Wharfedale, a cake stop at Grandma and Grandad’s house and it was early to bed for all of us.
​What are your favourite picnic items?

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