Frosty Ilkley Moor circular, January 17

Walk details

  • Route White Wells – Lanshaw Lad – Twelve Apostles – Cow and Calf – Rocky Valley
  • Distance 5 miles
  • Ascent 948.4 feet
  • Descent 743.3 feet
  • Duration 5hrs 10 mins
  • Getting there Train from Leeds
  • Weather Clear, sunny day. Forecast temperature in the valley was “feels like -2”; up on the moor it felt like a lot less than -2.

Why this route?

  • I was determined not to inflict a walk on the children at Christmas, but after several days of vegetating and over-eating, I decided we all needed to get out of the house and blow the cobwebs away.

What did we learn?

  • We were not the only people with this idea – the moor was heaving!
  • It’s actually easier to walk over the moor when it’s frozen than normally – far more solid.
  • I was very pleased to note that we were all warm despite the cold, and everyone had at least one additional layer in their pack which went unused. We added additional layers after the walk from Burnsall where we were freezing despite wearing everything we had, so I’m glad it works.

Walk highlights

  • The sheer joy of being outside after a couple of days of being penned up.
  • Wide open skies. I once read about a fen man who went to Cornwall and felt claustrophobic because vistas ended at the next hill or valley, instead of going on and on until land and sky merged. Yorkshire has its fair share of hills and valleys which circumscribe the view so I doubt he’d have been any better off up here, but that day, up on the moor, it felt like you could see forever.












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