The K9 Guide to Ilkley
If you are thinking of paying a visit to the beautiful town of Ilkley, close to the Yorkshire Dales, with your dog then this is a must-read for you.
We’ve put together a comprehensive guide of some of the best dog-friendly places to visit in the town as well as some of the places you can explore with your four-legged companions.
All the businesses mentioned can be found in the K9 Marketplace, on the K9 App, with details of where to find them and their contact details.
If you need to give the dog a walk before heading into Ilkley town centre itself, depending on where you choose to park, we recommend paying a visit to The Riverside Gardens. There is some on-street parking along the edge of the Gardens, although it can get very busy at peak times. Parking is paid, however, you can use the Ringo app to pay so no need for loose change.
Set alongside the River Wharfe these gardens are a great green space, just a stone’s throw from the main high street area. Perfect for letting your dog off lead and blow away the cobwebs from your journey. If you are visiting with children then there is a playground to keep them entertained and at the edge of the park area you will find the Riverside Hotel. (see further below). You can do a small loop walk along the edge of the river and use the bridge that forms New Brook Street to cross over. Then walk back along the other side until you get to what is fondly known as the old pack horse bridge and cross back over.
There are also some handy free public toilets in case you need to use the facilities after your journey too!
Cow and Calf Rocks
The Cow and Calf Rocks are high up on Ilkley Moor and offer spectacular views of Ilkley and the Wharfedale area. Also known as Hangingstone Rocks, this spectacular natural feature consists of millstone grit and a variety of sandstone. The large and small rock formations sit close together like a cow and calf, hence the name.
To get to the walk starting point (the paid car park) you need to drive for approximately 2 miles out of the town. The car park is quite small and can get very crowded at peak times but there is also street parking right the way along the main road. The walk itself is a loop walk of roughly 4 miles and takes in some spectacular views along the way.
New Brook Street Deli
Whilst dogs aren’t allowed inside this lovely deli, they are super dog-friendly and will bring out a bowl of fresh water for you. They have a smaller seating area out front next to the road, which is a great people watching spot, and really great seating out the back which is newly refurbished and very nicely styled. Dogs are not allowed inside at all, due to the fresh food prep, so to get to the back seating area you have to go around the side and through the back gate but it’s worth it when you get there.
This charming vegetarian café is run by a husband-and-wife team who are incredibly welcoming and friendly. Whilst the café is dog-friendly they have limited this to specific tables only inside so if you are planning on visiting and you don’t want to sit outside, it’s worth calling ahead to see if they have availability. You can find their contact info in the K9 Nation App. They are open most days from 11am-4pm except Monday and Sunday.
The Commute has a great quirky atmosphere and style, bringing together the owners 3 passions – cycling, coffee and community. Dogs are welcome right the way through and they even have dog treats on the side, for guests to help themselves. They are open 7 days a week serving Allpress coffee, freshly delivered Cawa Bakery pastries and tasty eats like homemade soups, sandwiches, and sausage rolls.
Cow and Calf Rock Café
The Cow and Calf Rock Cafe is open 7 days a week and has a welcoming terrace looking up to the famous Cow and Calf Rocks on Ilkley Moor. This is a great place to stop and get a real Italian coffee or cold drink and they have a great selection of ice creams, cakes and snacks. The café is conveniently located next to the car park for the start of the Cow and Calf walk and there are also free public toilets.
The Black Hat
This pub is one of the largest and most spacious dog-friendly venues in Ilkley, with a large outdoor seating area as well as indoor seating and dogs are welcome throughout. They even have their own welcome sign for dogs and encourage people to ‘check in’ on social media with a picture of their dog to be in with a chance of winning their ‘Dog of the Month’ competition. They are open every day from 11am and are a great place for a lunch pit stop. They do also have some rooms available for those looking for accommodation!
The Banyan Bar is one of several branches of this chain and the great news is they are all dog-friendly. Dogs are welcome throughout the venue but there is some outdoor seating, looking out onto the road for people watching. As well as a well-reviewed bottomless brunch they also have a great drinks selection and a good cocktail menu, so if you are looking for somewhere to rest your feet and quench your thirst after exploring the town we’d highly recommend you pay a visit.
Friends of Ham
Friends of Ham is an award-winning Craft bar and charcuterie with 3 locations in total across Leeds and Ilkley. From the street, this atmospheric bar looks quite small but it is like a Tardis inside with further seating at the back of the venue and also a downstairs area and, most importantly, dogs are welcome everywhere. There’s also a beer garden front and back so plenty of places to choose to sit. They are open on Tuesday – Saturday from 10am -10pm and on Sundays from 10am – 9pm. The artisan charcuterie and cheese platters are amazing but be prepared for your dogs to be very attentive, as the smells are delicious!
Cow and Calf
This pub is in a prime location for stopping in for lunch or dinner after tackling the Cow and Calf Rocks walk. It is located a couple of miles out of the town centre so you will need to drive there but they have a free car park for patrons. The pub has a beautifully located beer garden to soak in the views of Ilkley Moor but if you prefer to sit inside, dogs are welcome to the right-hand side of the pub. The pub is also a hotel so you can book accommodation too.
Tyler James Pets
If you find yourself in need of some essential dog supplies or perhaps you think your dog deserves some special treats whilst you’re exploring, you can find this charming independent pet shop right in the center of Ilkley. It has a great range of loose treats to make up a pick and mix selection as well as a great selection of food brands and other goodies. They are open every day except Sundays and bank holidays from 9am until 5:30pm.