The Ilkley Moor Trail 5km gives you an experience of running across trails, moorland and fells, all packed into a short distance.
This 5km run is a perfect trail running introduction to the bigger brother – Ilkley Moor Explore. Try this run out to begin and to get used to the excitement of off-road running.
Wanting to find your way to the start of the route? Here is a link for a Google Maps Directions page.
This route has a distance of 4.63km and an elevation gain of 181m.
The largest non-stop incline begins within the first kilometre of of the route, and has a distance of 1882m and an elevation gain of 137m. You can see this on the above elevation chart in red.
The largest continual decline is 689m long with an elevation drop of 76m which starts near the end of the route. This is shown on the chart as green.
One of the top highlights of running the Ilkley Moor Trail 5km is the variation in the types of terrain - path, trail and fell - you will run. These terrains are suitable for a beginner runner because they are short and less technical. Which makes the route a great introduction for off-road running.
Best Time To Run
Running across the moor is beautiful at anytime of the year. It's worth noting that trails and moorland become very unsuitable for running following periods of poor weather. So, as stunning as the landscape is we wouldn't recommend saving this route to run for the first time in winter.
Start the run in the car park of the Hermit. Cross the road and head diagonally up the hill on the grassy trail. At the first set of trail gates you will notice the route is marked by a yellow arrow circle disc – keep an eye out for these, they are your visual marker for the rest of the run.
Running on you will pass Turnpike House and cross the Carr Beck before reaching Bee Stone House. At this point the wide panoramic landscape views will start to come in to focus.
Continue along Occupation Lane – this section of the run is all on a stoney track – you will pass the Skirtful of Stones (an ancient burial area) before arriving at Grubstones Shooting House.
At the house turn right onto the moor section of the run; once you’ve passed Carr Bottom Reservoir the gradient starts to drop and here the short section of fell running starts. Take note that your footing will be more precarious, so running at a slower pace is advised.
Once at the bottom of the hill you’re just down the road from the Hermit on Moor Road! Head back to base to finish with a cold one at the pub.
Running across an uneven moor and down a bumpy fell presents the risk of tripping and falling. If it gets difficult we recommend you drop the speed and lighten the stride.
Located above Ilkley, Ilkley Moor is an urban common area spanning 1670 acres. Over the last million years the ice age glaciers have shaped the Wharfe valley in depth. You’ll notice the dips and drops on the moor from this.
Burley Moor is a summit in the Yorkshire Dales. The top is marked by the Great Skirtful of Stones – an old graveyard from the Iron or Bronze age. The views on the top of Burley Moor are magnificent.
There are toilets at The Hermit Inn at the start of the route. If your using the men’s urinals you’ll be treated to a view out over the moors while relieving yourself – apparently it’s the best urinal view in Yorkshire!
Please hold on to your rubbish on the moor and keep this area of natural beauty.
You can park for free in the generous sized car park at the Hermit Inn, postcode: LS29 7AS (Google Map Directions).
Food and Drink
The Hermit Inn provide a selection of food from artisan sandwiches to homemade soups, and sharing plates. On top of this any vegan or gluten needs are considered for many of the dishes.
To avoid disappointment we recommend you book a table because it’s a popular pub!