GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Cow and Calf and Twelve Apostles Walk

5 miles (8 km)

This circular walk visits two of the higlights of Ilkley Moor and Burley Moor in West Yorkshire.
The walk starts from the Cow and Calf parking area on Hangingstone Road, just to the south east of the town of Ilkley. From here you can pick up footpaths onto the moor, taking you to the famous 'Cow and Calf', a large rock formation consisting of an outcrop and boulder, also known as Hangingstone Rocks. The distinctive rocks are made ofmillstone grit and are so named because one is large, with the smaller one sitting close to it, like acowandcalf.
From here you head west to meet up with the Backstone Beck. A nice footpath runs south along the beck to take you to the Twelve Apostles stone circle. The bronze age stones are an impressive sight, set in an elevated position on Burley Moor, nearly 400 metres above sea level. The circle originally had between 16 and 20 stones,but it is now reduced to 12 stones with a diameter of about 15 metres.
After exploring the stones the route continues east across Burley Moor to the pretty Lower Lanshaw Dam. The path passes along the northern end of the water before linking up with the Ebor Way long distance footpath. This will then take you in a north west direction, leading you back to the car park and the finish point of the walk. Here you can enjoy well earned refreshments at the popular Cow and Calf pub.
For an alternative circular walk see the Ilkley Moor Walk which heads west across the moor to visit Cranshaw Thorn Hill and Whetstone Gate.
To extend the walk you could follow the Ebor Way into Ilkley and enjoy a riverside walk along the River Wharfe. See the Ilkley to Addingham Walk for more details.


LS29 8RF - Please note: Postcode may be approximate for some rural locations

Cow and Calf and Twelve Apostles OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Cow and Calf and Twelve Apostles Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking


Right next to the site you'll find the Rock Cafe. They have a good selection of meals and snacks which you can enjoy with a view over the moor. The 19th century Cow and Calf pub is also nearby. They serve good quality pub grub and have a fine garden area for warmer weather. You can find them on the Hangingstone Road at postcode LS29 8BT for your sat navs.

Dog Walking

The moor is ideal for dog walking so you'll probably see other owners on your visit. Both the Rock Cafe and the pub mentioned above are also dog friendly.

Further Information and Other Local Ideas

The Burley in Wharfedale Walk visits the site from the train station at the nearby settlement. The village itself is well worth exploring with a delightful village green and some historic old buildings on the Main Street. It's located just a couple of miles north east of the rocks.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Yorkshire Dales Walks page.

Cycle Routes and Walking Routes Nearby


The Cow and Calf - - 671225

The Cow and Calf

Stream Crossing - - 755498

Stream Crossing

The Twelve Apostles of Ilkley Moor Stone Circle - - 12971

The Twelve Apostles of Ilkley Moor Stone Circle

High Lanshaw Dam - - 401234

High Lanshaw Dam

Burley Moor - - 201262

Burley Moor

Moor edge path, Ilkley Moor - - 1020372

Moor edge path, Ilkley Moor

Towards Wharfedale Grange Farm - - 1476018

Towards Wharfedale Grange Farm

Rock outcrop Ilkley Moor - - 1020371

Rock outcrop Ilkley Moor


GPS Files

GPX File

Cow and Calf and Twelve Apostles.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Share>Save to Files')

Memory Map Route

Cow and Calf and Twelve Apostles.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Share>Save to Files)