Six of the Best: Heatwave escapes

Ilkley Lido. PIC: Bruce Rollinson
Ilkley Lido. PIC: Bruce Rollinson
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After snow and hail just last week, it seems the Great British weather is on the turn. So, assuming the sun keeps shining, here’s a selection of activities to enjoy in what could be our first heatwave of the year


Ilkley Lido was built in 1935 and there are only 127 lidos left in the country, so it’s worth appreciating. The open air pool looks even more stunning set against the hills beyond and while it might not be as warm as you think, on a hot day, it’s a great way to cool off.

The Ilkley Lido can entertain up to 4,000 visitors on a hot summer’s day, with water temperatures from about 14 degrees, rising into the 20s.

When you’re done with that, go and explore the town of Ilkley or even Ilkley Moor, which rises to over a 1,000ft above sea level and offers stunning views.


Leeds is blessed with many things, not least of which is the Leeds Liverpool Canal, which is an oasis of calm (if you ignore the cyclists, that is - although new signposts have recently been installed to remind the two-wheel speed merchants that it’s pedestrians who have priority).

The canal is full of wildlife at this time of year, with ducklings scooting across the water. There’s plenty of places to stop off for a picnic and pubs to quench your thirst if you do plan on walking any distance. Perfect for children and a great opportunity to get all the family out.


There are all sorts of things happening this weekend in and around Leeds. Today, you can visit Gawthorpe Maypole Gala, which is their 141st event. Also today, there’s a free drop-in history event at Leeds Museum with talks, craft stalls and other activities and Leeds Town Hall hosts the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra.

In Wakefield on Sunday, the Wakefield Orchestral Wind Band will play from 2pm to 4pm at Clarence Park Bandstand for their ‘Brass in the Park’ event. At Leeds Arena on the same day is Disney on Ice 25th anniversary event.


Temple Newsam has it all and more. There’s plenty to keep you occupied all day. Take the children to the play area and grab an ice-cream or why not visit the farm and let them see (and smell) some of the animals close up.

If that doesn’t tick the box for you, there’s always the woods to explore, or why not wander down to the lake to feed the fishes, or just take a picnic and find yourself a patch of grass.

Perfect for ball games and frisbee with glorious views of the Yorkshire countryside.


When it comes to pubs, you’re spoilt for choice. If you fancy being pushing the boat out you can try Leeds city centre or Headingley’s Otley Run, or even Otley itself, which has 19 pubs to try.

But if you want something a little more refined, why not try The Greyhound in Tong, the perfect village pub, away from it all, or the Calverley Arms, Calverley, with its huge beer garden. The Boundary House, Methley has sofas in its beer garden. If you want to venture out of the city, there’s The Lister Arms at Malham, where you can try fruit beers and Old Peculiar on tap.