Last updated on October 28th, 2012 | Written By Darren
Things to do and see in Otley
Nestled between Leeds, Bradford and Harrogate, Otley is a market town about 12 miles out of Leeds city centre. It has long been used as a location for popular television series such as Emmerdale and Heartbeat, and there is plenty of things to do and see in Otley on a day out.
Chevin Forest Park
If you are feeling energetic, take a walk from the town centre up to the top of Otley Chevin. The distance is less than a mile but is a steep uphill climb (the top is around 925ft above sea level). The view from the top is well worth it though, as is a refreshing pint in The Royalty public house on York Gate, a short walk from the Chevin top.
For the less energetic there is a car park at the summit, accessed from York Gate, from where the views can be found and there are plenty of walks on the lower slopes around the Danefield and Quarry areas, free car parking is also available at these locations.
The River Wharfe flows through the centre of Otley and to the north side Wharfemeadows Park can be found between Otley Bridge and Farnley Lane. This is an ideal place to visit with children as there is a well equipped outdoor play area, including a section suitable for children with disabilities.
The site of the former open air swimming pool now houses the Rainbow Leisure complex with crazy golf, go-karting and various other attractions. If you are in need of refreshment, the café in the park is open throughout the summer months. Further along the river through the gardens is the very popular skate park.
Otley Market and Farmers’ Market
As mentioned previously, Otley is a market town and there is a large and popular market every Friday and Saturday, stretching the length of Kirkgate and filling the Market Place. There is also a smaller selection of stalls on Tuesdays. In addition to this, a morning farmers’ market is held on the last Sunday of each month (except for December when it is on the Sunday before Christmas). This is also in the Market Place.
Places to drink in Otley
There are many pubs to choose from in Otley. In fact, at one point, Otley was the town with the most pubs per head of population in the country. Try the Black Bull, the oldest pub in Otley, or the Whitaker’s Arms if the weather is good, both of these have excellent beer gardens.
Otley Courthouse (which was used as Ashfordly Police Station in Heartbeat) on Courthouse Street has been redeveloped and regularly hosts events such as theatrical productions, films, music, arts, dance and workshops. The community café is open 11am-3pm Monday-Saturday so why not call in for lunch and visit the old cell or make use of the free computer and internet facilities whilst you are there?
Places to eat in Otley
There is plenty of choice for eating out in Otley. The Jewel of India (Bridge Street) or the Cafe Balti House (Bondgate) if you fancy a curry, the Rose and Crown pub (Bondgate) for an excellent Sunday lunch, or The Cove (Bridge Street) for fish and chips. Slightly further out of town, in the Wharfebank Business Centre on Ilkey Road, is Buon Apps which serves Italian and Mediterranean food and is highly recommended.
How to get to Otley
Otley is accessible by car on the A660 from Leeds or by the bus X84 bus from Leeds City bus station. There is limited free car parking in Otley and three pay and display car parks. There is also free parking on Sainsbury’s car park in the centre but this is limited to 4 hours. The bus station is located on Crossgate.