Otley is a small town in West Yorkshire, located between Leeds and Ilkley. It is in Wharfedale, which is the upper part of the Wharfe Valley. Otley is very typical of this part of Yorkshire. It has no major landmark but it has a pleasant old town, known for its many pubs and antique shops. Otley has one of the few forests in Yorkshire – Otley Chevin.
Otley does not have a train station – the closest one is at Menston, 2.5mi away. It is served by regular buses from Leeds (X84, X85).
Otley has a nice market place, on which stands the Jubilee Clock, built in 1888. There are some nice old buildings around, among which is the Stew & Oyster restaurant, located in a former Tudor house. The famous cabinetmaker Thomas Chippendale was born in this house. Just behind is Otley Manor House, a Georgian mansion completed in 1792.
In the churchyard, there is an interesting memorial, which was built to commemorate the workers who built Bramhope Tunnel. This tunnel, which passes nearby under the village of Bramhope, was built for the Leeds to Harrogate railway. It was completed in the 1840s and many workers died during the construction. The memorial is a copy of the crenelated entrances of the tunnel.
Otley is one of the few towns in England to have a maypole, around which May Day is celebrated every year.
Otley Chevin is a small forest located on an escarpment above the town. It overlooks Otley and Wharfedale, providing interesting views, especially from its summit, appropriately called ‘Surprise View’. The cliff comprises many large boulders, some of which were sketched by Turner.