A TOWN described as having a “jewel” of a lido has been named one of the prettiest in the UK by The Telegraph.

Ilkley made the top list and it seems to be quite the compliment as there are around 1,250 towns across England, Scotland and Wales.

The publisher said: “But which are the prettiest towns in Great Britain? To find out, we called upon our experts across the country to give their verdict on the most beautiful settlements in the land.

“We asked each expert to rank their towns on the pleasantness of their shop fronts, historic architecture, low traffic/litter, stunning viewpoints and plentiful greenery, culminating in a score out of 50.”

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What did The Telegraph say about Ilkley being one of the UK’s prettiest towns?

Ilkley received an overall score of 44/50 and a score of 9/10 for its shop fronts.

The Telegraph commented: “Sheltered below the justly famous Ilkley Moor, the town spreads handsomely down a gentle slope to the equally fine River Wharfe.

“The slope plus the lack of high-rise buildings – church spires, aside – means excellent views are guaranteed at almost every turn.

“A classic Victorian town (though Roman in origin) that grew on the back of the discovery of spa waters, Ilkley’s principal streets are wide and leafy; the Grove, with its broad pavement, bandstand, cherry trees and handsome shopfronts (notably Bettys café tearooms) while Brook Street, a pleasant jumble of cafes and shops, sweeps down to the river."

It added: “A good range of independent shops includes books, butchers, bikes and beers while Mortens hardware (established 1937) is the go-to for everything for the house and garden.

“There’s a swish cinema, a riverside park and playing fields, a craft brewery, an artisan food market, walks in Middleton Woods on the north side (brilliantly blue in bluebell season) and bracing walks on the moors on the south side. And the jewel? The Art Deco lido complete with original café and sun terrace.”

The publisher said Ilkley’s best viewpoint is “from the lido gazing up towards Ilkley Moor and picking out the iconic Cow and Calf rocks, and White Wells, 18th-century cottages housing the early spa’s plunge-pools.”

Commenting on where to stay, The Telegraph recommended The Crescent Inn, which is “a historic building with boutique-smart rooms, French restaurant and real-ale pub.”

Double rooms are available from £90.