Covid-19 update: We know that many of you have taken on walking during the lockdown as a way to exercise more and we hope that this will inspire you to join us once we resume all our activities. In the meantime, if you decide to go on this particular walk please take a look at the Countryside Code which has been updated during this pandemic.
We hope you enjoy your walk and don't hesitate to leave us a comment to let us know what you think. Also don't hesitate to contact us if you need to report any issues you have encountered.
It’s safe to say that Bingley is not Venice. However the River Aire and the Leeds and Liverpool canal form an easy to follow route on this walk, so expect to be walking near water quite a lot! You will also see a local architectural wonder known locally as the “Seven Arches", an aqueduct bearing the load of Leeds Liverpool Canal above the River Aire. Once there, you will really feel like you are between two waters!
Difficulty: Easy – 1 & 1/2 hours – 4.2 Miles
Toilets: Attended public toilets located on Myrtle Place (by the market square).
Refreshments: there are many shops, cafés, restaurants and pubs in town but below are specifics businesses which we recommend if you go on this walk. Feel free to visit their site and contact them.
WaW supporters along the walk
A convenient place to wait for your train. Opposite the train station.
An old venue under new management! A great place to have a drink at the end of your walk.
This is the perfect place for a drink or food on this walk. Located by the canal and almost at the end of the walk, we highly recommend a visit.
Map, elevation profile and downloadable files
Where to start?
Bingley Railway Station
Grid Reference SE 108 391
Directions - Between Two Waters and the Seven Arches Aqueduct
First leaving the train station, turn right towards Park Road. Cross the bridge and on the other side, just before the first building – left hand side of the road – go down towards the canal tow path. Follow the canal with Damart Hill on your right hand side up to the Three Rise Locks and cross there to find yourself on the other side of the canal.
Optional: Here you can carry on along the canal to go and see the Five Rise Locks (see Five Rise Locks Family Walk for more info)
Take the pedestrian bridge to cross the bypass – you will see Bingley Parish Church on your right. This is the oldest part of Bingley and still bears some cobbled streets. Go towards The Old White Horse, said to be one of the oldest public houses in England! Then towards Ireland Bridge and stay on the left hand-side but don’t go over it.
Take a path on your left before the bridge and soon you will find yourself walking along the river. The path is called Riverside Walk and it will take you to Myrtle Park. On the way, you should see a plaque stone in the the middle of the footpath with the inscription “The Throstles Nest of Old England, Bingley".
At the end of the footpath, a huge clearance will appear, this is the site of both the annual Bingley Show and Bingley Music Live. In the distance, you should also see a house high above the river bank – this is where you are heading to. Walk in the field towards the pedestrian steel green bridge over the river (Festival of Britain Bridge) and go up some steps in the woods in front of you. Follow the left path above the river bank up to the house. Walk in front of the house overlooking the river and the park. Please be considerate for the house owners when walking through the property ground and keep to the path.
Soon you will arrive at Beckfoot Packhorse Bridge. The houses on the over side are some of the oldest still standing in the area dating back to the 17th century. The settlement is said to have links to the Knights Templar and in one of the derelict building, there are markings which tend to prove that.
After the settlement, you will find yourself on a tarmac road – Beckfoot Lane – and you should pass along a golf course. Carry on all the way up to the busy Bradford Road. On your left is a bridge over the river but you need to cross the road to find an opening in the wall on the other side. Be careful while crossing the road, there is no pedestrian crossing there! Behind the opening in the wall is a steep flight if stair taking you down into a private garden. However the path is a rights of way, so you are allowed to cross this private garden. Again be considerate for the garden owners and stick to the footpath. You are finally walking back along the river.
From then on, don’t leave the river up until you arrive in Hirst Woods. On the way, you will see the Bradford and Bingley “Bees” RUFC training ground. Then you will go under two bridges. First the modern concrete bypass’ pylons and then the railway’s Victorian steel pylons just before Hirst Woods.
After that bridge, go left along the river and then follow a footpath which goes across the woods. At the end of the path, you should be on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. Go left and you are now on a bridge known locally as the “Seven Arches Aqueduct” above the River Aire. Once there it is all the way back to Bingley along the canal. You might want to stop at The Fisherman's Inn located just before Dowley Gap Locks for a pint or other refreshments. To go back to the railway station, you don't have to get back all the way to Three Rise Locks. There is pedestrian bridge above the canal and the bypass which will take you just behind the Aldi store. From there, the station is only a step away. If you have to wait for your train, you can even have a drink or some food at the Foundry Hill Bar & Restaurant, opposite the station.