St Ives Estate is a Country Park located on the outskirt of Bingley, near the village of Harden, West Yorkshire. Currently being looked after by Bradford Council, this 550 acre land is a real gem for all the people in the area and beyond. For the nature lovers, it’s a wildlife heaven with a mix of wooded areas, pine plantations, meadows, moorland and ponds. For the casual ramblers, there are many paths crisscrossing the estate, making it very dog-friendly. The estate is also the home to an 18 hole golf course, a massive play area, an archery, an equestrian centre, a café – The Ivy Kitchen – and many picnic areas. It’s a very popular place, so no wonder that an estimated 300,000 people come each year to visit it!
An estate full of features and surprises
Although there are records of various owners of the land, the most famous ones are definitely the Ferrand’s family. Over the centuries, they built most of the features we can still see today. Most importantly, they planted all the trees that you can find in the estate. Today the estate belongs to Bradford City Council and is home to many private companies. Below is a list of the most famous features accessible to the public:
This rocky outcrop over-looking the Aire Valley on the southern edge of Bingley is said to have had a druidic worshipping tradition. However, little archaeological evidence of this exist except for its name. It’s a lovely spot though, really worth a visit.
Bingley St Ives Golf Course
One of the many golf courses in the Aire Valley, the Bingley St Ives Golf Club is home to a 18 hole course taking a large part of the estate.
This man-made lake was probably built about monastic times and Walker Ferrrand did modify it in the early 1800’s. It has been a fishery since 1960’s. If you want to fish there, you can obtain a yearbook directly from Bingley Angling Club.
Restored in 2003, this small pond is accessible to the public and is a perfect spot for a quiet and relaxing break while discovering the estate.
Lady Blantyre's Rock
Lady Blantyre was one of the Ferrand’s family member who lived on the estate in the 19th century. This rock was her favourite spot and a memorial stone below it was erected after her death by her son in law.
William Busfeild Ferrand Obelisk Monument
William Busfeild Ferrand was one of the owner of the estate and son in law of Lady Blantyre.
Chain Saw Carvings
This Sculpture Trail of chainsaw carvings was created in 2005. Over the years some of these wooden sculptures have disappeared unfortunately. It’s still good fun though to try to find them all around the estate!
A large wooded area
Most of the trees you can find on the estate were planted by the Ferrands. There are many different species including oaks, yews, ash, pines, larch or rhododendrons
Toilets: located next to the playground, they are open from 9.00 to 16.00, 7 days a week. These toilets are unattended.
Bird Hide cabin: located near Coppice Pond, it’s a very quiet place and a perfect break with the family to watch the many bird species coming to enjoy some seeds on the bird feed.
Playground: this play area is one of the biggest in the district. It has all sorts of equipment and is suitable from toddlers to teenagers.
Two bus services stop by the entrance to St Ives Estate on Harden Road. The 616 from Bradford Interchange or the 729 from Keighley Bus Station.
Bingley Train Station is only 15-20 mins walk or 5 mins taxi ride from the estate entrance. There are regular services from Leeds, Bradford or Skipton. Check our travelling to Bingley page for more information.
- Car park 1 – Bottom car park: it is near the main southern entrance on Harden Road. This is the biggest car park and there is now a pathway running along the road which takes you all the way up to the play area.
- Car park 2 – Play area car park: it is near the playground and is a bit smaller. You will need to drive all the way up so beware of pedestrians and cyclists.
- Car park 3 – Coach house car park: it is located near the Bingley St Ives Golf Club, behind the Coach House.
St Ives Visitor Centre & Herb Garden
Today the Friends of St Ives (FOSI) are helping Bradford Council maintaining the public estate and welcoming visitors alike. This group of volunteers have now a home within the estate under the Visitor Centre and Herb Garden. Please pay them a visit, they are a real welcoming bunch and the centre is child friendly.
Cross Gates Lane
Grid Reference: SE 092 389
Opening time: Saturday & Wednesday 11:00 to 15:00
The Ivy Kitchen
There’s only one café on the estate called The Ivy Kitchen (formally known as Lady B’s Cafe). It’s a perfect place for a break after a stroll around the pond, a play with the kids in the play area or a long walk on one of the many paths criss-crossing the estate. The café is also dog friendly, so don’t hesitate to bring your four legged friend in!
Tel: 01274 515887
Grid Reference: SE 091 389
- Monday to Sunday 9:30 to 16:00
Walks and Walking in Bingley St Ives
The estate is a perfect walking ground for all fitness levels and ages. From a gentle stroll around Coppice Pond to a long walk around the estate boundaries, you will find a route that suits you. There are regular guided walks and walking events happening in and around the estate and we have listed some below. For those who prefer discovering by themselves, we also have a list of self-guided walks.
The estate is a great place to be discovered by yourself. Bradford Leisure & Parks Services have put together a great leaflet showing various features and three different walks:
The Altar View Walk
Old Reservoir Walk
Water Garden Stroll
Bingley Walkers are Welcome have also created some walks in and around the estate and you can find them on the map above and listed below.
- A walk around St Ives Estate
- Wildlife Walk – Deer and Riverside
- St Ives and the Black Hills
- A ramble in the Harden Valley
There are many possible combinations of walks within the estate but below are some of our favourites.
|Moss Carr Road to St Ives Park||Timing: approx. 2 hours|
|3.5 miles - Linear Walk|
|Wildlife Walk||Timing: 1 hour 30 minutes|
|3.9 miles - Circular Walk|
|St Ives & the Black Hills||Timing: 2 hours|
|4.15 miles - Circular Walk|
|A Walk Around St Ives Estate Boundaries||Timing: 2 hours|
|4.75 miles - Circular Walk|
|Lady Blantyre's Rock and the Ferrand's Monument||Timing: approx. 2 to 3 hours|
|5 miles - Circular Walk|
|A ramble in the Harden Valley||Timing: 5 hours|
|10.4 Miles - Circular Walk|
Circular Walk – 4.75 Miles – 2 hours
St Ives estate near Bingley is a popular destination for all types of leisure activities. It’s a big wooded estate and is owned by the Bradford & City Metropolitan District. This walk will take you all around its boundaries.
Circular Walk – 5 Miles – 3 hours
Starting with a steep climb through the back streets of Keighley, the walk reaches its highest point in St Ives Estate. Then it is quite level before starting your return over Harden Moor and a steep descent back to Keighley.
Circular Walk – 10.4 Miles – 5 hours
The Harden Valley, in the heart of the Brontë Country is definitely a little gem of a ramble on a nice sunny day! You won’t be disappointed by the variety of features it has to offer: woods, waterfalls, viaduct, moors and of course the views!
There are quite a few themed guided walks organised in the estate including bird, bat, tree and fungi walks. They last about 3 hours each and are led by specialists. There are also regular guided walks led by various organisations starting in the estate.
As part of our monthly Sunday Walks, Bingley Walkers are Welcome are delighted to organise a history walk & talk…Read more