St Ives estate near Bingley is a popular destination for all types of leisure activities. It’s a fairly big wooded estate for the area and is owned by the Bradford & City Metropolitan District. This walk will take you all around its boundaries. You will be up for a treat once you have reached Druid's Altar where the views of the Airedale Valley are fantastic!
Essential info about the walk
Start: Bingley Railway Station
This walk is a car free train walk! We encourage walkers to use public transport as much as possible.
Difficulty: Moderate – approx 2 hours – 4.75 Miles
Toilets: There are public toilets on this walk and are located on Myrtle Place (by the market square) in Bingley.
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.
A traditional Yorkshire pub near Ireland Bridge serving locally renowned beers and great food
A tea room and ice cream parlour located in the middle of Myrtle Park
A coffee shop near Coppice Pond in St Ives Estate
Where to start?
Bingley Railway Station
Grid Reference SE 108 391
1. Railway Station to Beckfoot Packhorse Bridge.
Starting at Bingley Railway Station, you will need to make your way where the Harden Beck joins the River Aire, locally know as Beckfoot. So, first go to Market Square via the alley way on the side of Peacock Bar (formally Foundry Hill Bar). Cross Main Street and go towards Bingley Arts Centre. To its left is a street called Myrtle Place leading towards Myrtle Grove and the entrance of Myrtle Park. You should see Bingley Pool on the right and the new Lidl supermarket on the left. Once in Myrtle Park, keep the path going left after the cenotaph and the playground and go down towards the river. Cross the bridge over the River Aire, follow the alley along the allotments and once at the end turn right towards an old hamlet. There you will find the old Beckfoot Packhorse Bridge over Harden Beck.
Note: see the walk Discover Bingley for more info about the town centre features.
2. From Beckfoot to Coppice Pond
Cross the bridge and go up Beckfoot Lane up until you reach the busy Harden Road. Cross the road carefully and go straight into the woods opposite. Soon you will find yourself in front of the Bingley St Ives Estate lower car park. Carry on along the main road going up inside the estate. You don't have to walk on tarmac here, take the footpath on the right hand side away from the road up to Bettys Lodge. This Grade II listed building hexagonal shape is a beautiful feature on this walk! Opposite is a path going down and leaving the main estate road into Cuckoo Nest Wood. Follow the path which runs along the edge of the estate overlooking some meadows up until you arrive at a small hamlet. There you should see a sign to the Baxter's Pond which is definitely worth a very small detour. After your visit, come back and take the path going up in meander up until you reach Coppice Pond which will be on the left at the top of the path. You are now standing on the main estate road which can be quite busy at times with cars and pedestrians alike.
Note: Once you are there, if you feel thirsty or hungry a detour to The Ivy Kitchen is a must. Take right in that case!
3. Coppice Pond to Lady Blantyre’s Rock
Once you've reached Coppice Pond, find the bird hide on the left hand side and spend a bit of time relaxing there. Further along, there is also a duck feeding station on a small peer overlooking the pond. From there, carry on straight on the main path heading towards Lady Blantyre’s Rock.
The path will carry on for a while and start veering right and go steep. However, soon you will find the site on your left. As suggested by the commemorative stone there, this was the favourite spot of Mr Ferrand’s mother in law, Lady Blantyre who was said to spend all her Summers reading under it.
Behind the rock, you’ll also find an obelisk this time dedicated to William Busfeild Ferrand, Lady Blantyre’s son in law. The area used to be much more open but today the views are blocked by mature trees. None the less, if you fancy a break there are some picnic tables around and it’s quite protected from the wind.
4. Lady Blantyre’s Rock to Druid’s Altar
Once you’ve left that spot, it’s all uphill until you have to cross one of the golf course greens. At that point, you should see an opening in the estate’s wall. Behind it runs Altar Lane road where you can appreciate a view over the Aire Valley. From there, either you go down the road or you follow a path behind the wall – we recommend the path as it gives you better views.
After a while, you should arrive at a cross road. Here, we advise you to take a little detour and go to see the Druid’s Altar, giving you fantastic views over the valley. You will see Baildon Moor and Ilkley Moor quite distinctively! Then come back and carry on your walk down Altar Lane towards Bingley.
5. Back in town
You will finally leave St Ives estate and arrive on the busy Harden Road again.
Note: In front of you is the excellent Brown Cow pub and is perfect for a last pint before going back to the town centre.
Otherwise cross Ireland Bridge on your left and straight after the bridge take a pathway on your right which runs along the River Aire bank. You can go back to the town centre up any of the steps you see on your left or carry on all the way towards Myrtle Park. Then just make your way back to the station.
Have you done this walk yourself? Don't hesitate to give us some feedback by leaving a comment below!