A 4 hour walk (8.3 miles) around Bingley's Hidden Secrets taking in the River Aire, moorland, woodland and the canal. Good for those wishing a great stretch exploring the wonders of Bingley! And what’s lovely about this walk is that you will never be far away from the town centre. The views are also breathtaking as you will be going up and down the hills all around the town.
Difficulty: Moderate – 4 hours – 8.3 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 café located near the Five Rise Locks. A great break almost at the end of the walk.
An old venue under new management! A great place to have a drink at the end of your walk.
An independent coffee shop/café serving hot & cold food & drinks with indoor & outdoor seating located on Market Square
Map, elevation profile and downloadable files
Where to start?
Bingley Arts Centre
Grid Reference SE 106 390
Directions - Bingley's Hidden Secrets
Starting in the town centre near the Arts Centre, make your way through Myrtle Park to cross the River Aire at the old green steel pedestrian bridge. On the other side you go up the river bank to find yourself in the first woodland area of this walk. Once you are through, turn right before the house and follow a path leaving the property then turn left and walk down a narrow lane towards Harden Beck. Just after some houses, cross the river on a small bridge to find yourself on a golf course. Cross this section carefully watching for the balls and just follow the white stones towards a pine tree plantation. Look at the breathtaking view just before getting in the plantation!
Follow the steep track in the Ruin Bank Wood up to a fence (scouts hut entrance) where you will turn left and follow a path along it. Soon you will arrive in a clearance with Baildon Moor in the horizon and then the end of the track will take you in Cottingley. Turn left going down the hill following paths between houses up to Bradford Road.
Carefully cross the road there, go left back towards Bingley and just before the bridge find an opening in the wall on the right hand side to find yourself walking along the river Aire. 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 second bridge, go right following the path in the woods up to Hirst Lock on the Leeds and Liverpool canal.
Cross the canal and then the river, take a look at Saltaire on your right and make your way towards Gilstead through the Milner Field Estate. South Lodge and North Lodge are the only remain of what once used to be the descendants of Sir Titus Salt residence. Unfortunately the actual property is only rubbles nowadays although some features can still be visible – look for the mosaics on the floor.
After the estate, make your way up the road towards Gilstead church, cross the road there carefully. Walk towards Bingley but look for the path on your right end side which takes you to Gilstead Cragg. The views there are magnificent so take your time admiring the valley on top of the rocks! From there you want to go as high as possible to reach the path near the houses.
At the end of the path you’ll find an opening between houses and from there make your way to the top of Parkside. Cross carefully to enter Prince of Wales Park. Skirt the park to go to the other side and find the Fernhill entrance going down to Lady Lane.
Cross the road carefully, go right and find the “snicket” just before Oakwood Drive. This will lead you on to Spa Lane and Gawthorpe Hall (the oldest building still standing in Bingley). Go down some steps into another “snicket” and you will be on Beck Lane.
From there, it’s all the way to Five Rise Locks. You can have some refreshments at The Five Rise Café. There’s lot to see and do around the locks – see the Canal & River Trust interactive boards.
To go back to the town centre follow the towpath and cross the bypass using the pedestrian bridge just after the Three Rise Locks.
Interesting fact: this walk was featured on the Walkers are Welcome launch event on 11th April 2015.
Have you done this walk yourself? Don't hesitate to give us some feedback by leaving a comment below!