The early story of a British astronomer's life.

Sir Fred Hoyle is one of Bingley's most famous sons who became an astronomer and coined the term 'Big Bang!'. He was born in Gilstead in 1915, the son of a wool worker. He spent his childhood exploring the paths, woods and moors of the town, which undoubtedly formed his early interest in Science and Astronomy and led to his ground-breaking research in scientific matters and his many novels. In 2010, following the opening of the A650 Bingley bypass, it was decided to rename the stretch between Crossflatts and Cottingley Sir Fred Hoyle Way. 

Sir Fred Hoyle Blue Plaque in Gilstead

This Blue Plaque can be found on the cottage where Sir Fred Hoyle was born in Gilstead

Three local walks which illustrate the early story of Sir Fred’s life.

Bingley Walkers are Welcome have designed three local walks which are now available in a single leaflet, illustrating the early story of Sir Fred Hoyle’s life – his childhood home and surroundings, his family connections with the Salt family of Saltaire, his school days and where he would explore as a child. During these walks, you will find endless opportunities to explore historical sites of interest, special areas of scientific interest and an abundance of nature, wildlife and the some of the best sights that Bingley has to offer.

A walk leaflet to inspire the community

Our three walks cover extensive areas of Bingley town centre and the villages of Gilstead and Crossflatts. Each walk in the leaflet is indicated on a map with detailed, step by step descriptions. Our range of walks have been designed so that people of all ages and abilities can enjoy them and families can get out and discover for themselves why Sir Fred was so inspired by exploring our wonderful town!

Bingley Town Council LogoLearn, Explore & Enjoy

Thank you to Bingley Town Council for supporting us producing this leaflet. In 2017, Bingley Walkers are Welcome were awarded a grant by Bingley Town Council which was used towards organising our first walking festival and also producing a walk leaflet celebrating Sir Fred Hoyle's early life in Bingley and surrounding areas.

Sir Fred Hoyle in the 50's

Sir Fred Hoyle in the 50's

List of the Sir Fred Hoyle Self-Guided Walks

Walk TitleDifficultyDistance 
Gilstead - Sir Fred Hoyle Walk 1Timing: approx. 2 hours
Approx 5 Miles - Circular Walkwalk 1 badge
Crossflatts - Sir Fred Hoyle Walk 2Timing: approx. 1 hour 30 minutes
Approx 3 Miles - Circular Walkwalk 2 badge
Old Snickets, Park & Moorland - Sir Fred Hoyle Walk 3Timing: approx. 2 hours
Approx 4 Miles - Circular Walkwalk 3 badge

Gilstead - Walk 1

walk 1 badge Gilstead is a village above Bingley and is where young Fred Hoyle lived. In this walk, you will find all the buildings and features associated to his many childhood wanders. Most importantly, you will see the house where he lived in with his mother, a cottage belonging to the Milnerfield Estate. A blue plaque has been installed there now. The walk also includes Hirst Wood and part of Shipley Glen where he would have explored as a child.

Walk Start Point: The Glen Pub

Distance: Approx. 5 Miles

Level of Difficulty: Moderate

Parking: On Street

Dowley Gap Old Wharf and Warehouses

View of old wharf and warehouses at Dowley Gap on Leeds & Liverpool Canal

Elevation Profile

Crossflatts - Walk 2

walk 2 badgeThis walk is all about the places where young Sir Fred spent time observing the many wonders of engineering and manufacturing factories surrounding Bingley at the time. From these factories and workshops to the great Five Rise Locks, there was much to distract and interest him! He actually spent more time watching the various trades than attending school.

Walk Start Point: Crossflatts Railway Station

Distance: Approx. 3 Miles

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Parking: Railway station car park

Top of Bingley Five Rise Locks

View from Top of Bingley Five Rise Locks

Elevation Profile

Old Snickets, Park & Moorland - Walk 3

walk 3 badgeIn this final walk, you will discover some of the best features Bingley has to offer. We imagine that young Fred Hoyle would have used many of the old snickets going up and down the town on this walk. The highlight of this treck is walking up to the Prince of Wales Park and across to Gilstead Crags where the view from this moorland over the Aire Valley is quite breath-taking!

Walk Start Point: Bingley Market Square

Distance: Approx. 4 Miles

Level of Difficulty: Moderate

Parking: Town car parks

Landscape View of Bingley from Gilstead Craggs

Top of the world - View from Gilstead Craggs

Elevation Profile

Buy the Leaflet - Only £1.50!

Sir Fred Hoyle Leaflet

Walks in Bingley

Looking for something else? Why not take a look at other walks in Bingley we have for you?

The routes are not waymarked so for full comprehensive directions and anecdotal comments about Sir Fred Hoyle along the way, we invite you to buy our special leaflet which we have designed and produced.

It's a very handy four x two fold format that will keep in your pocket and includes the routes highlighted above on an illustrated map. There are “points of interest" dotted on the map, highlighting places where young Sir Fred would have spent time when living in Gilstead, Crossflatts and Bingley. The leaflet also includes various quotes from Sir Fred himself.

Below are local shops and cafés where you can buy the leaflets. In a near future we hope to be able to organise mail deliveries, so bear with us in the meantime!

Sir Fred Hoyle Walks - stockists 1

Places where you can buy the leafletMore details
The Five Rise Locks Cafe
2 Beck Lane
BD16 4DS
Tel: 01274 569664
Sir Fred Hoyle
Rustic Garden
129 Main Street
BD16 2HT
Tel: 01274 511055
Sir Fred Hoyle
The Little Yorkshire Gift Co
81 Main Street
BD16 2JA
Tel: 01274 566689
Sir Fred Hoyle
Friend's Of St Ives Visitor Centre
Cross Gates Lane
BD16 1AT
Tel: 07958 780391
Sir Fred Hoyle
The Bingley Gallery
29 Park Road
BD16 4BQ
Tel: 01274 552143
Sir Fred Hoyle
The Coffee Lounge
2 Queen Street
BD16 2JS
Tel: 01274 569608
Sir Fred Hoyle
Luscombe's Gift Shop
154 Main Street
BD16 2HR
Tel: 01274 562140
Sir Fred Hoyle
Susie’s Tea Room
65 Main Street
BD16 2HZ
Sir Fred Hoyle

Sir Fred Hoyle Walks - stockists 2

Places where you can buy the leafletMore details
Bingley News
156 Main Street
BD16 2HR
Sir Fred Hoyle
Tarquin's Tea Rooms
Myrtle Park
BD16 1HJ
Tel: 07881 108576
Sir Fred Hoyle
The Fisherman's Inn
8 Primrose Lane
BD16 4QX
Tel: 01274 510479
Sir Fred Hoyle
Cottingley Cornerstone Centre
BD16 1AL
Tel: 01274 518280
Sir Fred Hoyle
Kay Krafts
4-5 Queens Court
BD16 2LT
Tel: 01274 511820
Sir Fred Hoyle
Gilstead Post Office
63a, Gilstead Lane
West Yorkshire
BD16 3NL
Tel: 01274 563466
Sir Fred Hoyle
Five Rise Locks Hotel and Restaurant
Beck Lane
West Yorkshire
BD16 4DD
Tel: 01274 565296
Sir Fred Hoyle
Trek & Trail Saltaire Ltd
Salts Mill
Victoria Road
BD18 3LA
Tel: 01274 589692
Sir Fred Hoyle

Other Moderate Walks in Bingley

Not what you were looking for? We have a range of other moderate walks which are more likely to suit you in that case!

Hard Walks in Bingley

Looking for something a bit more challenging? Maybe a training walk for your next Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge? Take a look at our range of hard walks!

Thank Yous

Below is a list of people we would like to thank for their contribution in this project:

  • For the initial idea: A huge thank you to our own walk leader Ronda Christensen for having the idea in the first place and devising the walks. Also to everyone who has checked and double checked the walks which we are confident are word perfect – thank you Sue Dennis and Maureen Carney whose trained eyes and expertise at proof reading was invaluable!
  • For the production and print: a big thank you to Emma at FullStop Studio for her expertise in designing the leaflets and for her patience! Not forgetting our Chairwoman Christine McCabe for coordinating and managing this project.
  • For the research and resources: a special thank you to Tony Dalton and Richard Aldred as Tony did some invaluable research for us and Richard put us on to the excellent Geograph website. All photos used on the leaflet have been righfully credited to their owners

More about Sir Fred Hoyle

Below are some links to various external websites if you are interested to know more about Sir Fred Hoyle achievements:

The official Sir Fred Hoyle website:

The Fred Hoyle Project:

Also an article on the Telegraph & Argus about The Sir Fred Hoyle Way in Bingley – A650 dual carriage way between Crossflatts and Cottingley:

“Council votes to name key route after astronomer from Bingley" [T&A]

Have you done any of these walks yourself? Don’t hesitate to give us some feedback by leaving a comment below!

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