Myrtle Park is in the heart of Bingley and as such is one of the most popular outdoor places in town. It’s a huge park with a variety of native trees and wildlife and a large meadow nestled in one of the meanders of the River Aire – two pedestrian bridges allow visitors to cross the river. It’s home to many annual events such as the Bingley Show, Bingley Music Live and Bingley Biathlon as well as the weekly Park Run. It is a well cherished asset and although owned by the Council, the newly formed “Friends of Myrtle Park" community group is now looking after it to make sure that future generations can enjoy it as we all do now. And of course, it’s the perfect location for a stroll, a dog walk or the start or finish of a longer walk.
The Friends of Myrtle Park were formed in 2019 and their aim is to keep the park as beautiful as it is for everyone to enjoy. There are regular events for volunteers to attend and help maintain the park. They have now acquired the old Veterans hut next to the Bowling club and are establishing their HQ there.
The origins of the park are from the 18th century when Johnson Atkinson Busfield bought the land in 1767 and in 1772 built Myrtle Grove which later became the Bingley Town Hall. The park actually opened to the public in 1909 and now belongs to Bradford City Council. Below is a list of the most famous features:
Bingley Town Hall
It is currently owned by City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council and used as offices for more than 100 employees in the Council’s Adult Services department. It is usually closed to members of the public. When Bingley was an Urban District Council from 1894 to 1974, Councillors used to meet in the wood-panelled Council Chamber.
The War Memorial is one of the main features at the top of the park. It’s well looked after and often surrounded by some lovely flower beds. Every year during Remembrance Day a military parade takes place to honour the fallen local soldiers. You can find the full details on the Imperial War Museums website.
Bowling Green and Café
Myrtle Park Bowls Club was founded in 1926 and is still going strong with regular training and competitions happening almost all year round. With Tarquin’s Tea Rooms located in the same historic 100 year old Pavilion building, it’s a great spot for a relaxing day out watching the games.
The Menagerie - Birds and Rabbits
Located on the left hand side of the old Pavilion where Tarquin’s Tea Rooms is based, this menagerie is made of an aviary hosting exotic Cockatiel birds and some rabbits – not in the same cage! It’s always a nice visit to have with young children.
This elegant bandstand was built in 1913 and has remained in that location ever since. It used to host weekly brass band concerts between the two wars. Nowadays there are still some occasional concerts happening during the Summer.
Festival of Britain bridge
This sturdy green tubular bridge crosses over the River Aire and allows walkers to go up the river bank and towards St Ives Estate. There is an embedded inscription which says: “Festival of Britain 1951"
How to go to Myrtle Park?
When arriving in Bingley, look for the new Lidl Supermarket store on Main Street and then turn on to Myrtle Place. The park entrance is by Bingley Swimming Pool. Parking is restricted in this area but there are plenty or car parks nearby.
Several buses including the 662, 619, 622 and 760 stop on Main Street in Bingley. The closest bus stop is opposite the new Lidl Supermarket which is right next to the park. For bus timetable information contact Metro on 0113 2457676 or www.wymetro.com
Bingley is on the Leeds/Carlisle line and the Airedale line, and it has many frequent services including to and from Leeds, Skipton, Keighley, Shipley and Bradford. The station is just a few minutes walk from the park.
Which facilities can you find in Myrtle Park?
Below are the facilities that the public can use for free:
Although not strictly within the park, Bingley Pool is right outside. It almost disappeared but thanks to the local community it was brought back to life by the Friends of Bingley Pool. It is still looked after by Bradford City Council but a community asset transfer is being planned.
Tel: 01274 560621
Grid Reference: SE 106 389
Tarquin's Tea Rooms
There’s a single café in Myrtle Park called Tarquin’s Tea Rooms (formerly known as Café in The Park). It is located within the old Pavilion next to the bowling club. It’s also an ice cream parlour so it’s a perfect place for a break after a stroll around the park, a play with the kids in the play area or a long walk on one of the many paths criss-crossing the park. The café is also dog friendly, so don’t hesitate to bring your four-legged friend in!
Tarquin’s Tea Rooms
Tel: 07881 108576
Grid Reference: SE 106 388
- Monday to Sunday 9:00 to 17:00
The Bradford & Bingley name was created in 1964 following the merger between the Bradford Equitable Building Society and the Bingley Building Society which were both founded in 1851. In the early 70’s a major redevelopment scheme of Bingley comprising Myrtle Grove, Chapel Lane, Main Street and 7 Dials areas saw the erection of a concrete tiered building, designed to reflect the nearby Five Rise Locks landmark. This became the new headquarters for Bradford & Bingley and opened in 1975. Over the years the design and sheer size of the building was seen as an eyesore by many residents and visitors. In 2008 the bank collapsed and the B&B headquarters building was left empty for years before demolition finally started in 2015. Unfortunately the site was left empty for another few years before the Supermarket Lidl was able to build on it and opened a store in 2019.
With the B&B building now gone, the view of the town and the rest of the valley from Myrtle Park has dramatically changed!
Below are a series of pictures showing the evolution of the demolition of the Bradford & Bingley headquarters:
Below are some of the many walks which start or finish from Myrtle Park. From a short family friendly walk around the park and the river to a proper hike, Myrtle Park will welcome all walkers!
|Short Family Friendly Walk in Myrtle Park||Timing: approx. 1/2 hour||Easy|
1.2 miles - Circular Walk
|Bingley Myrtle Park & Woods Adventure Walk||Timing: approx. 1 hour||Easy|
1.9 miles - Circular Walk
|Discovering Bingley - A walk around the town||Timing: 1 hour 30 minutes||Easy|
3.6 miles - Circular Walk
|Wildlife Walk||Timing: 1 hour 30 minutes||Easy|
3.9 miles - Circular Walk
|Between Two Waters and the Seven Arches Aqueduct||Timing: 1 hour 30 minutes||Easy|
4.2 miles - Circular Walk
|St Ives & the Black Hills||Timing: 2.5 hours||Moderate|
4.5 miles - Circular Walk
|A Walk Around St Ives Estate Boundaries||Timing: 2 hours||Moderate|
4.75 miles - Circular Walk
|A ramble in the Harden Valley||Timing: 5 hours||Hard|
10.4 Miles - Circular Walk
|Myrtle Meander||Timing: 10 to 12 hours||Challenging|
25 Miles - Circular Walk
Circular Walk – 1.2 Miles – 1/2 hour
Myrtle Park is a real gem for every one in the family. This walk will show you all the beautiful aspects of it. From bandstand to river bank, there is something for everyone in this family and pram-friendly 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 – 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!
Myrtle Park is host to annual events such as the Bingley Show or Bingley Music Live. It’s a perfect setting for such big events bringing large crowds into town. However, there are other events worth mentioning such as the Brilliant Bingley Biathlon. And the park is only a stone’s throw away from Market Square which is host to the monthly Bingley Market and the annual Christmas Fayre. Not to forget the Bingley Arts Centre which has a great programme of events happening all year round. Finally, our annual Walking Festival and monthly Sunday Walks start from Market Square and many of our guided walks are likely to go through Myrtle Park.