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Discovering Bingley

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Discovering Bingley
Author: WalkInYorkshire, Published: 04 Mar 2012 Walk rating : Rating:star0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
West Yorkshire, BD16
Walk Type: Town or city
Discovering Bingley
Length: 4 miles,  Difficulty: boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
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A great walk to discover Bingley starts at the train station then goes around the Aire River and Harden Beck Foot, the Leeds and Liverpool canal and its famous Five Rise Locks to finish all the way up to Gilstead crag, just to appreciate the view, and comes back down to the station through quiet streets.

There are several ascents and descents throughout the walk and while most of the route follows well made paths some of the sections in fields and woodland can be muddy after wet weather. There are no stiles.

The walk starts from Bingley train station. There are regular trains from Leeds or Bradford Forster Square. It's also a stop on the Leeds to Carlisle line. If you are coming by car, there are plenty of parking spaces at the Wellington Street car park which is next to the station (charges apply). The train station car park is free for railway users but is often full unfortunately. Approximate post code BD16 2NA.

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Walk Sections

Start (railway station) to Myrtle Park
Start (railway station) to Myrtle Park

Start point: 53.8486 lat, -1.8376 long
End point: 53.8465 lat, -1.8389 long

From the Station make your way towards Main Street and cross the road. Before going to Myrtle Park, have a look at the old Market Hall and Butter Cross opposite Bingley Little Theatre entrance on the town square. Bingley was awarded a Market Town status in 1212 and these monuments are reminders of this past. Now make your way towards Myrtle Park entrance which is opposite the swimming pool and behind the former Bradford & Bingley building.

Myrtle Park to River Aire and Harden Beckfoot
Myrtle Park to River Aire and Harden Beckfoot

Start point: 53.8465 lat, -1.8389 long
End point: 53.8423 lat, -1.8419 long

You can now cross the park and make your way to its far end towards the river Aire. For interest, the Park is used for many public events including the annual Bingley Music Live Festival and the Bingley Show. Cross the pedestrian bridge and you will find allotments on your right hand side on the other side of the river. The pathway will take you to Beckfoot Lane. Turn right towards Harden Beckfoot and Beckfoot Cottage. Once there, you will see behind the cottage an old pack horse bridge which you will cross over. This stone bridge replaced the old wooden bridge in 1723 and the cottage opposite has a date stone over the doorway marked '1617 ER IR AR'. At the other end of the bridge, there is a small opening in the wall. Go across and through the field.

Harden Beckfoot, above the River Aire and through the woods
Harden Beckfoot, above the River Aire and through the woods

Start point: 53.8423 lat, -1.8419 long
End point: 53.8491 lat, -1.8421 long

Once you are in the field, make your way upward towards the house perched above the river bank. You can enjoy the view but be aware that the footpath goes right behind the house so please be considerate when passing through. You will arrive at the edge of the woods and the footpath will start going downwards in the woods. There are various footpaths in the woods and if you don't follow the path described here, do not worry, just go down towards the river in the open field (it used to be a former race horse track in Victorian times) and make your way up the river towards Harden Road.

Ireland Bridge to Five-Rise Locks
Ireland Bridge to Five-Rise Locks

Start point: 53.8491 lat, -1.8421 long
End point: 53.8563 lat, -1.8382 long

Once you are on Harden Road, make your way downward towards Ireland Bridge and across the River Aire. After the bridge, you will pass the Old White Horse Inn which is supposed to be the oldest still standing building in Bingley. Once you are on Main Street, cross the road and go left, pass the fire station and make your way towards the pedestrian bridge on your right, crossing over the railway, bypass and canal, all at the same time! On the other side you will be on the Leeds and Liverpool canal towpath, just in front of the Three Rise Locks. Now go left towards the Five Rise Locks.

Five-Rise Locks to Prince of Wales Park
Five-Rise Locks to Prince of Wales Park

Start point: 53.8563 lat, -1.8382 long
End point: 53.8563 lat, -1.8285 long

Once on top of the Five Rise Locks, take your time to admire the view or have a drink at the local café. The 5-rise was opened on 21st March 1774 and is the steepest flight of locks in the UK, with a gradient of about 1:5 (a rise of 59 ft 2 in (18.03 m) over a distance of 320 ft). When you are ready go across the canal on the swing bridge and follow Beck Lane up to Hall Bank Drive - you should see some allotments on your right hand side on the way. Opposite Hall Bank Drive, there is a public pathway which will lead you up to Gawthorpe Drive. Once there, go right and after a little while you should see another pathway called Spa Lane. There is a ford half way through Spa Lane but don't worry you won't have to wet your feet since there is a convenient pedestrian 'bridge'. At the end of Spa Lane you will be on Park Road which is a rather busy road, so be careful. Go left upward towards the entrance of the Prince of Wales Park.

Up to Gilstead Crag
Up to Gilstead Crag

Start point: 53.8563 lat, -1.8285 long
End point: 53.8517 lat, -1.8245 long

That's the final ascent of the walk. From Prince of Wales Park, you will have to cross Parkside in the bend of the road. Take extra care while doing so as drivers can't really see you there. On the other side there is a pathway which leads to Langley Farm however for the best view of the valley, I encourage you to go up the crag through one of the numerous pathways there. Once on top you will definitely have the best view of Bingley and the Aire Valley. Make your way towards the telecommunication tower on the other side of the crag and find your way down from there. You should arrive on Moor Bottom lane which leads to a fork between Fernbank Drive and Crownest Road.

Quiet streets down to the railway station
Quiet streets down to the railway station

Start point: 53.8517 lat, -1.8245 long
End point: 53.8504 lat, -1.8286 long

The rest of this walk will be through pathways and quiet streets all the way down to the train station. From the fork between Crownest Road and Fernbank Drive, go right on Crownest Road for 50 yards up until you see a public footpath sign on your left. Take this small alley way going down between houses and at the first turn, carry on left (on your right will be the entrance to Jerr Wood Park). At the end of the pathway, carry on downward on Stanley Street up to Mornington Road. There turn right and walk up to Britannia Street which will lead you to a bridge over the Leeds and Liverpool canal. Cross the bridge and take the next pedestrian bridge over the bypass. Cross the road at the lights and turn right to arrive on Dubb Lane. Once you can see the mini cab company turn right on the car park and make your way back to the train station.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2012 by the author WalkInYorkshire and may not be reproduced without permission.

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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