With dark nights and short days still being a bit of a bind we decided to go for a leg stretch that was fairly close to home. So we checked in our Walks in the Yorkshire Dales book and found one that we thought would fit the bill.
We kicked off in Bingley at the White Horse Pub at the bottom end of town passing the pub heading in the direction of the river. Once over the river we took an immediate right and hugged the river passing through Ravenroyd Farm and passed another couple of buildings. This was quite a picturesque meander along the river bank although we never quite seemed to get away from the noise of traffic.
More of the River Aire
We finally came to a gate which we went through and turned left up the hill. The road wound up the hill and without an OS map or satmap we were kind of at the mercy of the crappy map that the guidebook provided us with, needless to say there were a few moments leaving me scratching my head.
We followed the road passing Blakey Cottage on our left and the road here turned into a dirt track. As we continued up the hill a view of Calderdale emerged to the right which was pretty amazing but the sound of the traffic seemed to follow us all the way.
About 50 yards further on we passed through a gate and entered a bit of woodland thick with ferns. The guidebook advised that we took the left fork at the top of the hill. There were however two forks, the first one we went wrong at and we should have gone right (you can see this bizarre detour on the map above) at the first one and left at the second. From here we followed the path with a wall on our right hand side.
This continued until we arrived at a road a few hundred yards later. At the road we took a right and followed this until we arrived in St Ives Estate.
The book directed us right into the woodland with the golf course on our left. We did walk through a lot of woodland on this walk but it was quite different so was quite pleasant. it was particularly busy however so didn't feel much like we'd escaped the crowds. That said we carried on until we got a T-Juntion and took the left path downhill which led all the way down to the Coppice Pond.
Coppice Pond near St. Ives House
Once round the pond the quickest route is to walk past St Ives House (with it on your left) and down to the main road (we took a detour through the trees where there were some quite bizarre carvings). Once across the main road you walk down Beckfoot Lane which narrows as you continue down to a picturesque ford with a bridge that dates back to 1723. Cross the bridge and just a few metres further on you reach a set of allotments, immediately after these turn left and walk down the side of them.
A bridge then crosses back over the River Aire at which point you'll find yourself in Myrtle Park (home to Bingley music festival) in Bingley and almost home. From here you will walk passed the Bradford and Bingley building which is now totally boarded up since it found itself in difficulty following the sticky situation it found itself in. What is ironic is that the road that runs along the back of the building is aptly named Thrift Way - they could have done with taking heed of this me thinks and going back to there roots that would have saved them from having to shut up shop, board up the windows and all take early retirement - all pretty sad really.
There seems to be a load of decent boozers in Bingley to quench the thirst however being as organised as ever we were against the clock and had to get home so they were procured from our fridge at home. Always welcome. So a pleasant walk with too many people and never really escaping the noise of the traffic. Sadly not one I'll be rushing back to do.