Lady Blantyre's Rock and the Druids Altar

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Bingley is an attractive market town on the River Aire and the Leeds - Liverpool Canal. There are several interesting walks in the area, some already included on this website. Walk 2968 takes you off to Bingley Moor, 3032 goes the other way to Harden and Cullingworth Moors and 734 takes you on an exploration of part of the St Ives Estate.

St Ives is a magnificent country park, managed by the Parks and Landscape Department of Bradford City Council. It includes a wide selection of footpaths and bridleways, along with opportunities for fishing, golf, riding and archery, together with children's play area, café and plenty of places to picnic.

This walk fills in the gaps left by the other walks above. For those on a first visit to St Ives, it includes most of the main areas of interest, condensed into a walk of reasonable length that the whole family can enjoy. Highlights include Lady Blantyre's Rock, the Ferrand Monument and the fantastic viewpoint of the Druids Rock.

The start point is by the Old White Horse Inn, an attractive 16th Century coaching inn at the north end of Bingley town centre. The route crosses Ireland Bridge, whose restoration in 2010 was delayed when it was discovered that it provided a home for a colony of bats. On the other side of the bridge is the Brown Cow pub. This may not look as cute as the White Horse, but they have the additional attraction of good home-cooked food on offer.

The route then gains height, but without drama. The first section is a bit convoluted, but this is done to avoid any road-walking; in fact the only place that you may have to share the way with a car is in the traffic-calmed St Ives Estate. Cross Gates Lane gives great views down the Aire Valley before losing height to the estate buildings.

Coppice Pond follows, with its waterfowl and other wildlife. A section of woodland walking comes next, leading to Lady Blantyre's Rock and the Ferrand Monument. The Rock is where Lady B used to sit to read her book and nearby is a wooden sculpture of her doing just that. Above the Rock is the monument to William Ferrand, a philanthropist and reformer. Ferrand served both Knaresborough and Devonport as an MP and is remembered for his bill to limit factory-working times to ten hours. He also highlighted harsh clauses of the Poor Law, later removed from the statute book. He denounced corruption among public figures too. In addition, Ferrand found time to plant much of the woodland you walk through on this route.

The final highlight is a dramatic gritstone edge including the fancifully named Druids Altar – the views down to the Aire Valley have to be seen! The route then returns easily to the start point, where the biggest problem might be choosing between historic inn and home-cooked food.

NOTE: Until the end of September 2023 much of this route from waymark onwards is closed due to Bradford Council felling some 4000 trees in the area and closing many of the footpaths.

England - North England - Yorkshire - Countryside


Ancient Monument, Birds, Cafe, Flowers, Good for Kids, Great Views, Nature Trail, Play Area, Pub, Public Transport, River, Tea Shop, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland

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