Eight wonderful reasons to visit Bingley and area
The Five Rise, Three Rise and Two Rise Locks on the Leeds to Liverpool Canal. In many people’s view, these 18th century feats of engineering are already established tourist attractions but have the potential to be enjoyed by many more.
In addition, Bingley has the historic Market Hall and Buttercross (completed 1753) and numerous other buildings of historical interest including the Parish Church, Old Main Street, the Packhorse Bridge (1723) and many other listed sites and buildings.
2. Countryside and outdoor activity
Bingley spans three parks: Myrtle Park, St Ives Estate and Prince of Wales Park. This latter has been revitalised through the efforts of enthusiastic and talented volunteers. These “green assets” provide free entertainment to people of all ages.
In addition, Bingley has an active Walkers are Welcome group. There is a Bingley “loop” on the new “Welcome Way” that enables access by public transport to the walk. There is also a link from Bingley, across Rombalds/Ilkley Moor, to the Dales Way. The canal towpath walk from Saltaire to Bingley is an easy and enjoyable ramble.
3. Family & discovery on your doorstep
As mentioned, Bingley is blessed with parks and open space providing playgrounds, space for children to ride bikes and skate, leisure and recreational facilities.
Hidden gems are Jerr Wood, the Riverside Walk, Gilstead Moor with its panoramic views, and the woods and paths connecting Gilstead and Eldwick to Saltaire, Shipley Glen and Baildon.
Bingley’s swimming pool dates from 1927 and is now classed as a “heritage” pool enjoyed by many and providing rainy day entertainment.
Many of Bingley’s cafes are family friendly, welcoming pushchairs, walkers and dogs.
Family friendly walks have been developed by Bingley Walkers are Welcome.
Bingley is home to Damart and its popular mill shop, a stone’s throw from the Leeds-Liverpool canal, which sells a range of clothing, particularly thermal wear.
The town has a variety of independent retailers, as well as popular supermarkets, and a compact market offering on Fridays and Saturdays. Four summer markets selling fresh local produce and crafts were held on Saturdays in 2018 on a pilot basis, and it is hoped to build on this in coming years.
The Bingley Gallery on Park Road is the base for artist Jane Fielder whose paintings of Bingley and area are highly acclaimed.
5. Food and drink
Bingley’s café, restaurant, pub and bar offering is currently expanding with new and varied venues serving a range of differing clientele.
Most of the Aire Valley’s visitor beds are in Bingley, i.e. at the Mercure Bankfield, Oakwood Hall Hotel, Five Rise Locks Hotel and Premier Inn.
7. Culture and events
Bingley Music Live is run annually by Bradford Council in Myrtle Park in early autumn.
Every year, popular markets and events are held in the town centre at Easter and Christmas when the festive lights are switched on. Bingley Town Council has recently made a major investment in Christmas lights.
July sees Bingley Show in Myrtle Park, the country’s largest one-day event of its kind.
Bingley Little Theatre hosts a variety of professional and high quality amateur concerts, plays and shows.
Sporting events such as the Bingley Biathlon attract active individuals to the town, and a new park run was inaugurated in 2018.
Bradford Council and the Canal & River Trust have recently run Canal Festivals in 2016 and 2018, and it is hoped that similar events will take place in the future.
Bingley is the birthplace of astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle who coined the phrase “the big bang”.
Cottingley, part of Bingley parish, is also the location for the Cottingley Fairies story. The original photos and equipment are in the National Media Museum, Bradford.
8. Connectivity and sustainability
Bingley is served by frequent buses and two rail stations (Bingley and Crossflatts) with regular connections to Leeds, Bradford, Skipton, Carlisle, the Dales, Morecambe, and stations in between.
Bingley is also accessible by watercraft along the Leeds to Liverpool Canal.
Bingley is on The Airedale Greenway, National Route 696, a combined walking and cycling route connecting Keighley, Bingley, Saltaire and Shipley.
There are many bridleways, connecting Bingley to other towns and villages, popular with both cyclists and those on horse-back.