I feel so lucky living where I do. Not only do I have the delights of city life (Bradford, Leeds and Manchester) on my doorstep, I am also close to a lot of historic cities and towns (Saltaire, Haworth,Harrogate and York) but the one thing I love is how within a 30 minute drive I can be in the countryside surrounded by hills, greenery and nature.

As a dog owner, we are always out walking him. Sometimes locally (which tends to be on an evening after work) however the weekend gives us to the opportunity to explore further afield.

Here are my top 5 local favourite walks to do:

1. Northcliffe: I love this walk. It has it all – woods, streams, open fields, playgrounds, tennis and leisure courts as well as fantastic views across the valleys. This place is also very special to me and my family- as it’s where my Grandma and Grandads ashes are scattered. Our lovely Rex adores this walk (as you can see below) and always ends up black and muddy!!! More details on the park can be found by clicking on this link: http://www.bradforddistrictparks.org/sites/parks/parks.php?ID=70

2. Hirst Wood: this walk is set in the lovely historic village of Saltaire. There are a lot of different walks you can do from the main car park. Our favourite at the moment is to walk through the woods down to the bridge where the Leeds Liverpool canal crosses the River Aire and then back on the canal- especially as Rex loves to swim in the canal. There is also the opportunity to walk on the river banks past the rowing club and even walk along the canal into Saltaire village and Roberts park. It’s a great place and again is a place close to my heart as I have spent many a day as a child down there with my parents and grandparents walking the dogs and watching the boats on the canal go through the locks. More details can be found by clicking on this link: https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/natures-calendar/

3. Shipley Glen: This is a brilliant walk with amazing views across the valley across to Bradford and Leeds as well as Ilkley and Baildon moors. It’s a very popular place for cyclists as there are some off road tracks across the moorland. There is a tramway up to the glen which you can ride on for a small fee and there is also a lovely cafe and pub at the top. I love Shipley Glen a lot and when I was younger there also used to be a fairground at the top when you got off the tram. Rex loves the fast flowing stream at the bottom of the Glen and we have seen deer down in the wooded area at the bottom too. We just have to be careful in the spring with the dog as there are a lot of sheep and lambs around. More details on this walk can be found by clicking on the link: https://www.visitbradford.com/mobile/thedms.aspx?dms=3&venue=1735650

4. Thackley/Buck Woods: This is the handiest walk for us as it’s ten minutes from our house. Again there are a lot of woods to walk through and you can also walk along the canal. The Leeds Abbey Dash run takes in part of this walk as well. The wood is steeped in history as it was home Bradford’s Open Air School (1908 – 1939) and you can explore the woods to find the site where the school used to be. Further details on the woods and school can be found by clicking on this link: http://www.friendsofbuckwood.org.uk/thackley-open-air-school.html

5. St Ives estate: Based in Bingley – this walk is based on an old estate which incorporates a huge house (it was a home for disabled people however am not sure what this is used for now – and my dream is to buy this and open it as a hotel – I just need some HUGE financial backing!) a golf course, cafe and fabulous playground for kids. There is a massive natural pond that you can walk around – however we tend to do the walk around the whole estate which even takes you up to a memorial statue for one of the previous owners of the land. I love this walk a lot – however during the main holiday season when the kids are off or when the weather is warm and bright it does get extremely busy. Further details can be found on the website: http://www.friendsofstives.org.uk/index.php

It is almost guaranteed that on one of the weekend days we will be at one of these places walking Rex. We do walk other places and there will be another post going up soon about some other walks I enjoy doing. Once the weather has picked up and it’s no longer cold and dark early – we will be venturing further afield into the Yorkshire dale and across to the coast.

Until next time

Katie x

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