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Saltaire, West Yorkshire, 30th  September, 2018

'A' Walk - 11.5 miles.  Leader - Tony Marsh.  Grade - moderate+.  Ascent - 1500 feet.

Finding a suitable 'A' walk around Saltaire proved to be quite difficult, hence the route chosen goes further afield to the West of nearby Bingley where there was more scope for a more varied walk which includes small sections along minor roads together with canal and riverside paths, several stretches of woodland and also an interesting meander across the ancient Harden Moor.

We begin in Saltaire by the café which overlooks the excellent cricket ground and follow the path along the River Aire and the River AireRiver Aireadjoining canal westwards to the outskirts of Bingley as far as the 'Five Rise Locks' where we take the footbridge over the A650. Now virtually clear of the outskirts of Bingley we start the steady climb up Altar Lane, through Hollin Plantation towards the well known landmark of Druids Altar. Although slightly off the path, we ought not to miss the chance to briefly visit this ancient place where Druids are said to have worshiped.

The track levels out as we continue on our way, heading full of expectation towards Harden Moor. The landscape here does not disappoint, with its many disused quarries and numerous confusing criss-crossing footpaths. If ever there was a place where a leader could be excused for getting lost, this is it! Hopefully this will not happen and we should emerge safely at the small hamlet of Ryecroft at the southern end of the moor.

We cross the B6429 Harden Road to follow a good track to Goyt Stock Cottages, the Caravan Park and then into Goyt Stock Wood. Here we have an unexpected, unwelcome, steep ascent through Crag Wood to join an easterly path along the top edge of the wood. At this point the intention was to follow a minor path though Ruin Bank Wood but the path proved too 'illusive' on the recce, so a slight detour via Bank Top soon had us back on track through Cottingley Wood to the edge of Shipley Golf Course.

With trepidation we cross the golf course, following the white painted Harden MoorHarden Moorboulders which point the way, always mindful that the 'Sunday golfers' will be out in force, to finally emerge on to the Millennium Way. At this point we will all be excited at the prospect of walking along such a splendid sounding track! Well, don't get too excited because it's a  bit of a let-down  as you will find out on the day!

Fortunately, the disappointment doesn't last for long and soon we are walking through Hirst Wood alongside the River Aire once again, on the last leg of our walk back into Saltaire.

A mixture of all sorts of scenery and numerous points of interest on this one which, hopefully will satisfy the 'punters'.

'B' Walk - 8 miles.  Leader - Maureen Dransfield & Barbara Morris.  Grade - easy.   Ascent 970 feet.

We begin our walk over Baildon Green where we meet the historic funicular tramway situated in the wooded Shipley Glen near Eaves CragEaves Cragthe village of Saltaire. There is a fairly steep but steady ascent along the side of the tramway. Our walk then takes us up to Glen Road passing Bracken Hall Countryside Centre.

 Another steady climb takes us up to the trig point on Baildon Moor which on a fine day has beautiful 360 degree views of the Aire Valley. Passing Baildon Golf Club we walk around Eaves Crag on to Bracken Hill and Sconce Lane where we meet up with the Dales High Way. Coming back around the moor we walk beside Loadpit Beck onto Shipley Glen through Trench Wood to meet the road to Roberts Park where we can take refreshments at the cafe or the pub near Salts Mill.

 An interesting walk with good views

'C' Walk - 5 miles.  Leader - Freda Wilde. Grade - easy .  Ascent - 470 feet

The walk starts at the café, close to where the coach will park for the day, just below Shipley Glen. We cross the bridge over the River Aire to pick up the towpath alongside the canal which takes us westwards towards Bingley. We follow this path for about 2 km or so before turning back towards Saltaire, this time following Funicular Railway at Shipley GlenFunicular Railway at Shipley Glenthe river as far as the weir where we turn northwards into Shipley Glen. This part of the walk climbs steadily, again for about 2 km, to the outskirts of Eldwick.

At this halfway point in the walk the route turns briefly eastwards to Glovershaw Farm before beginning the descent southwards along the quiet Glen Road. Soon we pass through Trench Wood and Walker's Wood where we can see the old 'funicular' Glen Railway. There is a good café on this part of the walk which we may find difficult to ignore.

A pleasant, relatively short walk, with good footpaths throughout. Some climbing mid-morning, otherwise an easy walk. A choice of cafés and pubs at the end of the day - a second visit the café used in the morning, or Massarella's just  past the station on Victoria Street. Alternatively, you may prefer the nearby Boathouse Inn, which we will pass at the beginning of the walk, if you prefer something stronger.



 Forthcoming Walks

                     2018 ...    October 14th - Longnor, Staffordshire Peak District

                                    October 28th - Market Weighton, East Riding of Yorkshire

                                    November 11th - Rowsley, Derbyshire

                                    November 25th - Barwick in Elmet, West Yorkshire