KID-FRIENDLY WALK | Bingley St Ives Estate – West Yorkshire
Why I love it: Since becoming dog owners we’ve tried to find places that keep children and four-legged friends equally happy and Bingley St Ives Estate does just that. What we’ve found is that the promise of a playground helps to keep the walking momentum going! The adventure play area here is a massive hit for Lyla – it’s really well thought-out and keeps her entertained for ages with its high towers, tyre swings, rope bridges and zip wire. There are smaller and more steady play areas for younger children too which include sand, wooden dens and musical toys. The walks are great as they are very accessible yet varied enough to keep the dog interested. We love the gentle walk around the Coppice Pond to warm up before heading into the woods and always finish off in The Ivy Café which has delicious cakes and is dog-friendly – another box ticked for us. It’s completely free to enter and park which is almost unheard of these days so we like to make the most of that while it lasts!
Distance: St Ives is 550 acre country park with lots of walks that you can make as long or short as you want depending on what you fancy.
Route: We usually park in the bottom car park near the entrance off Harden Road and make our way on a leisurely walk around Coppice Pond. After feeding the ducks and looking at the wildlife (usually couple by falling into the pond) we continue our way round to the adventure playground which is only about 10 minutes away. Then we move on to the walks around the woodland area looking out for the carved sculptures. Unfortunately, there aren’t as many as there used to be so don’t be disappointed if you can’t track them all down. You can, however, try your luck at searching for the geocaches which are hidden around the estate. Lyla loves doing this – it’s basically a treasure hunt using a free app on your phone which buzzes to tell you that you’re close by. Some of the ones we’ve found are so well camouflaged you could quite easily miss them so keep your eyes peeled.
Terrain: Woodland paths and tracks set among a whole host of wildlife. The country park extends to moorland and meadows for the more keen ramblers out there but for those who just want a gentle walk stick to the many paths which weave across the estate.
Pram Friendly? Pushchair and wheelchair-friendly paths which are all mostly flat and easy going.
Facilities along the way: Picnic areas, dog-friendly café, visitors centre, toilets, parking.
Car Parking and cost: There are three car parks on the Bingley St Ives Estate so plenty of space and all completely free meaning a very low-cost day out can be enjoyed here!
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