A walk in Bradforddale?

DSC_0038A spectacular view out across the valley of the Bradford Beck, taken last Saturday. On the far hillside is the unmistakable outline of Lister’s Mill at Manningham (complete with its Urban Splash- designed roof bubbles). On this side, a scrubby bit of non-descript moorland uphill from Bolton Woods. But what a view!

DSC_0036Here’s a more direct shot looking across to Lister’s, with the valley in between. The line that you can make out across the middle of this shot is of course the line of the Canal Road and its attendant industrial estates. Bradford Beck itself is invisible here, tucked away along the edge of that green area to the right of the shot, and then disappearing underground on the left. But this is the valley of the Bradford Beck, which Irene Lofthouse — poet, storyteller, and last Saturday, walking companion — should therefore be called Bradforddale. (If you Google Bradforddale, though, you get Bradford Dale in Derbyshire. If you Google Bradfordale, you get – unsurprisingly – Bradford Ale…)

DSC_0037Here is Bradford, by the way… a view looking south along the valley, with Valley Parade football ground the most prominent feature… And below, looking north, you can make out (despite the low-ish quality of my cameraphone) Shipley and Saltaire, where the Beck meets the Aire. The white box of the Shipley clock tower to the left, the unmistakable chimney of Salts Mill slightly to the right… Puts the town perspective a bit!

DSC_0040

These views from this Bolton Woods promontory were a particular highlight of an organised walk run by a very smart, lovely man called Bob Davidson, as part of the Baildon Walkers’ Weekend. We started out from Baildon roundabout (somewhere across from, up the hill and to the left of Shipley, in relation to the shot above!) and then made our way downhill into the Aire Valley to pick up the Bradford Beck as the spine of our walk (guess that makes Baildon the brain and Shipley the shoulders?). The photos below track some of the highlights along the route, all the way into Bradford.

We walked down from Baildon via Ferniehurst Dell (where Titus Salt's son Edward once had a mansion...)

We walked down from Baildon via Ferniehurst Dell (where Titus Salt’s son Edward once had a mansion…)

... via the Leeds-Liverpool Canal at Shipley (this shot is at the junction of the former Bradford Canal)

… then headed towards Bradford Beck via the Leeds-Liverpool Canal at Shipley (this shot is at the junction of the former Bradford Canal)

Heading out across the savannah... (aka the meadow between Bradford Beck and Shipley station, currently threatened by Morrisons)

Heading out across the savannah… (aka the meadow between Bradford Beck and Shipley station, currently threatened by Morrisons)

Tracking the Beck upstream along the greenway on Canal Road... Barney Lerner, chairman of the Friends of Bradford's Becks, told us about plans to remove this "box culvert" that the river currently runs through - if the money can be found!

Tracking the Beck upstream along the greenway on Canal Road… Barney Lerner, chairman of the Friends of Bradford’s Becks, told us about plans to remove this “box culvert” that the river currently runs through – if the money can be found…

We stopped for a little liquid refreshment in Bolton Woods, across the valley from Frizinghall.

We stopped for a little liquid refreshment in Bolton Woods, across the valley from Frizinghall. (and fell over drunk, hence the sideways photo…) (or is it a technical glitch…?)

... from Bolton Woods we climbed up to the top of the hill for the views at the top of this blog post...

… from Bolton Woods we climbed up to the top of the hill for the views at the top of this blog post…

Down from the hilltop via a path warning of weddings!

… and then down again from the hilltop via a misspelt path warning of weddings!

Working our way down through the woods, we came to the Boar's Well, where Irene Lofthouse told us the ancient tale of the Last Boar of Bradford.

Working our way down through the woods, we came to the Boar’s Well, where Irene Lofthouse told us the ancient tale of the Last Boar of Bradford.

Irene Lofthouse and Eddie Lawler at the Spink Well - another of Bradford's ancient water sources...

Irene with Eddie Lawler at the Spink Well – another of Bradford’s ancient water sources…

... we finally popped out of the (thin end of the woods, almost in Bradford city centre!

… we finally popped out of the (thin end of the woods, almost in Bradford city centre!

Thanks to Bob, Barney and everyone involved in the walk for a very enjoyable few hours. Definitely a route to recommend! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *