St Ives Estate in between Harden in Bingley in West Yorkshire holds a special place in my heart, my parents had their wedding reception there and I have walked in the grounds all my life.
The estate is vast, about 550 acres, and offers an array of opportunities for lovely walks, a children’s play area, a cafe and a lovely pond to walk around.
Scattered around the estate there are also a number of picnic benches to enjoy the peace and tranquility.
You can enter the estate from either Harden or nearer to Bingley and developments over the years have seen the car parking facilities much improved.
As I usually take my little boy I come in on the Bingley side and park near to the children’s play area which has lots to offer and suitable for children of all ages. There are also some toilets here.
Walk up towards the house and you will pass the golf club, stables and eventually come to the Coppice Pond where you can feed the duck and take a leisurely walk around the outskirts of the pond. This is particularly good for little legs or prams as its not too far.
Look out for the view point for bird watching, the archery club and huge array of wildlife from squirrels, swans, geese and ducks.
If you want to go further afield you can walk beyond the pond and up the hill, although this is not suitable for prams or wheelchairs.
Venture up the hill and you will find Lady Blantyre’s Rock. The estate was owned by the Ferrand’s family and the rock named after one of the family members who loved the rock.
Car parking charges were introduced this year. It is £1 for up to two hours, £2 for up to four hours and £3 for over four hours. you
For more information about St Ives visit www.friendsofstives.org.uk