Whether you’re planning a fun day out with the family or finding some new activities to fill some spare time, travelling along a train route can often introduce you to a world of new places and experiences. Beginning in the City of Bradford and onto the incredible town of Ilkley, the independent business scene and amazing places of interest can ultimately become new places of adventure.
Train Stop: Bradford Forster Square
Our first stop along this line from Bradford City Centre to Ilkley begins at the destination of Bradford Forster Square. Being central to all things you could possibly need in the city centre, you’re only a short walk away from Forster Square shopping park filled with popular and most-liked retailers. But if you’re fancying something new and wanting to explore some places of interest, you’re spoilt for choice with places like the National Science and Media Museum, Alhambra Theatre and Bradford Ice Arena being only a short distance away. You can visit and tour around the award-winning exhibitions and world-class collections, or book to see some amazing performances at one of the North’s largest entertainment buildings, Alhambra Theatre.
Train stop: Frizinghall
Frizinghall is a district not far from the centre of the city and is also close to the town of Shipley. Even though the area appears to be more residential than recreational, you can always find something entertaining if you look in the right places. Within this suburb you can find Lister Park, a picturesque public park where you can wander around the botanical gardens or take a stroll into the impressive Cartwright Hall. Cartwright Hall art gallery is open to the public and offers an exciting programme of exhibitions and permanent galleries consisting mainly of nineteenth and twentieth century art. And if you’re good at hunting out some hidden independent gems, you’ll be able to spot House of Bread Bakery, a family owned business which is the perfect spot to add to your picnic.
Train stop: Shipley
The town of Shipley is full of many exciting places of interest and unique settings to enjoy a day out exploring somewhere new. Once you hop off the train in Shipley you’ll be introduced to a new sense of community and the fascinating places it has to offer. Only being down the road from the Victorian model village of Saltaire, you’re spoilt for choice on new places to visit. The historic former textile mill Salts Mill is the ideal place for shopping, dining and appreciating art in their 1853 Gallery displaying the work of David Hockney. And if you’re already familiar with Salts Mill, why not take a visit elsewhere like on the Saltaire Boat Trip, Salt Beer Factory microbrewery for some real ales and a la carte dining, or take a walk along The Aire Sculpture Park to spot a series of impressive sculptures along the River Aire.
Train stop: Baildon
Similarly to Frizinghall, the town of Baildon is very domestic with a limited number of places for leisure and enjoyment. If you stop off in Baildon on this line from Bradford Forster Square to Ilkley, Baildon Moor is an extraordinary place to go walking. You can appreciate the fine views across Aire Valley and Rombald’s Moor and admire the views of Yorkshire from the north, south, east and west. And if you’re planning your journey in advance, you can catch the Baildon Farmers’ Market held on the fourth Saturday of every month that takes place in the lower Ian Clough car park from 9am to 1pm.
Train stop: Guiseley
Guiseley is a small town now a part of the city of Leeds, and is located south of Otley and near Rawdon. Although this town may be small in size, you can find a variety of independent shops dotted around the streets like The Potting Shed, Shed Load of Vinyl and Blinok Pancake House. After stepping off the train at Guiseley, you’ll also be able to find Nunroyd Park, a green and woodland area that makes for the perfect walking location in any season. Events venue Guiseley Theatre can be found on The Green and have regularly hosted music and comedy events since they first opened back in 1867.
Train stop: Menston
Again, if you decide to make a pit stop in Menston you’ll see streets filled with houses and feel a sense of community, and if you’re on a journey with kids then stopping off for a trip to Menston Park will be ideal for you. Their lovely open park and playground is the perfect location to spend a relaxing afternoon or to burn off some energy by kicking a ball or throwing a frisbee. Then you can venture over to the Menston Arms to refuel and fill your stomachs with some delicious, warm food.
Train stop: Burley-In-Wharfedale
Burley-In-Wharfedale is another small village on the outskirts of Leeds and Bradford, where the town is mainly focused on Main Street which is filled with an array of eateries, shops and pubs. Grange Park appears to be the centre point of the town and ultimately near everything you could need. Cock Pit Farm Tea Rooms at The Grange relocated to here in 2020, serving up delicious homemade cakes and scones, welcoming everyone from walkers and cyclists to dogs.
Train stop: Ben Rhydding
Closely located next to Ilkley is the little village of Ben Rhydding, which is situated beneath the Cow and Calf rocks and to the south of the River Wharfe. Although this area is more residential than a place of unique interesting locations, you can still find the Ben Rhydding Gravel Pits Local Nature Reserve. Located alongside the River Wharfe is this nature reserve which is a great place to observe birds, butterflies and plants within their natural habitats.
Train stop: Ilkley
The picturesque town of Ilkley is situated in the Wharfe Valley towards the south of the Yorkshire Dales. The former spa town is known for its beautiful countryside and amazing places of interest. When you leave the train at Ilkley station, you’re only a short walk away from the popular Ilkley Toy Museum and Ilkley Manor House. Ilkley Toy Museum has been a resident in the town since 2001 and displays a private collection of toys from the 4th century BC to the present day. All the while, Ilkley
Manor House has become a community asset as a local heritage museum and art gallery. Or for when you fancy being at one with nature for a change, the famous Ilkley Moors are the perfect place to appreciate the panoramic views of Yorkshire and enjoy one of Ilkley’s best attractions.
Images: Bradford Forster Square, National Science and Media Museum, River Aire (Saltaire), The Hoptimist (Guiseley), Bolling Road (Ben Rhydding), River Wharfe (Ilkley)
Adventure along the line…
Bradford Forster Square to Shipley – Read more
Guiseley to Ilkley – Read more