This is a pleasant walk on the north side of the Aire Valley between Keighley and Skipton.
It is largely based on a loop of a 45-mile circular walk called the Bradford Millennium Way, which was devised by members of the city’s Countryside Service and officially opened in September 2000. The route is mostly over fields at the western end of Rombalds Moor.
It also briefly joins the Leeds-Liverpool Canal and the River Aire. Silsden is an unspoilt former mill town, currently with a population of just over 8,000. It was once a centre of nail-making, with over 200 small forges. Birds which may be expected along the route include heron, goosander, barn owl and jay.
1. From the car park in Silsden centre cross the road with care and fork left into Briggate.
Cross Skipton Road, bearing right to continue on Bradley Road. Just past Bradley Avenue on right turn left on an unmade road, then right on Foster Avenue to follow the public footpath through a yard and onwards to Low Bracken Hill Farm.
2. Go left at the farm and walk downhill, turning right with a farm road to cross a bridge beneath trees and follow the path along the left side of fields. At High Crossmoor Farm bear left across a field to turn left on the access road to join Skipton Road. Turn right for a short distance then use a wall stile on the left to walk down fields, passing Low Woodside Farm, to the Leeds-Liverpool Canal.
3. Turn right to reach Cowling Bridge, cross to the other side and keep a straight course along two field edges. At a third field cross diagonally left to swing eastwards beside the River Aire to the A6034. Cross with great care to join the signposted Millennium Way on field paths, swinging left at a farm on a path which joins the canal towpath. Turn right then left to re-crosses the canal at Holden Bridge to reach Howden Park Farm.
4. Walk up to the road. Go left to cross the bridge then fork right to pass through a gate and ascend fields to join a lane, which is followed to Tomling Cote Farm. Turn left to cross a golf course, and on reaching a tarmac lane go right to the hamlet of High Brunthwaite. Turn left here to continue on the Millennium Way, crossing fields and passing through a small wooded gorge to swing left at Swartha House Farm.
5. Emerging on a tarmac lane turn right uphill then left on a bend to pass Haw Farm and continue along the farm road. Keep ahead at a bend and follow the public footpath to another lane, which leads out to the main Bolton Road from Silsden. Turn left to walk back to the town centre.
Difficulty rating: 2 stars.
Distance: 6 miles
Time: 3 1/2 hours.
Map: OS Explorer (1:25000) OL21 South Pennines or OS Landranger (1:50000) 104 Leeds
Public transport: Silsden is on bus routes from Skipton, Keighley, Ilkley and Harrogate. For
times visit www.wymetro.com or call 0113 245 7676.
Toilets & refreshments: Silsden.