Yorkshire walks: Farnhill Moor & Leeds-Liverpool Canal - A two-hour walk featuring beautiful birds and a tribute to World War Two crash
Difficulty Rating: 3 stars
Time: 2 hours
Distance: 4½ miles
Start: Low Bradley, signposted Bradley, off the A629 15 miles north west of Keighley and 5 miles south-east of Skipton. Free parking on Ings Lane, next to New Bridge over the Leeds-Liverpool Canal. Nearby postcode for satnav BD20 9QB, grid ref SE000482, what3words “corkscrew.helpful.prepares”.
Public transport: Bradley is served by Keighley-Crosshills-Skipton, Steeton & Silsden railway station, and Airedale Hospital buses. Trains run on the Airedale line between Leeds, Bradford and Skipton. For times visit www.wymetro.com or call 0113 245 7676.
Refreshments: Crag and Coffee takeaway, The Bungalow, Crag Top.
The area between Skipton and Keighley is overlooked by many walkers keen to spend their day further west in the Yorkshire Dales, but the upland areas to the north of the Aire Valley A629 deserve investigation. This fine moderate-length route begins at the village of Low Bradley and steadily climbs onto Farnhill Moor. The return leg follows the towpath of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, which is particularly colourful in autumn. At Hamblethorp swing bridge is a memorial to seven Polish airmen aged between 21 and 31 whose Wellington bomb crashed on a training flight in September 1943. If doing this walk in autumn look out for newly arrived flocks of redwings and fieldfares.
1. Turn right from the Ings Lane car park next to Leeds-Liverpool Canal. Walk into Low Bradley village, and opposite the mill turn right into Matthew Lane. A short distance further on pass Westview Close and fork left on West Lane. At a junction at the top turn left onto what is Main Street. At St. Mary’s Church turn right into Silsden Road. Almost immediately turn right at a public footpath sign and follow the access road between houses.
2. Cross into a field and follow the line of sight through two wall gaps up a steep hill. Over the brow find another wall gap and aim for a wall stile bearing towards the left hand corner of the field. Turn left on a tarmac drive then right over a cattle grid and walk uphill. At a fenceless gate go through a wall gap and continue with the wall on your left for three fields. At a fourth field angle right to find a stile over a wall in the far corner.
3. Follow the well-defined path, boggy in places, as it crosses Farnhill Moor. Go over a wall stile and turn immediately left to walk with the wall through trees. The path eventually leaves the wall and descends to the bottom of the moor at Crag Top Farm. Turn right here to follow a clear path down into Farnhill.
4. At the bottom turn left onto a tarmac lane, Grange Road. Cross with care and turn right into Arbour Top. Follow it downhill. At a bend continue straight ahead past a bench on an enclosed path. At the bottom cross a road (Main Street) with care to reach a canal bridge. Turn right to follow the Leeds-Liverpool Canal towpath. At Hamblethorp swing bridge is the Polish Airmen Memorial. From there, continue along the the canal back to the starting point.