This short outing starts and finished at a village which is only four miles from the centre of Bradford but could be in the heart of the country.

East Bierley is a delight, a well-kept secret tucked away between Tong Street and Birkenshaw. How could I have reached middle age, and lived in Bradford all my life, and never have been there until recently when I had the pleasure of talking to the women's group of the local church?

I arrived a few minutes early and had a quick stroll across the village green to the duck pond, and decided there and then that here was a place which merited further exploration.

So later that week I set off to take another look at East Bierley and its environs via a two-mile stroll. What I found was a pretty, well-maintained village with — apart from its attractive pond and green — a school and church hall, stocks beneath a magnificent flowering cherry tree, a famous cricket club, a golf club, a pub, lots of attractive houses, and peace and quiet.

What a splendid spot — a total surprise for people like me who, being from the north of Bradford with its easy access to the moors and Dales, tend to be a bit unimpressed by the south side of the district.

East Bierley soon put that mis-conception right. I found something else it has as well: distant views over magnificent countryside, and rolling farmland right on its doorstep.

My walk followed the route recommended by the Ramblers' Association in their excellent book Kiddiwalks, but there are plenty of other footpaths in the area for those with time to follow them, preferably in the company of someone familiar with the locality.

The route took me on a footpath from the main road through the village and within 20 yards I was in green fields. Buttercups waved in the gentle breeze and horses grazed in the next field as I followed the broad, clear path.

Ahead, in the distance, three solid lanes of traffic raced along the M62, a road which was to be an almost constant companion, providing a background hiss of noise which was at odds with the tranquillity of the scenery.

The sky was blue and the air warm enough for a heat haze, which almost hid the land-marks of Castle Hill and the graceful Emley Moor mast as I walked on, crossing a quiet road and heading down a track to a bridge over a trickling stream.

The route was well waymarked by the Kirklees Countryside Service as it took me up broad fields and eventually crossed a ridge which was once a canal into the busy main road at Birkenshaw — a rather larger, more bustling village than East Bierley, but with its own charm.

After a brief stroll beside the traffic, I turned back into the green fields again for the climb back to the start and finish of this pleasant, easy outing — ideal for an afternoon or evening stroll.

Step by Step

  1. Leave village green and walk down village main street, passing cricket ground on left and golf club and pub on right. Just past pub, where road swings right, follow footpath sign to left, soon taking right fork over stile on to clear field path. Walk on over two more stiles before emerging beside houses at road.
  2. Cross road and go over stile (or through iron gate) and down track with fence to right. Follow track as it swings left to gate. Continue to left of gate, again with fence to right, descending to stile and bridge beyond. Cross bridge, turn right briefly upstream, then soon fork left across field on well-defined path, heading towards top of church spire appearing above trees. Over next stile go slightly left across next field, descending to footbridge over beck and stile beyond. Walk up field side (wall to right) to fence stile at top (crossing line of corner canal) into fenced path leading up to main road.
  3. Turn left and walk up pavement to pass Methodist church and caravan sales forecourt on left. Immediately after garage follow footpath sign to left, going over stile into broad, fenced path up field side to stile by gate in narrower section at top. Swing slightly left from here to stile by next gate, then on to gap stile beside another gate between farm buildings. Keep ahead to next stile into a field, then go half left to stile between fenced gardens. Over this, keep on in straight line along snicket to emerge with village pond ahead. Turn right to return to start.

Fact File

  • Time for two-mile walk: around an hour.
  • Map: Landranger Leeds and Bradford, or Pathfinder 691.
  • Getting there: follow Dews-bury road right from end of Tong Street, then go right at cross roads to East Bierley.
  • Parking: near church hall (just before school) or beside village green just beyond school.
  • Refreshments: at the New Inn, East Bierley.