By Vicky · Published Jun. 4th, 2023 · Updated Jun. 26th, 2023
The walk along Bingley Five Rise Locks is a lovely stroll with the famous locks on the Leeds-Liverpool canal and a great cafe.
There is no specific parking spot for Bingley Five Rise Locks, but you can either park in the streets near the upper end of the locks (free) or in one of several car parks at the lower end of the walk (paid). At the lower end, parking options include Main Street Car Park or Waterloo Road Car Park. Alternatively, Crossflats Station has a free car park but it fills up very quickly in the day.
Bingley Five Rise Locks Walking Map
Get the route by downloading the .gpx or .kml file below. For navigation with Maps.me on your mobile phone, simply download the .kml file and open to add it to the Maps.me bookmarks.
- The Five Rise Locks Cafe is a great little cafe by the side of the canal at the top of Bingley Five Rise Locks. The cafe is open 10am-4:30pm Tue-Fri and 9:30am-5pm Sat-Sun.
- The Bingley Five Rise Locks are open all the time, so there are no set opening times.
- For a lovely longer walk, head 4km along the river to Saltaire and take the train back to Bingley or Crossflats station.
- You can find other Yorkshire ideas in our Yorkshire Guide.
Bingley Five Rise Locks Walking Route
From wherever you park, head towards the Five Rise Locks Cafe. This is a great little cafe serving everything from cakes to bacon butties. It’s located right at the top of the Bingley Five Rise Locks.
What are the Bingley Five Rise Locks?
The Bingley Five Rise Locks are a series of 5 locks all in a row on the Leeds-Liverpool Canal. This means that a boat passing through the locks will be lifted up or lowered in five separate stages. If you’re lucky, there will be a boat in the locks where you’re there. The five-rise locks were built in 1773 by John Longbottom. They are the steepest set of locks in the UK, going up 18 metres over a distance of roughly 100 metres.
From the cafe, head across the footbridge and turn left down the hill on the other side. Head over to the water and take a closer look at the highest lock. Stay back from the edge as you don’t want to fall in! Make sure to keep children and dogs under control.
After admiring the top lock, head down the gravel track by the water past all five of the locks. When you reach the bottom, walk a little further, then look back for a great view of the Bingley Five Rise Locks all in a row.
Bingley Three Rise Locks
If you continue onwards a few hundred metres, you’ll get to a less famous set of locks – the Bingley Three Rise Locks. Like their more famous five-rise counterpart, these locks were also built in 1773 by John Longbottom.
On the opposite side of the river you’ll see a notable factory with a tall tower. This is the Damart factory, a French company that specialized in underwear for old people. Damart still exists but now makes high-quality underwear and outerwear for everyone, check out their offerings online*!
Once you’ve reached the bottom of the Three Rise Locks, it’s time to turn around and head back the way you came. If you want to walk further, continue along the canal until Saltaire Station, then take the train back to Bingley.
Walking back to the Five Rise Locks Cafe
On the walk back to the top of the locks, you can admire the scenery around the river. Also, don’t forget to look out for water wildlife, which can include ducks, geese and more. After climbing back up the hill by the locks, now is a great opportunity to end the short walk by grabbing a bite to eat in the Five Rise Locks Cafe.
Guidebooks to explore more of Yorkshire
The Rough Guide to Yorkshire* is a great little guidebook and has a section on Ilkley and things to do nearby. The Yorkshire Dales Pathfinder Guide* has a good collection of short hikes suitable for the entire family and the Guide to North Yorkshire Pub Walks* has some fun walks in the Dales for those who are hungry and thirsty.