Rented a cottage near Keighley the week after next....

Hi all, as the title says, Wifey and I have rented a cottage near Keighley, Yorkshire, and was wondering if anyone has 1st hand experience of places to visit to see wildlife, preferably birds, but in "nice" walking country, as my wife isn't into the wildlife as much as I am. She's not keen on heathland, unless it is a spectacular vista, as it can be "samey". Anywhere up to about 60 minutes drive time away would be useful to know. I have had a quick online search for "what's on" but personal experience of places is much better than "please come to xxxxx coz it's great" tourist advertising.

Thanks in advance for any replies

  • Hi, Just off the top of my head . .and because it's all on our doorstep :) There is Skipton Woods (at the back of Skipton Castle) a really nice walk. We went last weekend and saw kingfishers ! Further afield, but still well within your 60 minute drive time, you have Malham Cove (for the Peregrines and other birds), Janet's Foss & Gordale Scar have fantastic walks/scenery & wildlife.
    For something a bit different, there is Threshfield Quarry, a disused limestone quarry at Threshfield near Skipton, It's great for walks/history and nature.
    There's Bolton Abbey, fantastic walks along the river bank, loads of wildlife and of course the Abbey.
    Just down the road from Keighley, you have Haworth, home of the famous Brontë sisters, Brontë Parsonage Museum is great. There is also the steam railway too.
    For seeing red kites . head for Harewood House near Leeds (still within 60 minutes drive from Keighley!) Along with the main house, there are gardens and grounds to explore. Head to Muddy Boots Café for close up red kite action !!!
    Hope that gives you a few ideas :)
  • In reply to MrsM :

    That's fantastic info, thank you Sharon.... busy week ahead 

  • In reply to PimperneBloke:

    You're more than welcome. Have a fab holiday :)
  • Upper Wharfedale is a great birding area and easily accessible from your holiday location with Bolton Abbey being one of our favourites. There is a great variety of habitats from wild moorland tops for our hill birds,a great stretch of river and mixed woodland plus a popular raptor viewing area nearby at Barden Scale. The car parking for the areas 3 car parks may seem a little steep but we find it well worth it,oh there are two good cfes to try as well,the Strid Cafe being a favourite of ours. Hope this helps


    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • In reply to Seaman:

    That sounds great too, thanks Pete... looks like we'll need a holiday to get over our holiday!! :D
  • Many thanks Sharon and Pete, we had a splendid time thanks to your advices! I'll post a few pics as I resize them, to start with Bolton Abby

    A Common Sandpiper (I think)

    Goosander and baby

    Young Grey Wagtail

    Unknown duck species at zoom limit so not great...


    Nuthatch...probably youngster

    Hedgehog that bumbled out onto the path right in front of us

    Another Goosander

    Possibly Treecreeper?


    and Mr Inquisitive

  • Skipton Castle Wood (and a few from the cottage window!)


    Kestrels not quite balanced in the breeze (breeze= blowing a hooley!!)

    That's better!!

    Hares again!

    Little Owl

    Now we'll leave the cottage, and if you go down in the woods today, you're sure of a big surprise...


    A young something or other...was too small to be a blackbird

    Red Admiral

    Recently fledged blackbird

    Grey Wagtail (looks young or knackered!)

    Not sure, thought at 1st juvenile grey wagtail but not convinced

    Seen something of interest!!

  • Unknown duck is female mandarin, last but one photo is female chaffinch and yes to common sandpiper and tree creeper, the latter of which looks like a youngster.
  • It looks like we turned up trumps in Yorkshire,we aim to please


    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • In reply to Seaman:

    I was aiming my camera mainly toward Lancashire, Pete