Ten reasons why Guiseley and Menston could be Yorkshire’s best address?


Menston - Credit: Joan Russell

Of all the great places to live around our county, neighbouring Guisley and Menston could top the charts, as Paul Mackenzie discovers

St Oswald's

St Oswald's - Credit: Joan Russell

What determines a great place to live? Good amenities, decent transport links, impressive schools, a good range of shops and, obviously, nice houses are some of the key factors taken into account by house buyers and on those scores Guiseley and Menston come out near the top of the league. Add a dash of historical interest, oodles of community spirit, unbeatable access to glorious countryside and one of the country’s liveliest cities on your doorstep and it becomes hard to work out why we don’t all live there. Here, in no particular order, are 10 of the best reasons to pay a visit or, better still, move in.

Pic Joan Russell
Town feature on Menston and Guisely.Menston.

Pic Joan Russell Town feature on Menston and Guisely.Menston. - Credit: Joan Russell

1 Location, location, location.

Guiseley and Menston sit to the north of Leeds within easy reach of the city and the countryside. Ideal for commuters, or those who enjoy the rural life but don’t want to be cut adrift from the cultural life a city like Leeds can offer.

2. Community Spirit

Few places can claim to rival the community spirit that exists in the town of Guiseley and its smaller neighbour Menston. Long before Mr Cameron first mentioned his Big Society, the people here were pitching in to make their communities even nicer places to live. Groups like Guiseley in Bloom and the Menston Action Group could be used as blueprints for others to follow.

3. Day Trips

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So, you’ve moved in and you fancy a day of solitude? Easy, just strap on your boots and ead out onto Ilkley Moor. But, what’s that? You’ve changed your mind and want to go to Leeds? No problem, just head south on A65 or catch the train. And if, as you wait for your train, you find you’re still undecided, you can instead opt for Bradford, Ilkey, or destinations beyond.

4. Famous Faces

Everywhere needs a celebrity it can call its own and Guiseley has two. One who changed the face of eating out in Britain and one who has been a favourite with generations of children. Harry Ramsden started the business from a hut in 1928, before creating something altogether more luxurious, the vast temple to battered cod still serving today, officially the largest fish and chip restaurant in the world. And when Sooty was but a twinkle in his eye, Harry Corbett could be found playing piano here – Mr Ramsden was his uncle.

5. The sporting life.

Although Guiseley is dwarfed by west Yorkshire’s two sporting giants – Leeds and Bradford – the town does have its own proud sporting pedigree. Guiseley AFC, known as the Lions, will kick off the new season this month in the Conference North, just a couple of promotions away from the Football League. The share a home at Nethermoor Park with Guiseley Cricket Club which has a successful adult side and a range of youth teams for children aged from nine upwards. There’s also a leisure centre in Guiseley.

6. Entertainment.

You don’t have to go into Leeds to have a good night out. There’s regular entertainment at the Guiseley Factory Workers Club and the charming Guiseley Thetare has an impressive programme of productions. Go to guiseleytheatre.org to find out more.

7. Fancy a meal out?

You’re in luck, going hungry isn’t an option round here. There’s pubs with good menus, restaurants serving food from around the world and informal delis, cafes and coffee shops too. And if none of that tickles your tastebuds, there’s always fish and chips.

8. Pop to the shops.

Guiseley has two retail parks, a gaggle of big name stores and a pleasing selection of independent stores too, many of them along, or just off, the A65. And although it’s a smaller place, Menston has a number of shops and there is wonderful local produce to be found at the farm shops in the area. Guiseley has a 145-space car park on Netherfield Road. There is on-street parking in Menston and spaces at the railway station.

9. Walk the walk.

Whether you’re a fan of long-distance hiking or gentle strolls, there’s a walk to suit you around Menston and Guiseley. For inspiration try the circular guided walk around Guiseley on www.guiseley.co.uk and walks around Menston at www.menston.org for great routes.

10. History.

One of Guiseley’s finest historic buildings is St Oswald’s Church, parts of which date back to the 13th century. We can thank St Oswald’s for Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre: Patrick Brontë married Maria Branwell here. Their children included Charlotte and Emily Brontë.

Do you agree that Menston Guiseley are possibly the best places to live in Yorkshire? Tell us why, write to feedback@yorkshirelife.co.uk. Or maybe you think you know somewhere better, we’d love to know where.

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