Last weekend I found myself with a full day of sunshine, lots of free time, and a ton of energy to go out and do something a bit different to my standard weekend routine of ‘Netflix and lay motionless for 48 hours’ – so I decided to go on a spontaneous solo day trip to Saltaire to make a post for My Yorkshire A to Z Guide.
Saltaire is a picture-perfect Victorian model village in Shipley, just outside of Bradford and 10 minutes away from Leeds on the train. As soon as you get off the train, you’re just moments away from viewing an amazing range of stunning architecture, scenic walks, independent shops and galleries. Oh, and it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It pretty much sells itself, doesn’t it? But if you need any more persuading to visit this little old Yorkshire gem, here’s my summary of some of the best things to do in Saltaire:
Head to Salts Mill for independent shops, galleries, and exhibitions
A former textile mill, Salts Mill is now a huge complex comprising of quirky shops, restaurants, and world class art exhibitions- including one of the largest collections of Bradford-born David Hockney. I didn’t actually go to this exhibition because I’m not really an arty person, but my parents went a few weeks ago and they raved about it. (Shortly afterwards they were raving at me when my response to them going to a David Hockney exhibition was, ‘Who?’)
Relax on the grass at Roberts Park
Roberts Park, just around the corner from Salts Mill, is a public park that offers lots of space to sit on the grass and watch the world go by, as well as scenic walkways to wander along and a bar/restaurant next to the river. (It was lovely and definitely worth the 25 minute hay fever session).
Stroll along the Leeds Liverpool canal
Less than a 2 minute walk from the train station and you’ll find yourself at the edge of the Leeds Liverpool canal, where you can enjoy a lovely scenic stroll by the water in either direction. There were also a few boats moored up that you could hop on to for a ride down the canal.
Go up Shipley Glen Tramway
A short walk away from Roberts Park is Shipley Glen Tramway, a unique tramway built in 1895 that will take you on a ride through woodland up to Shipley Glen. I didn’t actually go on it when I went but according to TripAdvisor it’s well worth doing for some sexy Yorkshire views.
Visit Saltaire Brewery
Another thing I really wanted to do but ran out of time for was to visit the award-winning Saltaire Brewery. Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to go back – maybe during their Beer Festival in September. What a shame.