A day trip to Saltaire, Yorkshire

We just got back from a weekend up north. I always forget how much colder it is up there! This time we were blessed with rain and snow and we were both already full of a cold – but we didn’t let that ruin our plan to tick off another UNESCO World Heritage Site: Saltaire in West Yorkshire. My Mum and Dad came along for the ride.

Salt's Mill, Saltaire UNESCO World Heritage Site, West Yorkshire, EnglandInside the Salt's Mill book shop, Saltaire, YorkshireSalt's Diner at Salt's Mill, Saltaire, YorkshireOriginal fire safety equipment at Salt's Mill, Saltaire, YorkshireSalt's Mill, Saltaire UNESCO World Heritage Site, West YorkshireSlate roof tiles at Salt's Mill, Saltaire UNESCO World Heritage Site, West Yorkshire, North EnglandWorn stone steps at Salt's Mill, Saltaire UNESCO World Heritage Site, Yorkshire, UK

I cannot emphasise how damn COLD it was when we arrived, so our first stop was Salt’s Diner, the café inside Salt’s Mill. Both are named for Sir Titus Salt, the founder of Saltaire. (That’s a lot of Salts for one paragraph.)

After a warming round of hot drinks and a quick browse of the amazingly-tempting bookshop, we wrapped up again and headed out on the heritage trail.

You can get a trail guide and map of the historic village from the information centre slash gift shop (where I picked up a little pot of local lanolin for my poor cold-chapped nose), but we essentially made up our own version after getting distracted by all the gorgeous cobbled side streets.

Salt's Mill, Saltaire, YorkshireExploring Saltaire UNESCO World Heritage Site in West Yorkshire, EnglandSaltaire Heritage Trail, West Yorkshire, UKSaltaire UNESCO World Heritage Site, West YorkshireVictorian houses in Saltaire UNESCO World Heritage Site, West Yorkshire, EnglandCobbled streets on the heritage trail in Saltaire UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bradford, Northern England

Saltaire was granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 2001: it’s a perfectly-preserved industrial Victorian model village, built between 1851-76.

Titus Salt chose a well-connected site for his textile mill and the surrounding village, where his workers would live, was built with their health in mind: nearby Bradford was a busy and unhealthy place, but in Saltaire allotments were provided so that employees could grow their own food and even the direction of the wind was considered, with houses located away from the smoke blowing out of the mill. The height of the houses in relation to the width of the roads allows for maximum daylight, and the streets are named after Salt’s children and the town’s architects.

If it all sounds too idyllic, consider the fact the town was tee-total before wishing you’d lived here (of course booze is allowed now so we did have a cheeky peek in the window of an estate agent – it was pleasantly surprising)!

Curb appeal! A Victorian terraced house in Saltaire, YorkshirePea green vintage VW Camper Van, Saltaire, YorkshireJeanette's Cakery, Saltaire, Yorkshire, EnglandRaspberry Ripple Cupcake at Jeanette's Cakery, Saltaire, Yorkshire, UKSnow-covered hills in Saltaire, Yorkshire, UK

We timed our next pit-stop perfectly, watching the next snow flurry from the cosy warmth of Jeanette’s Cakery, a little retro-themed find fully deserving of it’s TripAdvisor certificate of excellence, as we enjoyed toasted sandwiches, soup, hot drinks and cakes.

After winding our way back to Salt’s Mill we admired the beautiful designer homewares shop (so much delicious Eames…!) and some work by a local artist you may’ve heard of called David Hockney(!), who is currently exhibiting ‘paintings’ he created on an iPad.

The mill only closed in the 1980s but has been so well cared-for and its huge windows and original features mean it hasn’t lost its character. Saltaire, you’re reet champion.

Walking the heritage trail in Saltaire, Yorkshire, EnglandPeeping pug, Saltaire, West YorkshireThe Saltaire Vintage Shop, Yorkshire, EnglandRAD STUDIO, Saltaire, Yorkshire, EnglandSir Titus's Hospital in Saltaire, Yorkshire, UK

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8 thoughts on “A day trip to Saltaire, Yorkshire”

  1. Oh, I love Saltaire! We love locally in Leeds, but have only popped over a couple of times – I must go back soon. The first time we went, we had no idea of anything about it, other than that everyone said we should go, so it was so great to discover the Hockney and all the sweet little cobbled streets. More than once I’ve dreamed of living in a converted mill flat there…

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  2. I love day trips like this to quintessentially English towns! Great photos, it looks like there are some cool vintage antique shops around there!

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  3. I recently discovered the beautiful little village of Saltaire too and I absolutely love it. Hoping to return soon and take a trip to Salts Mill. I didn’t realise how close it was to Leeds on the train, such a great day out.

    Lisa Loves | thegratitudeblog.org

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