Shipley and Saltaire are two adjoining towns on the River Aire and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, around 5.5km (3½ miles) north of Bradford.
Both towns are suburbs of Bradford that became prominent during the Industrial Revolution. Shipley is the larger of the two and is now a major suburban centre; however, it is Saltaire that appeals the most to visitors.
Saltaire is a World Heritage Site that was an important site during the Industrial Revolution and it was founded by Sir Titus Salt, a leading industrialist in Yorkshire’s thriving woollen industry, as a model village to house employees of his textile mill.
The site is an important site in the history of urban planning as Saltaire was planned with stone houses for Salt’s workers along with other facilities for his workers including a hospital, library, a school and a park with a boathouse. Saltaire was considered an enlightened community compared to the slums that were typical of industrial cities of the day, although Titus Salt had much influence over the lives of his workers as everything in the village was run by him.
The main attraction is Salts Mill, an arts centre that is housed in Titus Salt’s original mill; however, there are also some lovely riverside and canalside walks and the rest of the town is also worth visiting.
Both Shipley and Saltaire are served by the rail network with regular trains to Bradford and Leeds. Saltaire station is generally the best option if you’re coming here to visit the World Heritage Site; however, Shipley station has more frequent trains and it is more convenient if you’re staying at the ibis hotel.