Things to do in Saltaire

Carmel Smickersgill, Tours & Activities Editor

Saltaire is unusual in that the whole village was constructed at the same time as Victorian mill complex Salts Mill. The village started as an idealistic Victorian dream, where workers in the mill would have access to decent housing and nature. Nowadays, it is still just as picturesque, but the industry and Victorian interiors have been swapped for art galleries, independent shops and craft beer. The Mill now houses one of the largest collections of David Hockney’s art alongside fascinating exhibitions dedicated to Saltaire’s history.

The area has many cultural offerings, alongside many scenic walking routes. You can visit the excellent Bingley Gallery, or for live music we recommend The Live Room. This renowned and well-established roots music club attracts crowds from all over West Yorkshire and often puts on big names from the roots and folk circuits. There’s also plenty of opportunity to flex that creative muscle yourself with Salt Pots ceramics.

During your visit you’ll find plenty of delicious dining experiences. We particularly recommend the authentic and homely Indian cooking at Rajshahi just outside Saltaire. They are a popular favourite of the locals and hold the best all-you-can-eat Sunday buffet in the area. Find all this and more in our guide to the best things to do in Saltaire.

Our top picks

Salts Mill

Salts Mill, Victoria Road, Saltaire, BD18 3LA - Visit now

Salts Mill is arguably the defining feature of Saltaire. Visit large galleries featuring work by the locally born artist David Hockney among others as well as shopping for books, kitchenware, furniture and posters. The space also houses some of the most aesthetically pleasing office spaces in the area

Salts Mill
Image courtesy of Salts Mill.

The Bingley Gallery

The Bingley Gallery, 29A Park Road, Bingley, West Yorkshire, BD16 4BQ - Visit now

David Starley’s pastoral oil paintings capture the harshness and beauty of Saltaire and the surrounding area in a very personal way. As an extension to his studio Starley runs and curates The Bingley Gallery. This small but perfectly formed space exhibits Starley and other local artists work as well as bringing in monthly external exhibitions.

Courtesy of Visit Leeds

Salt Pots Ceramic Studio

Salt Pots Ceramic Studio, 97 Bingley Rd, Saltaire, Shipley, BD18 4SB - Visit now

Located on Bingley Road in the UNESCO world heritage site of Saltaire, Salt Pots is a friendly ceramic painting studio that offers a warm welcome to the world of ceramic painting. Book a table and pick a design of pot, plate or paintable object you’d like to work on.

Salt Pots Ceramic Studio
Image courtesy of Salt Pots Ceramic Studio.

Rajshahi

Rajshahi, 49 Thorp Garth, Bradford, BD10 9LD - Visit now

Rajshahi provides top quality South Asian cuisine in abundance and variety.f you’re staying in Saltaire it’s well worth making the 10 minute drive over to taste why it’s become such a firm favourite.

Rajshahi

Brontë Parsonage Museum

Brontë Parsonage Museum, Church Street, Haworth, Yorkshire, BD22 8DR - Visit now

The Brontë Parsonage is a beautifully preserved museum , celebrating the lives of the world’s most famous literary family. Set between the picturesque village of Haworth, and the wild Yorkshire moorland beyond, this homely Georgian house retains the atmosphere of the Brontës’ time.

The Brontë Parsonage, Haworth from outside
The Brontë Parsonage by Philip Halling.

The Wesley Centre – Harrogate

The Wesley Centre – Harrogate, Oxford Street, Harrogate, HG1 1PP - Visit now

Situated in the town centre is the The Wesley Centre, large Neo-Classical chapel, designed and built by Lockwood & Mawson in 1862 for a prosperous Victorian Methodist community. It is now a Grade II listed church building and a dominant landmark in Harrogate.

The Wesley Centre

Radstudio

Radstudio, 2 Victoria Road, Saltaire, BD18 3LA - Visit now

Within walking distance from both the train station and Salts Mill, discover designer boutiques, vintage clothes, arts, crafts and a quirky yet charming independent gift shop.

radstudio
Radstudio

Where to go in Bradford

Salts Mill
Bradford
Gallery
Hockney 1853 Gallery

For a David Hockney fan, this is the place to be. Visit this lesser known gem for access to the beautiful collections of legendary David Hockney.

Bradford
Gallery
Tinker Gallery

Ilkley’s contemporary art gallery, set up by artist Joanne Tinker, is a studio space in combination with a gallery.

Bradford
Theatre
Ilkley Playhouse

The Playhouse has a well established season of productions, also used as a venue for events, including the popular Ilkley Literature Festival.

Bradford
Tourist Attraction
Victoria Hall

Saltaire’s Victoria Hall is a beautiful 15th century Italian inspired building first opened to the public in 1871.

Bradford
Bar or Pub
SALT Beer Factory

SALT Beer Factory, named after the village of Saltaire where they first began, pride themselves making delicious craft beer for those who love it.

Bradford
Theatre
Tapestry Arts

Tapestry Arts is a live-music venue and bar, arts complex and theatre all rolled into one.

Bradford
Restaurant
Paratha Box

The flaky, buttery flatbread of Partha Box has opened in Bradford – to the joy of all those local.

Bradford
Restaurant
SakkuSamba

Japanese sushi meets Brazilian Grill in a fantastic melding of cuisine. This gem in Bradford is not only quirky in concept but delicious in execution.

Bradford
Museum
Bagshaw Museum

‘Eclectic’ is the name of the game at the Bagshaw Museum in Batley. Their collections are varied but not lacking in quality.

Bradford
Museum
Bolling Hall

Tucked away in a quiet, leafy garden, Bolling Hall Museum is full-to-the-brim with the history of its residing families.

Bradford
Gallery
Cartwright Hall Art Gallery

Cartwright Hall is Bradford’s civic art gallery and offers an exciting programme of contemporary exhibitions, with four permanent galleries.

Bradford Visitor Guides

impressions
Art Galleries in Bradford

Bradford has given us giants of the visual art world such as David Hockney and Ian Beesley, check out our guide of art galleries to find the best places to experience art in the city.

Science and Media Museum
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The Alhambra
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Nightrain
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Bradford Cathedral
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A round-up of the best walks in Bradford, including the city centre, its parks, and around key attractions by Creative Tourist.

Pillock at Contact
Spotlight on

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Take me there

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Rebecca Watson author photo
Literature Events in Manchester and the North

In between working out, then working through, your holiday reading pile this summer, find inspiration for your next bookish acquisitions from our selection of live events and exhibitions.