Salts Mill

Saturday saw us popping in to a book fair in Clitheroe where Lindsey met up with her friend Lou and bought a few fine books. From Clitheroe it's only about 45 minutes to Salts Mill at Saltaire, one of our favourite weekend destinations.

Saltaire, between Bradford and Bingley, was built in 1851 as a model village by Sir Titus Salt to house the workers at his textile mill, Salts Mill. The stone houses had wash-houses with running water and there were facilities for the workers including a library, a hospital and a concert hall. Very different from Bradford's slums. The village is dominated by Salts Mill, one of the biggest mills in the world when it was built.

Today, Saltaire village is perfectly preserved and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Mill now houses, amongst other things, some very interesting shops and places to eat. It also has several large rooms displaying the latest works of Bradford-born artist David Hockney. And when I say 'large rooms', I mean large. Everything at Salts Mill is done on a grand scale.

One corner of the huge bookshop
There is a lovely bookshop where the well chosen stock is displayed like no other bookshop. And there is a second, equally spacious bookshop which specialises in art and design books as well as artists supplies.

There are several places to eat and our favourite is Salts Diner where the decor is loosely American themed. The logo is by Hockney (of course) and features his sausage dog. The food is delicious and, again, it's all so spacious.

I especially like The Home which sells all kinds of smart things for the home. Everything from an unusual potato peeler to top end designer furniture. A few years ago Elle Decoration magazine reckoned it was the best selection of designer homewares outside London - and at Salts Mill they can be displayed perfectly.

A quick pop into the Jewellers, the Early Music Shop (amazing antique instruments) and the textiles shop followed by a quick coffee in Café Opera and we were ready for our picturesque journey home.