A circular walk from Saltaire to Cottingley and back along the River Aire.
Table of Contents
- Start Point: Saltaire railway station
- Finish Point: Saltaire railway station
- Distance: 2.48 miles
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what3words for start point: ///tries.pots.join
This walk starts at Saltaire railway station (BD18 3LQ). On leaving the railway station turn left and head down the hill on Victoria Road. You will reach a footbridge that crosses the river and leads into Roberts Park.
Titus Salt chose to construct his mill and village in the rural Aire valley to escape the squalor of Victorian Bradford. Here, he planned to improve both the physical and moral health of his workers. Work began in 1851 and continued until 1876. Salts Mill was the first building to be complete in 1853. It opened on Sir Titus Salt’s 50th birthday, 20th September.
The weir to your right powered machinery in the mill and widened the river. This meant visitors to Robert’s Park could swim and enjoy the river. Rowing boats could be hired from the boathouse on the opposite bank (now a pub). In 1883 a steam yacht, the “Rose” of Saltaire, arrived by rail from Birkenhead to provide trips upstream to Hirst Mill.
The river was a focus for recreation throughout the year. In January 1881 the Yorkshire Post reported that ice-skating was possible on the frozen river. In summer swimming was popular. Large crowds gathered to see both races and exhibitions at aquatic fetes.