Skipton to Saltaire Walk

Skipton BD23 1UA

One of the UK's Top 100 Walks, this 16-mile stroll along the Leeds & Liverpool Canal starts in Skipton and runs through rolling green hills all the way to the amazing model Victorian village of Saltaire. The beauty of it is that the path is largely flat, as you might expect for a canalised path, and so is pretty accessible for everyone, yet it takes you past steep hills and through woodlands and past the pretty villages of Bradley, Kildwick and Silsden (whose pubs make for a perfect pit-stop. On the outskirts of Keighley, the magnificent Bingley Five-Rise Locks is worth a look too –  the steepest flight of locks in the UK – as is Saltaire, itself, which is amazingly preserved. Built in the 1850s by local industrialist Sir Titus Salt for his textile mill workers, it's unlike anywhere else you might have been, a utopian vision modelled on the buildings of the Italian Renaissance that provided housing, schools, a hospital, a church, parks and more for workers. It's still lived in to this day and the good news is they've added a few pubs – which were frowned upon by the paternalistic milll-owner.

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