A trip to West Yorkshire was on the cards for today and for those not in the know geographically, East Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire make up the greater component of Yorkshire. Being so huge it has always been necessary to split the county up administratively and to travel from one side to the other can take in some cases at least two hours and that's using motorways.
|Main Street Haworth looking down the very steep hill|
West along the M62 motorway and then north with the great city of Bradford just to our right, we passed through beautiful rural countryside with distant mountainous hills in the distance resplendent with the snow on the tops bathed in sunlight. We graced little villages with lovely quaint names - Hippoholme (there were many equestrian centres and lots of horses in fields), Stone Chair and Flappit Spring.
The vast majority of the houses are built of stone, even the modern estates are sympathetic to this style of construction although there is some need of tidying up in some rural locations which look a little worse for wear.
Haworth itself is a smallish village if not somewhat spread out with fantastically steep hilly roads which the faint hearted driver would cower at! The Main Street is cobbled and narrow at the top and has a small range of quaint shops catering for the local tourist trade and consists of crafts, cafes, second hand shops and spiritual things. The street is steep and you have to be reasonably fit to walk it but there are plenty of shops and a couple of cafes and pubs in which to catch your breath. Although I didn't visit it, there is the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway. The line was opened in 1867 and runs steam trains at certain times and featured in the 1970 film 'The Railway Children.'
After a cuppa and a browse round the shops we drove some 5 miles to Salts Mill which is in the town of Saltaire. As the name suggests, this is a huge and well preserved mill originally opened in 1853 which is now home to a collection of David Hockney art, a cafe, antique centre, a book store and a home shop. It is sadly underused although some of the mill is used by private businesses not open to the public. The mill itself is in a fabulous state of repair and the old features such as the vaulted brick ceilings, stone floors and original fittings are still in evidence.
|A display case with a range of chemists medicine bottles - brings back memories of my own local chemists shop, 50 years ago.|
We didn't see the Hockney exhibition, through time constraints, but all in all a great day in dry weather. Haworth will be worth another visit because a lot of the shops were closed and it was too cold to spend a lot of time wandering about, a summer weekend visit is in order I think.