One of my favourite haunts in the North of England is Salts Mill on the outskirts of Bradford.  Built by Sir Titus Salt in 1853 to house his weaving business it is a gem of a building.  Salt was a successful Mill owner in Bradford in the middle of the 19th century.  He decided to build a new mill away from the pollution, poverty and grime of Bradford and chose a spot between the river Aire and the Leeds Liverpool canal.  There he built not only a mill, but houses, schools, meeting houses, churches – everything that his workers could want – except a pub.  It opened in 1853 on his 50th birthday.  The village was named Saltaire and its warm yellow sandstone is just as beautiful as ever.

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The mill stopped production and in 1987 was sold to the entreprenarial Jonathan Silver.  It is now a thriving arts and culture centre with a brilliant restaurant, Salts Diner.  Two floors are now home to the 1853 gallery which acts as a showcase for David Hockney’s work.  Not only that but they sell books, prints, cards and just arty stuff. This is part of a large painting of the Mill by Hockney.

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I love it and enjoy spending a day browsing and eating and of course buying books.  The official website has a brilliant 360 view which gives a great idea of the inside but unfortunately you can’t smell the lillies.

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