There are some lovely - and interesting - places within easy reach of Saltaire, so this year I am going to 'travel around' a little more, to share some of these locations in words and pictures. I begin with Ilkley, considered by many to be the 'jewel in the crown' of this area.
Ilkley is a small spa town, in the valley of the River Wharfe, about nine or so miles over the moors from Saltaire. There was a settlement (Olicana fort) here in Roman times. It became a fashionable spa town in the 19th century and has attracted a high proportion of older and affluent inhabitants. The 2001 census recorded 20% of the population as being retired.
In consequence there are some beautiful houses in the area. The shopping centre has some lovely Victorian buildings and a high number of small 'independent' shops. There is also a Michelin-starred restaurant, The Box Tree, where Marco Pierre White trained.