If you visit Saltaire Village make it to a one day trip and include a walk along the Leeds – Liverpool Canal and walk to Bingley Five Rise Locks.
You can easily reach Saltaire and Five Rise by public transport (by bus from Bradford) or bus and even better and quicker by train from Leeds.
My advice is to have a leisurely walk along the Leeds-Liverpool Canal (a bit more than an hour) from Saltaire Village to Bingley. It is a peaceful nature walk. You will see fishermen who patiently wait to catch some fish or some people taking their dogs for a short stroll coming from the near-by settlements.
Sometimes the peace might be interrupted by the noise of the diesel motor of one of the narrow-boats. Nowadays, they do not transport goods for the mills anymore but are hired and navigated by tourists who travel on the canal and sleep on board of their boats. (you can set off from Leeds and travel all the way to Liverpool)
On the way to Five Rise the canal crosses River Aire with a canal bridge and you pass Two Rise and Three Rise. The different rises are locks which help the boats to climb up or descend because the canal is not on the bottom of the valley but some metres above on the slope.
While normally the locks have to be operated manually by the boat people, the Five Rise Locks (five locks one after another) are supervised by a lock keeper assisted by the boat people. During the high season the boats queue here and have to wait a long time to go up or down the locks. Two narrow boats can use the locks at the same time and it takes more than half an hour to pass the locks.
It is an amazing sight and you get a good chance to see and understand how locks operate and how a lock system works when you see boats passing - a master piece of engineering.
Written and contributed by KLB