Here’s my top 10 things to do and see in Airedale. They’re in no particular order. You may not agree, or feel something should be added or removed. If so, just let me know.
1. Go round Skipton Castle
Skipton Castle is that rarest of things, a medieval castle still intact and pretty much as it would have been in the middle ages. Right in the heart of Skipton and only £6.50 to get in. A terrific experience.
2. Visit Cliffe Castle, and stroll round the gardens
Cliffe Castle in Keighley is a real surprise, a hidden gem which is is free to visit. And it has the bonus of sitting in wonderful grounds, beautifully kept.
3. Stroll through East Riddlesden Hall
An intimate 17th-century manor house near Keighley, with oak framed barns and a romantic, tranquil, award-winning garden. Apart from the children’s play areas, that is.
4. Browse Salt’s Mill, Saltaire
The stunning Salt’s Mill has been transformed into a thriving visitor and retail centre. There’s an amazing Hockney exhibition, shops and an excellent cafe/bistro. And you must explore Saltaire village, a World Heritage Centre.
5. See a 3D Imax film at the National Media Museum
The National Media Museum is well worth spending time in with a breathtaking range of displays and new exhibitions appearing on a regular basis. But the 3D films shown on the enormous Imax screen will leave you gasping.
6. Take a trip on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway
Take a journey back in time. This famous heritage steam railway, runs for 5 miles through the valley to Oakworth, Haworth and other parts of Bronte Country. And, of course, it featured in the famous film, The Railway Children.
7. Enjoy Haworth
Home of the Brontes. You can visit the Parsonage where the Bronte sister lived and wrote, have a drink in the Black Bull where Patrick drank copious amounts and, perhaps, walk in their footsteps to the Bronte Waterfalls and Top Withins.
8. See Malham Cove & the Peregrine Falcons
Some claim Malham isn’t really Airedale but as the Aire starts here, I’m sticking to my guns. The Cove is breathtaking and home to some Peregrine Falcons. The walk to the top of the Cove is sweat-inducing but the views are worth it.
9. Walk to Gordale Scar and Janet’s Foss
The walk to Gordale from Malham is flat and pretty alongside Malham Beck. The fairy grotto of Janet’s Foss is hauntingly beautiful, followed by, a little further on, the rougher drama of Gordale Scar.
10. The Five Rise Locks at Bingley
The Leeds to Liverpool Canal is, in its entirety, a stunning example of Victorian civil engineering. At Bingley the Engineers and navigators (hence the name ‘Navvies’) had to battle their way up a significant gradient. They solved this problem with a series of 3, then 5 locks in a row.