Sir Titus Salt may have banned public houses back in the day, but now Saltaire is thriving with quality drinking dens.
A UNESCO World Heritage site surrounded by lush Yorkshire countryside, Saltaire is picturesque to say the least, but it’s also a decent place to get a pint. With waterside venues, old-school boozers and modern taprooms to choose from, it’s home to an eclectic drinking scene for such a small place and there’s enough to keep you going for a whole day, so without further ado, here are the best pubs and bars in Saltaire (with one or two that cross the border into Shipley thrown in for good measure).
SALT Beer Factory
Housed in a Grade II-listed tram shed, SALT Beer Factory is a micro-brewery and taproom with a difference, which makes it the perfect spot to enjoy fresh beer, metres from where it’s brewed. Neon signs light up the exposed brick walls and DJs spin disco tunes on an evening. Open Friday to Sunday, it’s one of the most popular late-night bars in Saltaire. Unsurprisingly, you can try SALT’s own hop-forward beers here – go for a Jute Session IPA or push the boat out with an 8% IKAT Double IPA. Once you’ve chosen a tipple, pair it with a wood-fired pizza from the station and you’re all set.
SALT Beer Factory, 199 Bingley Road, Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD18 4DH.
Salt Bar & Kitchen
At the front of SALT Beer Factory is its pub-like counterpart SALT Bar & Kitchen. It has a similar industrial style to the brewery, but with the old school charm of an alehouse. The circular bar sits right in the centre with a mish-mash of furniture surrounding it. There’s more seating upstairs on the balcony, overlooking the bar below. You can get fresh pints of SALT beer or go for one of their local ales. Why not switch from beer to artisan gin or premium wine? They have a separate restaurant area, where you can tuck into a menu of pub classics, including freshly-baked pizzas from the oven.
Salt Bar & Kitchen, 199 Bingley Road, Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD18 4DH.
When it comes to pubs in Saltaire, Fanny’s Alehouse is an institution. It’s a proper drinking den that’s full of character, with several rooms and even more nooks and crannies. It has a traditional feel with a mix of old fashioned gaslights and open fires, so you can get cosy as you settle down with a pint. At the bar, you can choose from 10 hand-pulled cask ales and three permanent lagers. Black Sheep, Daleside and Saltaire Brewery are regulars, alongside a selection of bottled Belgian beer. They also do an array of wine and spirits. If you’re after a homely spot for a drink, this is an absolute must.
Fanny’s Alehouse, 63 Saltaire Road, Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD18 3JN.
Cap and Collar
Tucked away down Queens Road, Cap and Collar is a bar well-worth seeking out. It was West Yorkshire’s first ever micropub, and despite its size, it’s jam-packed with quality beer. The floor-to-ceiling windows make it a light and airy venue, complete with a miniature bar manned by staff who know their onions. From imperial stouts to unfiltered IPAs, you can get your mitts on a wide variety of brews, many of which are from microbreweries. Upcoming lines are displayed in barrels behind the bar, alongside craft beer cans and bottles for sale. If the weather’s in your favour, head out back to drink your pint in their beer garden.
Cap and Collar, 4 Queens Road, Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD18 4SJ.
Al’s Star Bar
If you want cocktails in laidback surroundings, Al’s Star Bar is the perfect choice. Found on the high street, it’s a cosy venue with an impressive selection of drinks. Cocktails are their speciality, with a whole menu dedicated to creative concoctions and classics done well. Prefer beer? They have two hand pumps for real ale and eight keg taps, often with bigger, hand-selected brands like Camden Town Brewery. Inline with their music memorabilia and cool soundtrack, they regularly host live music nights, so keep your eyes peeled for upcoming gigs.
Al’s Star Bar, 24 Bingley Road, Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD18 4RS.
Saltaire Brewery & Taproom
Technically, it’s in Shipley, but Saltaire Brewery & Taproom is a must on your pub crawl. Separate from the actual brewery, the tap room is a laidback drinking spot with colourful walls and shelves lined with bottles of worldwide beer. As you’d expect, you can try a selection of their own beers and the occasional guest line. They have six hand pulled cask beers and four keg beers – Saltaire Blonde is a regular, of course. To top it off, there’s a huge outdoor area, making this one of the best bars in Saltaire when the sun’s out – especially after a stroll along the nearby Leeds-Liverpool canal.
Saltaire Brewery & Taproom, Unit 6, County Works, Dockfield Road, Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD17 7AR.
Beehive is a real ale pub that’s gone back to its 19th-century roots. From the Victorian leaded glass windows to the Yorkshire stone walls, it’s been carefully restored to keep its heritage intact – they’ve even brought back the original name. You can get a stellar collection of real ales, craft beers and local ciders, some of which are poured fresh from the hand-pulled pumps. They champion local breweries, with names like Bridgehouse Brewery and Half Moon Brewery often making an appearance. Once you’ve taken your pick, park yourself next to one of their open fires or make a beeline for their spacious beer garden outside.
Beehive 1SR, 1 Saltaire Road, Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD18 3HH.
Found at the end of Saltaire Road, Hullaballoo is a quirky little drinking den that specialises in craft beer and street food. Upcycled furniture and fairy lights give it an element of charm, but it’s the beer selection that draws in the punters. Alongside real ales, you can get craft beers on keg and small-batch brews from the likes of Northern Monk, Magic Rock and North Brewing Co. Prefer spirits? They also have a cracking selection of gins, with unusual flavours like rhubarb. Something that sets them apart from the other pubs in Saltaire is their (often vegan) street food, served Friday to Sunday.
Hullaballoo 41 Westgate, Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD18 3QX.
Don’t Tell Titus
Don’t Tell Titus is a laid-back bar and restaurant, right by Salt’s Mill. Inside, it has a sophisticated feel, with leather furnishings and floor-to-ceiling windows. To drink, you can get draught beer and cider by big names like Grolsch, Coors and Thatcher’s, as well as bottles by Saltaire Brewery. If you want to pass on beer, you can choose from a range of vino, spirits and classic cocktails instead. Food-wise, they’re open all day, serving brunch dishes like eggs Benedict in the morning, before switching to an eclectic menu with Asian-influenced small plates in the evening.
Don’t Tell Titus, 6-7 Victoria Road, Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD18 3LA.
The Boathouse Inn
Nestled beside the River Aire and Robert’s Park, The Boathouse Inn is a stand-out bar and restaurant in Saltaire. At this waterside venue, you can enjoy the views through their vast windows all year round, but on sunny days, why not grab a bench outside? Formerly a working boathouse, it has a 19th-century exterior, but inside, it’s clean-cut and modern. The bar is stocked with your usual wines and spirits, as well as traditional cask ales, with local and guest lines – they often have names like Saltaire Brewery and Ilkley Brewery. If you’re staying for food, you can go for lighter lunch dishes or wolf down hearty pub classics.
The Boathouse Inn, Victoria Road, Saltaire, Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD18 3LA.
Tallulah’s Wine Bar
Tallulah’s Wine Bar is one of the most bustling bars in Saltaire on a weekend. Thanks to its art-deco interior and live music, you’ll be transported to the roaring twenties in seconds. An extensive cocktail menu adds to the glitz and glamour– you can sip Espresso Martinis, Mojitos and Strawberry Daquiris to name a few. They offer a vast array of flavoured gins, craft beer and premium wine too. Feeling peckish? There are platters of cured meats and cheese, but if you want something more substantial, delicious French cuisine awaits in their sister restaurant The Terrace, just next door.
Tallulah’s Wine Bar, 81 Bingley Road, Saltaire, Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD18 4SB.
The Salt Cellar
A gin and ale bar rolled into one, The Salt Cellar has something for everyone. It’s been restored to create a comfortable pub interior with all its original Victorian charm. Regular live music events take place here and they always have soul nights on the go. There are two bars – one dedicated to gin and another that stocks everything else you could possibly want. The latter has six hand-pulls, with beer from local and regional breweries. Their house beer is a local Bingley Salt Cellar blonde. In need of a hearty feed? You can get quality pub grub, from loaded sandwiches to roasts with all the trimmings.
The Salt Cellar, 192 Saltaire Road, Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD18 3JF.Cover image credit: Saltaire Brewery