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It’s Official – Harrogate is a Happy Town
According to a recent Rightmove survey, published on 4 December 2019, Harrogate is the second happiest place to live in the UK. Having clinched the top spot in previous years, it cannot be disputed that Harrogate is, indeed, a fabulous place in which to live and work. The Rightmove surveys are based on responses from local residents, and it would appear that Harrogate folk are in love with their town!
From beautiful, open spaces including the fabulous Stray and Valley Gardens to the stunning architecture of the Royal Hall and Turkish Baths, it is easy to see the appeal of this Victorian spa town.
Adorned with many a café and restaurant and host to growing international businesses, Harrogate is a town that has something for everyone. Whether you fancy a delectable afternoon tea at the famous Bettys or a glass of champagne at Gino D’Acampo’s rooftop terrace-bar, the town caters to all tastes.
It is elegant, buzzing and thriving. At The Harrogate Guide, we are passionate about promoting all this gem of a town has to offer. We provide information about places to visit, local events, news stories, job opportunities and more. Whatever you need; you’ll find it in our guide.
For locals, it’s a ‘one-stop-shop’ to all that is happening right now in the town. You will find information about upcoming events (such as the Tour de Yorkshire 2020) alongside local interest stories. The contactless payment terminal that was set up outside Marks and Spencer on Oxford Street, to help those sleeping rough, is an example of a news story we recently featured. You can read about it here.
The Harrogate Guide serves not only the people of Harrogate but also those looking to visit and spend time in the town. There is an abundance of information on the best places to explore and where to rest your head for the night.
Harrogate attracts over 200,000 visitors a year, not only through its reputation as a beautiful place to visit but because of the array of events on offer. The International Convention Centre puts on trade shows, concerts, comedy stand-ups, fairs, exhibitions and entertainment all year round. Harrogate also has an excellent reputation for hosting international sporting events such as the Tour de Yorkshire and more, recently, the UCI Road World Championships. The UCI event was seen by a TV audience of 250 million.
Just Some of the fantastic places to visit in Harrogate
Valley Gardens brings back memories of going back in time With flowerbeds, woods, close-clipped lawns and rambling paths in 17 acres, together with the Magnesia Well Cafe, the Games Pavilion, the Sun Pavilion and the small stage that puts on concerts on Sunday afternoons in summer. As well you have a play area for kids, a paddling pool, a boating lake, crazy golf and a pitch & putt course
Bettys Café Tea Rooms
Bettys Café Tea Rooms were set up in 1919 by the Swiss confectioner and baker Frederick Belmont. Now the business is in its fourth generation and is open for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea, with a menu that infuses Swiss and Yorkshire traditions. Visit Bettys and you will find the most fantastic afternoon tea, which has the traditional sandwiches, handmade cakes, scones, clotted cream and strawberry preserves, served with silver and fine china.
RHS Garden Harlow Carr
On Harrogate’s western outskirts is one of only four gardens managed by the Royal Horticultural Society. Harlow Carr was set up at a former Victorian spa on a natural spring in 1946 and is in almost 30 acres. You can also find a scented garden, arboretum, a kitchen garden, woodland carpeted with bluebells, an alpine house, a lake dedicated to the Queen Mother, and many more
Mercer Art Gallery
A must to see is the Mercer Art Gallery which houses the Harrogate District’s extensive art collection. Showing paintings from Victorian painters like Edward Burne-Jones, John Atkinson Grimshaw and William Powell Firth, together with paintings from the 20th century. Here you will find hundreds of artworks including paintings, drawings and prints.
In the Montpellier Quarter, you can find more than 50 independent shops including Beauty Salons, Jewellers, Antiques, Boutiques to name but a few.
Royal Pump Room Museum
The Royal Pump Room is a handsome rotunda, was built in 1842 as a shelter for people to drink from Harrogate’s famous sulphur well The delicate metal and glass annexe opened in 1913. And the museum opened in the pump room in 1953
In the nearby courthouse, there’s a museum with furniture from the Tudor Court.
Just North of Harrogate is a glorious Grade I listed country house dating back to the 1300s. Ripley Castle is a Grade I listed 14th-century country house in Ripley, North Yorkshire, England, 3 miles north of Harrogate. The house is built of coursed squared gritstone and ashlar with grey slate and stone slate roofs. A central 2-storey block is flanked by a tower at one end and a 3-storey wing at the other. Try to time your visit for spring, when the National Hyacinth Collection in the castle’s woodland is in bloom, along with some 150,000 flowering bulbs. Also out in the grounds is a “Play Trail” for kids, while they can take special, fun tours of the castle.
Brimham Rocks is a National Trust site where moorland, meadows and woods are littered with otherworldly millstone grit formations. The Rocks, once known as Brimham Crags, is a 183.9-hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest and Geological Conservation Review site, 8 miles north-west of Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England, on Brimham Moor in the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. These rocks have been shaped over millennia by wind, water and glacial activity, and many are named. There’s the Dancing Bear, the Camel, the Turtle, the Watchdog and the Sphinx, although you may have to use your imagination occasionally. If there’s one you have to photograph it’s the top-heavy Idol Rock, a gigantic boulder balancing precariously on just a small nub
The Harrogate Theatre’s main house (1900) is on Cheltenham Parade, Whether your taste is for comedy, suspense, musical theatre, dance, children’s shows or pantomime, Harrogate theatres and theatres throughout the District have something for you. Dating back to 1900 the recently refurbished Harrogate Theatre boasts a full season of co-productions, touring companies and one night only events. The theatre has something for most ages and tastes.
In the centre of Harrogate, you will find this green space which is close to the Mercer Gallery and Royal Hall. The Crescent Gardens were developed in the 1890s on the site of the old Crescent Inn. A Spring had been discovered in the garden of the Crescent Inn in 1783. The gardens were designed to provide visitors with an area to stroll in after taking the waters. The park is fastidiously neat in any season and has gaslights, manicured flowerbeds and shrubs, and statues from the spa displayed where the bandstand used to be.
Spofforth Castle in the village of Spofforth, North Yorkshire, England was a fortified manor house, ruined during the English Civil War and now run by English Heritage as a tourist attraction. The Castle is a ruined fortified house built into the bedrock. Spofforth is reputed to be the place at which Magna Carta was drawn up in 1215. The castle was founded by William de Percy its architecture dates from the 14th century.
This picturesque park with woodland, a lake & rock formations is a popular spot for walks & picnics, a Grade II listed pleasure garden created in the 1760s. Here you will find 30 acres of parkland with tranquil lakeside walks, dramatic Millstone Grit rock formations, romantic woodland trails winding through bluebells and rhododendrons.