Situated in North Yorkshire, less than 20 miles from Leeds and on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, is the beautiful spa town of Harrogate. Visiting this vibrant and interesting town, even for a working function, is always a treat regardless of what you do when you get there because it has a distinctive historic and traditional feel to it, blending the old with the new beautifully. There are, however, loads of specific attractions in the region starting with where to stop for a cup of tea. Let’s take a look a 4 great reasons to visit Harrogate.
1. An excellent choice in tea shops and cafes
As soon as Harrogate and tea are heard in one sentence, the first place that springs to mind for many is Bettys Cafe Tea Rooms. Originally founded almost 100 years ago back in 1919, this iconic and perfect venue for traditional afternoon tea and biscuits is renowned for being the place to relax and enjoy the local scenery. Ideal for breakfast, lunch or a three course meal, the name Bettys means quality.
To focus so much attention on Bettys however is to miss out on a whole boatload of other quaint and small independent shops that can be found throughout the district such as Baltzersens, Jenny’s Tea Shop and The Lavender Rooms to name just a few. So start a visit to Harrogate by sampling the ambience of any one of its numerous high quality cafes, and then….
2. Harrogate Turkish Baths and Health Spa
This place has everything. You can pop in for any one of a large selection of alternative therapies from reflexology, reiki or hot stone therapy to a deep, cleansing and relaxing massage whether that is an indian head massage, aromatic relaxation massage or even a mum to be massage.
The thing about Harrogate’s Turkish Baths and Health Spa though is that it is an interesting site to visit and experience in itself. Booking a therapy is a bonus and almost an excuse just to enjoy the scenery within. It’s the ideal way to escape from it all for an afternoon.
3. Great Yorkshire Show
Many would declare that this is the greatest agricultural show in England. It runs annually around early to mid July, and outdoor weather is usually assured. Organised by Yorkshire Agricultural Society (YAS), the show attracts around 130,000 visitors every year.
Visitors are treated to a first hand experience of the agricultural industry through a series of exhibitions and informative demonstrations so it makes for a wholesome day out whether one is involved in agriculture or not.
As the patron of YAS, HRH The Prince of Wales usually attends the event, accompanied by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.
This year’s visitors are in for a treat with a special equine extravaganza with Main Ring displays each day from Yorkshire-based Atkinson's Action Horses - the team behind the equine stars in the two hugely successful TV series, “Poldark” and also “Victoria”. The show will run from 11th to 13th July.
4. Royal Pump Room Museum
This is a Grade II listed building that houses the town’s museum and is operated by Harrogate Borough Council. Once upon a time it was a spa water pump house. Guests would pop in and could drink sulphur water which was pumped on site from a natural spring known as the“Old Sulphur Well”, and it was a great place for socialising.
These days it is the place to go for various cultural gallery displays and events, and a place where people can find out about region’s history and see interesting artifacts. It is well worth fitting into a Harrogate town visit.
A great place to live
Harrogate is regularly voted as the happiest place to live in Yorkshire, if not the UK. To list all the great places to visit and see is far bigger than a single article so we have just sampled a few of the well knowns. The general atmosphere of the town is itself worth the journey to experience and the surrounding countryside is rich in sites of natural beauty that are worth visiting.
There are some great high schools and a grammar in the region too, with regularly high OFSTED scores, so if you're looking to move a young family here you can't go far wrong.
The entertainment scene is rich with loads of places to dine out, drink and be merry, and a book could be written just about the sites of historical interest alone. Harrogate really is a remarkable place to live in or just visit, one of the gems of the North of England.