Often overlooked, North Yorkshire has more to offer than you think! The beautiful town of Harrogate is known its friendly atmosphere, buzzing nightlife and wide variety of restaurants and cafes. Harrogate might not be the first place you would choose to visit, but it should be. Nestled alongside the famous Yorkshire Dales, this Victorian spa town is a popular tourist destination with a whole host of excellent activities to keep you entertained.
1. Turkish baths
There are a number of well-known tourist hotspots in the town, one of them being the Turkish Baths and Spa for which Harrogate is famous. A great way to wind down, treat yourself to one of the exhilarating and calming therapies to really kick-start your holiday!
2. Betty’s Tea Room
Another tourist treasure is Betty’s Tea Room, the original establishment now over 90 years old. A must-see for anyone visiting Harrogate, the tearoom serves a wide range of delicacies, including a range of rare and exclusive warm drinks, fresh homemade cakes and chocolates and much more. Advance booking is advisable due to the high number of visitors.
3. Valley Gardens
Next walk off the cakes and chocolates with a visit to the Valley Gardens, with play areas for the younger members of the family whilst older members can take in the mineral springs, historical buildings and woodland. The Valley Gardens are listed as English Heritage grade II, and contain flowers and plants from around the world (including New Zealand!) and even attracts a large number of weddings each year.
4. Ripley Castle
Just three miles from, Harrogate is the historic Ripley Castle, with separate sightseeing tours for children and adults, to cater for all interests. Ripley Castle has been home to the same family for over 700 years, and boasts attractive landscaped gardens and even ornamental lakes.
5. Yorkshire Dales
For even more historic countryside, the Yorkshire Dales National Park is the ideal place to go walking, especially during the summer months. First established in 1954, the National Park is 680 square miles and home to a rich variety of wildlife and cultural heritage. The hills and valleys of the Yorkshire Dales were formed by glaciers in the last ice age, and there are a whole host of caves open to the public for tours, caving and potholing. The Dales are even home to a British RAF intelligence base, which can be seen on the southern border.
6. The Great Yorkshire Show
Finally, for three days each year the Harrogate Showground hosts the Great Yorkshire Show, the UK’s top agriculture show. During the show there are a number of events and displays suitable for all ages and interests, meaning there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
If you plan on making the trip to Harrogate it’s worth booking well in advance, as money can be saved on tickets that are purchased early for various attractions, and many Harrogate hotels get booked up very quickly during tourist season.