How to spend a day in Harrogate, Yorkshire
You don’t have to travel across the world to find unique places; Harrogate is the perfect example of that.
Harrogate is a spa town in North Yorkshire, nestled in between York and Leeds (about an hours train journey each way). I was lucky enough to grow up in there, and while I didn’t appreciate it at the time, its one of my favourite places to visit.
Picturesque gardens, grand victorian houses, and afternoon tea is Harrogate in a nutshell. Fun fact; did you know that Yorkshire tea (the only brand of tea worth drinking in my opinion) actually comes from Harrogate?
If you find yourself in the Harrogate, here are 5 things you could do.
Harrogate is an old spa town (similar to Bath) which means its full of quirky delights. How about the sulphur water taps next to the Royal Pump Museum, nicknamed by the locals as the ‘eggy water’ tap? If you’re not convinced, a trip to the Royal Turkish Baths might be more up your street.
The baths have been around for 120 years and feature a range of traditional spa treatments, as well as modern day pampering. A typical visit will include a trip to the steam room, the heated chambers, the ice cold plunge pool and then the relaxation room. I would also highly recommend a 30 minute back and shoulder massage.
Afternoon tea at Betty’s
Tea is a big deal in Harrogate. If you want to go all out and experience an afternoon tea fit for the queen, I recommend visiting Bettys Tea Rooms, aka the most celebrated tea room in the country.
The downside of Bettys is that you can’t reserve a table. There is usually a big queue of hungry tourists waiting to nibble on a fat rascal ( a Betty’s classic cake that you have to try). The good news is despite how long the queue looks, it moves quickly, and once you’re inside they serve alcohol with the afternoon tea. Winner!
Build the ultimate crepe
How does a freshly made crepe sound to you? Crepes and Creams is a family run business in Harrogate town centre. It’s well known for creating tasty crepes that you can customise to your liking made using locally sourced ingredients. You can choose savoury or sweet and load your crepe with extras including sweets, chocolate, fruit and ice cream (for a sweet) to create the perfect dessert or snack on the go.
Stroll around the Valley Gardens
Harrogate hosts an annual Flower show in the summer but takes pride in having vibrant flowers around the town centre all year round. You can see this in full bloom (sorry) at the Valley Gardens, which is a short walk away from the town centre. Its got an adventure playground for the kids, a bandstand where they play live music, and the Sun Pavilion which can be hired for events. they also host an annual food festival, which is where I ate a raclette of cheese on a sandwich (pictured above). It was the best day ever.
Have a drink at Major Tom’s social
After lots of afternoon tea and flowers, Major Tom’s social is a welcome antidote to Harrogate’s sickly sweetness. More suited to Manchester’s Northern Quarter than a Harrogate high street, the quirky bar is above a vintage shop. You’ll find a variety of craft ales and beers, plus the usual alcohol – mine’s a gin and tonic please!
Have you ever been to Harrogate? I’d love to know your top places to go.