There’s so much to see and do in Harrogate that it’s no wonder this spa town is always a popular choice for a short break to Yorkshire. From exploring the gorgeous Nidderdale countryside to sipping a Slingsby gin cocktail in town, take a look at our top ten things to do in Harrogate.
1. Take afternoon tea at Bettys
Bettys is a bit of a Yorkshire institution and their Fat Rascals are legendary (and very tasty too). We always love to get a Betty's afternoon tea when visiting Harrogate. Dainty sandwiches, plump scones and a selection of their delicious miniature cakes make this a real treat.
Great for a girlie catch up or treating your mum!
2. Visit the gardens at RHS Harlow Carr
These beautiful gardens are open all year long and cover a whopping 27.5 acres. Highlights include a hedgehog-friendly garden, one of the largest streamside gardens in the UK and a 24m glass alpine house. A very relaxing day out that the whole family can enjoy!
3. Get a treatment at the Turkish Baths
Harrogate is a famous spa town so it seems only right to get a spa treatment during your visit. The Turkish Baths and Health Spa is a historic building (it is 120 years old in 2018), and there is a selection of pampering and detoxing treatments to try.
4. Treat yourself to a cocktail or a craft beer
There’s a wide selection of pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants on offer in Harrogate. Whether you prefer to go to a well-known chain or somewhere independent, you’ll be spoilt for choice. You’ll find everything from locally brewed IPA to well-crafted cocktails so you can hit the town for a tipple (or three).
A great cafe for a light lunch is The Wild Plum which offers a host of delectable delights including a range of pancakes. For a romantic dinner, try The Drum and Monkey that specialises in serving the finest quality seafood.
5. Have a Slingsby Gin Experience at Spirit of Harrogate
Here at Gorgeous Cottages, we are rather partial to a Slingsby Gin and we especially like their rhubarb variety.
As well as purchasing some Slingsby Gin from their Spirit of Harrogate headquarters, you can also try a selection of experiences including ‘The Cocktail Master’ and ‘Just the Tonic’.
All experiences include four drinks and nibbles – great for a birthday celebration!
6. Catch a film at the Everyman Cinema
If you fancy catching a film, then Everyman in Harrogate is a cooler and more stylish option than your usual cinema chain. The cinema seats come with little wooden tables to store your food and drinks. You can even enjoy a glass of wine or a beer as you watch the film.
7. Get some delicious food at Weetons
Weetons has to be one of our favourite Yorkshire delicatessens and is a must visit when in Harrogate. You’ll find everything here from local meats and cheeses to artisan chutneys and jams. It’s a great place to stock up on goodies, especially if you are staying in a Harrogate holiday cottage, and there’s also a café inside where you can stop for lunch, brunch or just a quick coffee.
8. Visit the Montpellier Quarter
I love a mooch around the Montpellier Quarter in Harrogate. Not only is this a very pretty part of this Yorkshire spa town but it’s filled with independent boutiques, cafes and antique shops. If you like to shop local you’ll find plenty of treasures around this historic area of Harrogate.
9. Explore the Nidderdale countryside
One of the best things about Harrogate is that it’s surrounded by gorgeous North Yorkshire countryside. You’ll find plenty of walks and cycle rides to try around Harrogate and it’s only around 7 miles from the centre of Harrogate to Nidderdale, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
There are plenty of pretty villages nearby including Pateley Bridge and Ripley – you can even go for a llama ride through the Nidderdale countryside!
10. Step back in time at The Royal Pump Room Museum
Discover what life was like in the 19th century with a trip to The Royal Pump Museum. You can take a walk along a row of ancient shops, discover some of the popular spa treatments of the past and browse ancient artefacts.
Where to stay
Gorgeous Cottages have a range of luxury holiday homes in and around Harrogate. Options include a stylish apartment near the centre of town (The Penthouse) and a chocolate-box cottages in the suburbs.
If you fancy something a little quirkier, try The Platform which is on a railway station in nearby Hampsthwaite. Take a look at our full range of Harrogate holiday cottages.