Experience Harrogate & the district

Experience Harrogate & the districtWith a Cathedral City, a Spa Town, historic market towns, a World Heritage Site and stunning countryside all within a few short miles of each other, there is plenty of things to do in Harrogate and the surrounding district, providing the perfect base for a varied holiday.

Whether you love the great outdoors or prefer shopping and good food, whether your passion is for gardens or for history, whether you want white knuckle rides or a leisurely round of golf, we have it all and more besides.

Discover walking tracks, cycle routes and bridlepaths in Nidderdale.

Slip back to ancient times when you visit monuments such as Ripon Cathedral or Fountains Abbey or admire the 18th Century elegance of historic houses such as Newby Hall.

Stroll through the award winning Valley Gardens or RHS Harlow Carr, or mooch around the stylish shops in Harrogate or the independents in Pateley Bridge or Masham.

If the kids are bored, there are plenty of things to do in Harrogate for children including riding on Britain’s longest roller coaster at Lightwater Valley, hiring a boat on the River Nidd at Knaresborough, trekking with llamas or scrambling through How Stean Gorge.

Not to mention adventure playgrounds, paddling pools, mini-golf and discovery trails across the district.

Enjoy a pub lunch with stunning views, take tea at Betty’s Tearooms or enjoy top notch food at one of the area’s many fine restaurants.

Then take in a show or a concert, see the latest exhibition at one of the many galleries or drop into the local museum.

Festivals, Flower Shows, Fairs and Agricultural Shows pepper the calendar throughout the year and of course, the Tour de France Grand Depart was a major highlight for 2014 with crowds and decorations that amazed the riders and organisers alike.

With so much to enjoy, you will soon see why this area was voted the Happiest Place in Britain

Top 5 things to do:

  • Visit the unique Royal Turkish Baths which was first opened in 1896. Facilities available, including medicinal waters’ dispensary, hydrotherapy departments, mud baths and steam rooms. As you follow the ritual of heating, cooling and cleansing, you can move through the Hot Room Chambers including the Tepidarium (warm), the Calidarium (hot) and the Laconium (hottest), cool down in the Plunge Pool, visit the Steam Room or relax in the Frigidarium. Treatments, refreshments, a spot of lunch are all available too so whether you are on your own, with a loved one or with friends, you will leave the Turkish Baths in Harrogate feeling relaxed, exhilarated and totally cleansed.
  • Golf lovers visiting the Harrogate District will not be disappointed with the number of excellent, beautifully manicured and well maintained Parkland Courses on offer. Regardless of handicap, we have plenty to cater for all whether you want a 6,600 yard Par 72 Course recognised by the R&A as an open qualifier venue, a scenic round with some interesting challenges or a gentle 6 Holes of Par 3. You can enjoy the best of Harrogate’s Gold Courses with the new Harrogate District Golf Pass launching in Spring 2016. Leading golf course designers Mackenzie and Hawtree have left their mark on five of the courses in the Harrogate District, giving each a unique range of features and appealing contours.  Natural woodland and heathland complement the rolling fairways which give way to sweeping views across the Yorkshire countryside.
  • Go walking to the Harrogate District in the heart of Yorkshire and enjoy the scenery and welcome that makes this one of the best destinations for walkers in the country. Explore the rolling hills of Yorkshire, trek your own path across the Access Land of the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), or explore the historic locations such as Fountains Abbey and the Nidd Gorge in Knaresborough.  The choice of walks is wide and varied when you come walking to the Harrogate District. With the best of both worlds we have the hills of the Yorkshire Dales and the plains of the Vale of York to enjoy, there really is a terrain and a walk for everyone.  You can strike out on a route of exploration with your map and a few tasty treats or take it easy and enjoy the reassurance of following a simpler, well-trodden and signposted route.
  • A delightful array of unique attractions is waiting to be discovered when you visit the Harrogate District. Historic abbeys, castles, country houses and monuments tell the ancient stories of politics, religion and power.  From Roman mosaics and Medieval strongholds to 18th Century showpieces, generations have left their mark for us to see today. No visit is complete without a trip to the World Heritage Site of Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal or the lovely Ripon Cathedral, believed to be a source of inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. As you would expect from the home of the prestigious Harrogate Flower Shows, this part of the world is a garden lover’s paradise.  We have an extraordinary range of almost forty parks and gardens to enjoy including the Royal Horticultural Society’s most northerly gardens, magnificent formal gardens and pretty public gardens and some more exotic surprises too!
  • If you are committed shopaholic then Harrogate shopping is perfect for you. Once a fashionable destination for European high society, nowadays it is just as fashion-conscious and you can find all the leading high-street names with their quality brands sitting alongside stylish independents. Harrogate shopping has a unique selection of boutiques, jewellers, cosmetics and accessories shops to choose from so you can dress from head to toe before you go out on the town for the evening. Art lovers and antique hunters will love the zigzag of cobbled streets in Harrogate’s Montpellier Quarter or in the ancient town of Ripon. In each market town, little galleries are tucked down side streets waiting to be discovered and studios display artist’s work while they continue to paint, sculpt or craft their latest piece. Specialist shops have a unique range of home accessories and gift items so if you are looking for something a little bit different to take home with you or looking for that gift with a bit of originality, you will be spoilt for choice.