There’s a lot to discover in Harrogate including shopping, eating and drinking, distinctive local heritage, dramatic architecture, outstanding horticulture, and a vibrant contemporary cultural life.
What to see and do
Take time to explore
Within easy reach by foot, bicycle, the bus or train, Harrogate is yours to explore and enjoy. You could cycle up the Nidderdale Greenway to enjoy the views from the Bilton Viaduct, explore the local boutiques in the town centre or catch world class entertainment in historic venues.
For places to stay and more information about things to see and do in the area go to www.visitharrogate.co.uk
An unspoilt, medieval cathedral city, rich in cultural heritage with a host of shops, galleries, cafés and nearby attractions to explore including Fountains Abbey, Newby Hall, Ripon Cathedral and Brimham Rocks. Ripon can be easily reached from Harrogate using the 36 bus service or by cycling north on National Cycle Route 67 which follows the Nidderdale Greenway out of Harrogate as far as Ripley and then joining route 688 (the Way of the Roses) which takes riders around Fountains Abbey and into Ripon itself. Download a timetable by clicking on the route number.
Bus routes: 36
Cycle Route: via NCN 67 and NCN 688
A medieval castle, a petrifying well, waterside walks, boats on the river. This picturesque market town is full of history and surprises. Behind the main high street lies a charming market square and a warren of cobbled streets and stone staircases which weave their way up and down the valley side to the River Nidd below the town. Download a timetable by clicking on the route number.
Bus Routes: 1A, 1B, 1C
Cycle Routes: Visit Knaresborough via the Beryl Burton Cycleway
Arts, crafts, pubs and cafés abound in this charming town. Nestled in an area of outstanding natural beauty it is a great base for walking and cycling. Located east of Ripon along NCN route 688 (the Way of the Roses). Nearby is Yorkshire’s newest and highest attraction, Coldstone Cut, a huge artist's sculpture with magnificent views across Nidderdale.
Georgian architecture, two famous breweries and spectacular scenery, this traditional farming town is a great base from which to enjoy the Dales. The Georgian Market Place is the largest in Yorkshire and holds thriving markets on Saturdays and Wednesdays. Masham is home to two famous breweries, Theakstones and Black Sheep where you sample the produce and enjoy the visitor centre and café. Download a bus timetable by clicking the route number.
Masham is 10 miles to the north of Ripon and can be reached by cycle via quiet country lanes.
Bus Route: 127,138 from Ripon
Harrogate Theatre - Built just before the turn of the century, Harrogate Theatre opened on 11 January 1900 with a charity gala in aid of British soldiers fighting the Boer War in South Africa. This was followed on 13 January 1900 by Mr J Tully’s pantomime, “Dick Whittington”.
Today Harrogate Theatre continues its long tradition of providing high quality theatrical entertainment with a varied programme throughout the year for all ages and all tastes. www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk
Royal Hall - Acknowledged and recognised as one of the leading entertainment venues outside of London in times gone by, and following a period of restoration (2006-2008), the Royal Hall now acts as a pivotal northern cultural centre providing a venue for arts, entertainments and events. A stunning interior makes the Royal Hall a truly spectacular space to enjoy concerts and performances from some of the world's greatest entertainers and has recently hosted concerts by the likes of Robert Cray and Eric Johnson. www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk
Shopping, Eating & Drinking
Harrogate’s culinary treasures are too numerous to mention but as you can imagine the town which hosts the largest agricultural show in the Country is a natural home to good food and high quality produce from around the region.
Restaurants, bars and tea rooms - Harrogate has many fine restaurants and bars and you won’t have any trouble finding something to your taste. Explore the town centre, West Park, the Montpellier Quarter and Cold Bath Road and you’ll be spoilt for choice. And don’t forget that Harrogate has some extremely well known tea rooms.
Specialist food retailers - There are numerous specialist food and local produce retailers in Harrogate. Take the time to explore and you’ll find a whole host of gastronomic possibilities including local bakers, cheese mongers, butchers and delis.
Christmas market and Farmers market - Harrogate’s Christmas market in the Montpellier Quarter has become an attraction in its own right and takes place across the last weekend in November.
For further information visit: www.harrogatechristmasmarket.org
Harrogate Farmers market takes place every 2nd Thursday of the month on Cambridge St in the town centre.
Shopping – you’ll be rewarded if you take the time to explore Harrogate’s shopping streets and side streets including the specialist boutiques of the Montpellier Quarter, the shops and cafés of Cold Bath Road and the picturesque promenade of Station Parade. For further information visit www.montpellierharrogate.com
Enjoy exploring Harrogate's attractions which include RHS Gardens at Harlow Carr and the town's Royal Pump Museum.
RHS Harlow Carr - just a mile and a half from the town centre through the Valley Gardens and the Pine Woods, RHS Harlow Carr is a horticultural experience of the highest quality. Look out for the tulip displays in the springtime.
The Mercer Gallery – once Harrogate town hall, the Mercer Gallery now houses the town’s municipal art collection and hosts regular exhibitions by contemporary artists.
Valley Gardens – the Valley Gardens are spectacular in the spring and summertime and there’s plenty for the children including a playground, skate park, mini golf and boating lake.
Turkish Baths - set in one of the UK's most popular spa towns, visit the Turkish Baths and Spa to unwind your mind and invigorate your body. www.turkishbathsharrogate.co.uk
The Royal Pump Room Museum – tells the story of Harrogate’s spa heritage and was itself one of the focal points of the Victorian health spa craze.
Home to a wide range of boutique shopping and dining experiences the Montpellier Quarter was originally established in the 1860s when George Dawson acquired Ashfield House and gave the area its name in the fashion of the time for French spa names.
Located on Swan Road the Mercer Art Gallery is home to the art collection of Harrogate Borough Council. In an earlier guise the building was known as the Town Hall Theatre and both Oscar Wilde and Lily Langtry were known to have appeared there.