Yorkshire Dales Guide to Harrogate

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Many visitors are attracted by the atmosphere of England’s Floral Town, with a rich spa heritage evident from the dignified architecture, and a cosmopolitan flavour emanating from a renowned range of first class hotels and cosy guest houses, a stylish shopping centre, theatre, cafés and a variety of places of leisure and entertainment.

Broad tree-lined streets and beautiful parks and gardens combine with the sweeping 200 acres of town-centre grassland known as ‘The Stray’ to bring a spacious feeling to the town. Although never far from the principal venues and accommodation, visitors can enjoy peace and serenity close to the town centre. No wonder so many people return to Harrogate for another visit.

A window seat in the famous Betty’s Tearooms, with compelling views of the magnificent Montpellier Gardens, is guaranteed to rest the mind and lift the spirits. One of the newest developments, the classically-styled Victoria Gardens Shopping Centre, typifies this sophisticated town of character.

Links with Harrogate’s intriguing past as a spa town of international repute are carefully maintained, a splendid example being the superb Turkish Baths. Open to the public seven days a week, they are found in the imposing Royal Baths Assembly Rooms. A short stroll away, the recently restored 150 year old Royal Pump Room Museum contains the Old Sulphur Well whose spa water is still available for sampling.

Just across the road from the Royal Pump Room Museum are the famous Valley Gardens, with a worldwide reputation for their formal and informal acres of displays and attractions. On the outskirts are the splendid RHS Harlow Carr gardens.

Adding to Harrogate’s cosmopolitan flavour are the many world-wide visitors to the Harrogate International Centre, with its range of busy conferences and exhibitions. The town of Harrogate is indeed a real Yorkshire Rose, an amalgamation of business, leisure and pleasure.

Harrogate Turkish Baths
  • Barn Owl Cottage

    Barn Owl Cottage is ideal for family holidays in the Dales, 15 minutes from Harrogate and close to pretty reservoirs. It is a south-facing, luxury barn conversion with patio, garden and wonderful views over a lake for bird watching. Mount Bark Cottages also have Little Owl Cottage for 2/4, sleeping up to 11 together.

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  • Little Owl Cottage

    Little Owl Cottage is great for couples and small family Dales holidays, close to pretty reservoirs and 15 minutes from Harrogate. The master bedroom is huge with king-size bed, magnificent views and en-suite with large corner bath. Mount Bark Cottages also have Barn Owl Cottage for 7, sleeping up to 11 together.

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  • Firs, Summerbridge

    The Firs bed and breakfast with tearoom is in Summerbridge in Nidderdale, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This delightful Dales B&B and Tearoom serving delicious homemade food is close to Nidderdale Way and is an ideal holiday base for Harrogate and the Yorkshire Dales.

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  • Oxen Close Farm

    Two, immaculate, self-contained holiday cottages set in the picturesque countryside of Nidderdale, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Oxen Close Farm also hosts a small, certified camping and caravanning site on their working livestock farm. Barney's Cottage sleeps 4 and Robbie's Retreat sleeps 2.

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    Activities and Adventure

  • Lightwater Valley

    Visit Lightwater Valley near Ripon and Harrogate for some amazing rides, including Europe's longest rollercoaster - The Ultimate, as well as the stomach churning, mighty Eagle's Claw and the splashtastic Wild River Rapids

    Lightwater Valley Website Map Where to Stay
  • Stockeld Park

    Stockeld Park, a world of active adventure and fun for all the family throughout the year from a real ice rink in the winter, summer interactive play to halloween and christmas adventures. Perfectly located on the A661 between Harrogate and Leeds and just off the A1.

    Stockeld Park Website Map Where to Stay
  • Stump Cross Caverns

    Stump Cross Caverns is one of Britain's premier show caves, located in Nidderdale on the border of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Open 9am - 6pm 7 days a week. They hold special events throughout the year. From primary to university age, Stump Cross Caverns provide interesting and informative visits to the caves.

    Stump Cross Caverns Website Map Where to Stay

    Agricultural Shows

  • Bingley Show

    Bingley Show offers an incredible range of countryside things to see and do. Taking place at Myrtle Park, Bingley, it is easily reached from Bradford, Leeds, Ilkely and Harrogate. Free parking. Held annually in July.

    Bingley Show Website Map Where to Stay
  • Countryside Live at Great Yorkshire Showground

    Giving you a chance to see the whole of the countryside in one go at the Harrogate showground, Countryside Live brings together all the best bits of the countryside - and 90% of it is under cover so you'll have a great time whatever the weather! Held at the end of October.

    Countryside Live at Great Yorkshire Showground Website Map Where to Stay
  • Great Yorkshire Show

    The Great Yorkshire Show is the country's leading agricultural event. Each year the Great Yorkshire Show attracts in excess of 125,000 visitors, why not join us this year and be part of it! Held every year in July

    Great Yorkshire Show Website Map Where to Stay
  • Nidderdale Show

    The Annual Nidderdale Show, held in the picturesque surrounds of Bewerley Park, Pateley Bridge, is one of the county's foremost agricultural shows. Held annually at the end of September.

    Nidderdale Show Website Map Where to Stay
  • Ripley Show

    Ripley Agricultural Show is held in the grounds of Ripley Castle, near Harrogate. Find all the farm animal and produce classes, plus Yorkshire's largest and finest display of Vintage Gractors. Held annually on the second Sunday in August.

    Ripley Show Website Map Where to Stay
  • Rosedale Show

    Rosedale Show in Milburn Arms Field at Rosedale Abbey, North York Moors, offers displays of Cattle, Goats, Hunters, Heavy Horses, Ponies, Jumping, Sheep, Produce, Flowers Fruit, Vegetables, Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Pigeons, Poultry, Vintage Tractors and Scarecrows. Held every year in August.

    Rosedale Show Website Map Where to Stay
  • Tockwith Show

    Tockwith Show is held near Tockwith which is about 30 minutes drive from both Harrogate and York. Come and enjoy a great day out, whilst learning more of the practice of agriculture, horticulture, livestock breeding and arts and crafts. Held every year at the beginning of August.

    Tockwith Show Website Map Where to Stay
  • Weeton Show

    Find Weeton Show in the village of Weeton, midway between Harrogate and Otley. As well as Agricultural and Horticultural classes, find rural displays such as Foraging for Free, Spinning and Weaving and Dry Stone Walling. Held every year at the end of July.

    Weeton Show Website Map Where to Stay

    Castles, Gardens and Stately Homes

  • Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal

    A National Trust property, Fountains Abbey is the most complete Cistercian abbey in Britain. Studley Royal offers an ornamental water garden and decorative Victorian Church in the heart of a medieval deer park.

    Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Website Map Where to Stay
  • Newby Hall and Gardens

    Newby Hall and Gardens, Skelton-on-Ure, Ripon, is the setting for Jane Austen's Mansfield Park. It is the family home of Mr and Mrs Richard Compton and is one of England's finest houses. Open from the end of March to the end of September.

    Newby Hall and Gardens Website Map Where to Stay
  • Plumpton Rocks Landscape Garden

    Plumpton Rocks Historic Landscape Garden was described by Queen Mary as 'Heaven on Earth'. It is 30 acres of parkland between Harrogate and Wetherby with tranquil lakeside walks, dramatic millstone grit rock formations and woodland trails through bluebells and rhododendrons.

    Plumpton Rocks Landscape Garden Website Map Where to Stay
  • RHS Harlow Carr

    RHS Garden Harlow Carr makes a wonderful day out at any time of the year. Covering 68 acres, it has a wide variety of landscapes from running and still water to woodland and wildflower meadows. Betty's teashop and restaurant are on site with delicious afternoon tea and meals to complete your day.

    RHS Harlow Carr Website Map Where to Stay
  • Ripley Castle

    Ripley Castle and Gardens, situated 3 miles from Harrogate in North Yorkshire on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, is an historic attraction open to the public all year round and makes for a fascinating and entertaining day out, in a beautiful location, with memorable surroundings.

    Ripley Castle Website Map Where to Stay

    Food, Drink and Craft Visits

  • Black Sheep Brewery

    Situated at the gateway to Wensleydale, Masham is the home of the Black Sheep Brewery. Regular 'shepherded' tours of the Brewery allow visitors to experience the traditional brewing process and the aroma and taste of English hops and malted barley.

    Black Sheep Brewery Website Map Where to Stay
  • Theakstons Brewery

    Visit this independent family brewing company, established in Masham in 1827 and follow the complete brewing process and meet the people who brew Theakston's beers at the home of the legendary Old Peculier. Open all throughout the year. Great place for gift ideas for beer lovers !

    Theakstons Brewery Website Map Where to Stay

    Museums

  • Nidderdale Museum

    Situated in the picturesque town of Pateley Bridge, North Yorkshire, this fascinating and friendly museum is housed in the former workhouse and is situated opposite St Cuthbert's Parish Church. Its 11 rooms illustrate the rural life of Nidderdale in the recent and more distant past..

    Nidderdale Museum Website Map Where to Stay

    Visitor Farms, Wildlife, Walks and Trails

  • Fewston Reservoir

    Fewston Reservoir was built in 1879 in the Washburn Valley, north of Otley and west of Harrogate. The overflow from the reservoir feeds directly into the adjoining Swinsty Reservoir.

    Fewston Reservoir Website Map Where to Stay
  • Gouthwaite Reservoir

    Gouthwaite Reservoir and its site of Special Scientific Interest attracts a wonderfully wide range of wetland birds, raptors and waders such as Oyster Catchers, Willow Warblers, Black Caps and spotted Flycatchers. Free carpark.

    Gouthwaite Reservoir Website Map Where to Stay
  • How Stean Gorge

    Prepare for adventure at the How Stean Gorge Outdoor Centre in Nidderdale, Yorkshire! How Stean Gorge is a spectacular limestone gorge in the stunning Yorkshire Dales. Open each day 9am - 5pm to the public and for group activities, team building, stag and hen dos.

    How Stean Gorge Website Map Where to Stay
  • Nidderdale Llamas

    Kiln Farm, idyllically positioned with fantastic views, is a family run trekking centre in the heart of Nidderdale. You can even hold a hen party there ! Opportunity to adopt a Llama or Alpaca.

    Nidderdale Llamas Website Map Where to Stay
  • Studfold Adventure Trail

    An intriguing fun filled adventure in stunning countryside for children and their grown ups! Find a great range of events from bushcraft and craft days to den building and interactive sculptures. Close to Pateley Bridge and convenient for York and Leeds.

    Studfold Adventure Trail Website Map Where to Stay
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