Things to do in Harrogate, North Yorkshire

Harrogate, located in North Yorkshire, England, is a charming spa town known for its elegant architecture, beautiful gardens, and rich history. With its picturesque surroundings and a wide range of attractions, Harrogate offers a delightful experience to visitors. Whether you are interested in exploring historic sites, indulging in spa treatments, or simply enjoying the scenic beauty, Harrogate has something for everyone. From the stunning Valley Gardens to the iconic Royal Pump Room Museum, there are plenty of places to explore and discover. The town is also renowned for its tea rooms and cafes, where you can enjoy a traditional afternoon tea or sample delicious local delicacies. With its friendly atmosphere and warm hospitality, Harrogate is the perfect destination for a relaxing getaway or a memorable day trip.

Things to do

Visit the Royal Pump Room Museum

The Royal Pump Room Museum is a must-visit attraction in Harrogate. Housed in a beautiful historic building, the museum tells the story of Harrogate's spa heritage. You can explore the various rooms and exhibits that showcase the town's history as a popular spa destination. Learn about the healing properties of the famous Harrogate waters and see the original pump room where visitors used to come to drink the mineral-rich water. The museum also features interactive displays and audiovisual presentations that bring the past to life. It's a fascinating place to learn about Harrogate's rich history.

Stroll through Valley Gardens

Valley Gardens is a beautiful park located in the heart of Harrogate. It offers a peaceful escape from the bustling town center and is a perfect place for a leisurely stroll. The park features stunning floral displays, expansive lawns, and a variety of trees and shrubs. You can explore the different sections of the gardens, including the Sun Pavilion, which is a popular spot for weddings and events. There are also several play areas for children, a boating pool, and a cafe where you can grab a bite to eat. Whether you're looking for a relaxing walk or a picnic spot, Valley Gardens is a must-visit in Harrogate.

Indulge in Afternoon Tea at Betty's Café Tea Rooms

No visit to Harrogate is complete without indulging in the famous afternoon tea at Betty's Café Tea Rooms. This iconic tearoom has been serving delicious treats since 1919 and is a beloved institution in Harrogate. Step inside and be transported to a bygone era with its elegant decor and charming atmosphere. Enjoy a selection of finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, and a variety of delicate pastries and cakes. Pair your tea with one of Betty's signature blends for the ultimate experience. It's the perfect place to relax and enjoy a quintessential British tradition.

Explore Harrogate Turkish Baths

Immerse yourself in relaxation and luxury at the Harrogate Turkish Baths. These historic baths have been a popular attraction since they first opened in 1897. Step into the beautifully restored Victorian building and experience the traditional Turkish bathing rituals. Start with a session in the steam room to open up your pores, followed by a visit to the hot rooms and plunge pool. You can also indulge in a range of spa treatments, including massages and facials. The Turkish Baths offer a unique and rejuvenating experience that shouldn't be missed during your visit to Harrogate.

Visit RHS Garden Harlow Carr

Nature lovers will delight in a visit to RHS Garden Harlow Carr. This stunning garden is owned by the Royal Horticultural Society and showcases a wide variety of plants and flowers. Explore the beautifully landscaped gardens, including the Streamside Garden, the Alpine Zone, and the Kitchen Garden. Admire the vibrant colors and fragrant blooms as you wander through the different sections. The garden also features a woodland play area for children, a plant center where you can purchase plants for your own garden, and a cafe where you can enjoy a meal or a cup of tea. It's a tranquil oasis in the heart of Harrogate.

Discover the Mercer Art Gallery

Art enthusiasts should make a stop at the Mercer Art Gallery in Harrogate. This small but impressive gallery showcases a collection of fine art, including paintings, sculptures, and ceramics. The gallery focuses on British art from the 19th century to the present day, with a particular emphasis on Yorkshire artists. You can admire works by renowned artists such as Atkinson Grimshaw and William Powell Frith. The gallery also hosts temporary exhibitions throughout the year, so there's always something new to see. It's a hidden gem for art lovers in Harrogate.

Take a Walk along The Stray

The Stray is a large open parkland that surrounds the town center of Harrogate. It covers an area of 200 acres and offers plenty of space for leisurely walks and outdoor activities. The Stray is a protected area, meaning it cannot be built upon, and it provides a beautiful green space for both residents and visitors to enjoy. Take a stroll along the tree-lined paths, have a picnic on the grassy expanses, or simply relax and soak in the peaceful atmosphere. The Stray is a wonderful place to unwind and connect with nature in the heart of Harrogate.

Visit Harrogate Theatre

If you're a fan of the performing arts, a visit to Harrogate Theatre is a must. This historic theater has been entertaining audiences since 1900 and continues to host a variety of shows, including plays, musicals, comedy acts, and live music performances. The theater itself is a beautiful Victorian building with a grand auditorium and a cozy studio space. Check the schedule to see what's on during your visit and book tickets for a memorable evening of entertainment. Whether you're a theater enthusiast or simply looking for a fun night out, Harrogate Theatre won't disappoint.

Shop at Harrogate's Independent Boutiques

Harrogate is known for its charming independent boutiques, offering a unique shopping experience. Take a stroll along the town's elegant streets and discover a variety of shops selling everything from fashion and accessories to homeware and gifts. Explore the Montpellier Quarter, a picturesque area filled with independent shops, cafes, and galleries. Browse the stylish boutiques and find one-of-a-kind items that you won't find anywhere else. Whether you're looking for a special souvenir or simply enjoy shopping, Harrogate's independent boutiques are a delight to explore.

Enjoy a Day Trip to Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden

Located just a short drive from Harrogate, Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-visit attraction. Explore the ruins of the 12th-century Cistercian abbey, which are beautifully preserved and provide a glimpse into the past. Wander through the extensive water garden, which features ornamental lakes, cascades, and follies. The combination of the abbey ruins and the stunning landscape creates a truly magical atmosphere. You can also enjoy scenic walks in the surrounding countryside and spot wildlife along the way. It's a perfect day trip from Harrogate for history and nature lovers.