A town founded on the quality of its water with dozens of freshwater springs, Harrogate went through a boom in the 19th century as a renowned spa town, hosting influential guests from across the globe. This influx led to natural growth, with several theatres, cinemas, high-class art galleries and museums built to cope with the demand, as well as a choice of Harrogate hotels for visitors to enjoy. On the doorstep of the Yorkshire Dales, it is also perfectly placed to explore the great outdoors, but with an abundance of bars, pubs, restaurants – and Bettys Café Tea Rooms – you won’t be left wondering what to do in Harrogate. There are plenty of other reasons to visit this wonderful spa town.
A historic spa town, Harrogate’s wells (watch out for the sulphur smells) are worth checking out, as are the nearby Ripley Castle & Gardens and Ripon’s stunning 7th century cathedral.
With cobbled, pedestrianised streets full of period details and independent outlets, shopping in Harrogate is a mix of boutiques, high street classics and coffee shops.
When the Yorkshire skies open, heading indoors is recommended. With boutique cinemas, gin and champagne bars, kids’ craft cafés there’s plenty to keep you occupied.
Harrogate is home to the first Bettys Tea Room, which opened its doors nearly 100 years ago.
Today it serves continental classics and a legendary afternoon tea which has been expertly refined since the 1920s.
Harrogate boasts a wide array of exceptional theatre performances, alongside electrifying music shows and bucket-loads of belly laughs at their comedy clubs. Factor in a live blues bar and a rising football team and you’ll be utterly spoilt for choice.
With art galleries and museums retracing the region’s history, including its fascinating rise as a spa town, Harrogate is full of culture. The Great Yorkshire Show and the renowned twice-annual Harrogate Flower Show add a splash of colour to proceedings.
The pair of theatres – the Royal Hall and Harrogate Theatre – rightly dominate Harrogate’s entertainment scene, putting on a diverse range of comedy, dance, drama and musical performances throughout the year. They’re the place to be if you want to catch a show during your stay in the town.
If you fancy being pampered within an inch of your life, then the Turkish Baths and Health Spa is the only place to be. Opened in 1897, this well-equipped spa boasts a range of treatments, from facials to full-day treatments, to help you relax, unwind and wave goodbye to your stresses.
Whet your whistle at one of Harrogate’s vibrant bars.
From venues hosting live blues performances to classy piano bars, cool and contemporary hangouts to drink menus filled with classic cocktails, you’re sure to discover the perfect place to spend your evening.
With restaurants serving up flavours from as far north as Norway and as far south as Argentina, it’s easy to eat your way around the world in 80 plates, with local produce looming large. No trip to Harrogate is complete without tea and cake at Bettys: a true Yorkshire institution.
Be it pubs that date back to the Victorian era with gas lamps or bars that specialise in gin and live bands playing the blues, Harrogate has an impressively diverse range of options suiting daytime drinkers, pub grubbers and late-night dancers.
Dating back to 1842, the Royal Pump Room Museum offers you the chance to step back in time and discover some of Harrogate’s weird and wonderful spa treatments. Prepare yourself for strong scents as you step into the sulphur room and enjoy a taste of the town’s famous mineral water.
With Leeds Bradford Airport just a short bus ride away, getting into the heart of Yorkshire couldn’t be easier. Factor in strong rail links north and south and sprawling countryside that lends itself to walking and biking, Harrogate blends Victorian charm with impressive modern travel connections.
You’re guaranteed a bit of elegance and style if you're looking for hotels in Harrogate. This famous Yorkshire spa town boasts many 18th century buildings, beautiful parks and gardens, and the luxurious Turkish Baths.