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9 Reasons to spend a weekend in Harrogate

These are the best things to do in Harrogate right now, from cream teas to Turkish baths, and from landscaped gardens to antique shops.

Harrogate is England's classic spa town of cream teas, historic houses, landscaped gardens, and so many fun things to do. It is renowned for its Turkish baths and cream teas. You can picture why renowned crime writer Agatha Christie hunkered down incognito in Harrogate in 1926 after her marriage ended, since Harrogate is a slow-paced and serene place.The town is not only blessed with genteel prettiness and relaxing waters, but it is also bursting with wonderful independent shops, magnificent antique stores and top-class cosy pubs serving fantastic beers, all surrounded by rolling green hills.

This North Yorkshire haven is only 40 minutes from Leeds and York, or two hours and 45 minutes from London. Follow in Christie's footsteps and visit this North Yorkshire haven for yourself.

Get steamy at the Turkish Baths

You can unwind your mind and body at the Turkish Baths and Spa in Harrogate, one of the UK's most popular spa towns. Located in the heart of Harrogate, the Harrogate Turkish Baths are a fully restored Victorian bath house providing a unique heritage site and relaxing retreat. Relax and unwind with a wide selection of spa treatments or simply unwind in the beautiful steam rooms and let your stress just melt away. Whether you're with friends, loved ones, or on your own, the Harrogate Turkish Baths are a wonderful treat!

Stretch your legs at Brimham Rocks

Picture Mount Everest; as crazy as it sounds, over 400 million years ago, a large mountain range just like the Himalayas stood not far from where Brimham Rocks now stands. Over time, powerful erosive forces slowly wore them away creating a river delta the size of Yorkshire. These sands were later compacted beginning the long process of shaping the rocks into their current forms.

Fast forward millions of years; the rocks, newly exposed became prey to ice and sand-blasting winds, carving away at them, leaving behind the range of other-worldly shapes you see today. From the Smartie Tube, Castle Rock, to the Druid’s Writing Desk and the Idol, the rocks now fascinate and inspire thousands of people every year. Borrow an information pack from our welcome cabin or join one of our geology walks. If you’re interested in climbing the rocks, why not book onto one of our frequent Outdoor Days, run throughout the year by Harrogate Climbing Centre.

Eat a Fat Rascal at Bettys

In Yorkshire, Betty's is an iconic institution. The café was founded nearly a century ago by a The best place for afternoon tea. Think silver cake stands, staff in period costume, tea galore and a view of the pretty Montpelier Gardens. Make sure you have a Fat Rascal (a Yorkshire scone) to really feel like you’re in Gods Ow

Stroll down Cold Bath Road

There is no doubt that Cold Bath Road is Harrogate's Notting Hill. It must surely be Harrogate's most independent street with over 50 independent restaurants, shops, salons, and bars. This rather unusual name dates back to 1880, when St Magnus' Well, often called Cold Well, in Harrogate was thought to be beneficial to eye conditions. On Cold Bath Road, you'll find almost every type of store you can imagine, from upmarket sportswear and trendy restaurants to more practical items such as hardware, fruit and veg, and dry cleaning. It’s a long stroll from one end to the other.

Get a dose of modern fine art at Mercer Art Gallery

It presents a carefully curated collection of nineteenth and twentieth-century art by artists such as William Powell Frith, John Atkinson Grimshaw, Sir Edward Burne-Jones, Dame Laura Knight, and Alan Davie. In addition to contemporary fine art, the museum also hosts a series of intriguing temporary exhibitions. Visits to the Mercer will give you the chance to see a 200-year-old Harrogate gem that was built in 1805 as one of the town's first purpose-built spas.

Explore Valley Gardens

Valley Gardens Harrogate is an English Heritage Grade II Listed Garden with woodland known as The Pinewoods which covers 17 acres in regal Low Harrogate. Valley Gardens Harrogate has more natural mineral springs than anywhere else - visit the Bogs Field area for 36 mineral springs. As part of Harrogate Borough Council's stewardship of the park, Friends of Valley Gardens are actively restoring and regenerating the garden. The Valley Gardens Harrogate are open all year round, 24 hours a day, and with a number of different areas and garden styles make a relaxing and captivating place to explore.For music lovers, band concerts take place on Sunday afternoons throughout the summer.There is a wide variety of outdoor games such as tennis courts, pitch & putt golf course, crazy golf, boating pool, paddling pool and a children's play area.The outdoor games season runs from April to October.Light refreshments are available from the Magnesia Well Café and the Games Pavilion sells some refreshments between Easter and September.

Upgrade your Sunday lunch at The Fat Badger

Taxidermy and oil paintings abound in this Victorian-style pub with high ceilings. You can enjoy a hearty Sunday lunch in a cosy wooden booth, or on a warm Yorkshire day, sit outside in the lovely green area.

Enjoy an over night stay at Harrogate Lodge

Harrogate Lodge is a dog friendly modern cottage nestled in Harrogate countryside behind private electric gates, with a swimming pool with swim current settings and a treadmill for morning workouts, a hot tub for evening relaxation, and outdoor TV for evenings outside.

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