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48 Hours in Harrogate by Girl About Harrogate

By Victoria Turner – 10th February 2020

A weekend in Harrogate

‘Harrogate is the queerest place with the strangest people in it, leading the oddest lives of dancing, newspaper reading and dining.’ Charles Dickens, after a visit to the town in the 1830s. Not much has changed.

Harrogate is a spa town of the tallest order. Visited by royalty and the rich back in Victorian times, the town has grown and thrived as a tourist and hospitality hot spot and is now how to some of the UK’s most iconic brands, Bettys and Yorkshire tea to Harrogate Spa Water and the most northerly Royal Horticultural Society Garden – Harlow Carr.

So, when you have just 48 hours in this wonderful town, what are you going to do? It’s a hard choice but here we go…

Harrogate Feature image

Friday lunchtime:

You’ve landed in Harrogate, the sun is shining (hopefully) and it’s the perfect time to enjoy a bit of Harrogate’s café culture. Head straight to Hoxton North, do not pass go and do not collect £100. Based on the Crown Roundabout, this edgy coffee shop is a great place to people watch and watching Harrogate life pass you by. Alternatively, walk up Cold Bath Road to Manna Bakery for a great lunchtime menu and amazing bread.

 

Friday afternoon:

Who doesn’t love a Free Walking Tour of Harrogate. Starting just across the road from Bettys. Led by a great guy called Harry. His knowledge and wit are just fantastic. The tour takes 1hr20 to walk and although it’s free I encourage you to tip as it‘s Harry’s full time income.

Once you finished your tour, I’d say this is the perfect time to do some shopping. So head east along to the quirky world West Park Antiques and work your way back into town before heading to Montpellier Quarter and James street.

 

Friday evening:

After a long day of walking and sightseeing head to Three’s a Crowd for good food and a friendly bar. Often the place to go when the sun is shining, Three’s a Crowd offers amazing British food, a selection of gins and local beer.

Saturday morning:

Who has breakfast at the hotel when it’s all about the brunch! And The Wild Plum is the brunchest place of all! It’s out of town, accessible by our famous number 36 bus with free wifi and leather seats – oh la la! If you are going via car, parking is restricted as it’s so popular and my advice is to get there early. The café, situated above Snooty Frocks, opens at 9.30 am and isn’t open Sundays. The Wild Plum is forging a name for itself with creative dishes which don’t disappoint on flavour. My favourite dishes include pancakes, hot dogs and buddha bowls.

P.S. It’s extremely instagramable!

 

Saturday lunch:

After brunch, it’s time for relaxation. If you are wanting the traditional bath’s experience which gained popularity in the Victorian age, head to the Turkish Baths. Starting at £19, you can experience the heated rooms along with the ice-cold plunge pool and steam room.

For those who want a modern-day spa experience, nothing beats Rudding Park spa. Using their own water, the spa has multiple experience rooms from the oxygen room to the infinity pool and sun therapy room. £124 for a morning, including 45-minute treatment and refreshments.

 

Saturday afternoon:

Once you’ve worked up an appetite from all that lounging around, just a few doors up the hill from the Turkish Baths is the famous Bettys Café Tea Rooms. Personally, I’d book in for their Afternoon tea in the Imperial Suite as you can skip the queues! Bettys Bookable Afternoon Tea is second to none, served in beautiful surroundings you’ll be treated to an amuse-bouche followed by a pastry course, and your three-tiered cake stand features sandwiches, mini scones and delicate cakes. It is more expensive than Bettys Café afternoon tea at £34.95 but worth the price for what you receive.

 

Saturday evening:

Harrogate has seen a resurgence in Gin consumption which has led to multiple gin experiences. One of which is Slingsby Gin by The Spirit of Harrogate. Just a stone’s throw down the hill from Bettys is the home of Slingsby and where you can create your own gin and learn about its fascinating history. Prices depend on which activity you chose to do and food can be included.

If you’re hungry after your gin experience, I’d recommend La Feria for a cheeky chicken, chips and tapas.

Sunday morning:

By this point, you’re probably in need of some fresh air and a strong coffee. I’d recommend combining the two with a walk-through Valley Gardens and Pine Woods to the RHS Garden’s Harlow Carr. Here you can grab your much-needed coffee from the tea house or takeaway point in the Bettys shop.

Harrogate has some beautiful gardens to wander around. The Valley Gardens is fab and free to keep the kid’s entertained with a skate park, kids’ playground, mini-golf, pitch and put, disk golf, table tennis and four tennis courts. And the RHS Garden’s Harlow Carr is a great place for families to get close to nature.

I hope you’ll enjoy your trip to Harrogate and if you have any questions message me on Instagram and I’ll always be able to help.

 

 

5 amazing places to stay in Harrogate

 

  1. Rudding Park – https://www.ruddingpark.co.uk/
  2. West Park Hotel – https://www.thewestparkhotel.com/
  3. Harrogate Lifestyle Apartments – https://www.harrogatelifestyleapartments.com/
  4. Majestic Hotel – https://www.hilton.com/en/hotels/lbahadi-doubletree-harrogate-majestic-hotel-and-spa/
  5. The Timble Inn – https://www.thetimbleinn.co.uk/
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