Let’s Go to … Harrogate, North Yorkshire

Betty's Tea Rooms

Rachel Dixon, The Guardian, April 23, 2015

Why go now?
To attend one of Britain’s best gardening events, the Harrogate Spring Flower Show (23-26 April). You’ll find nurseries, show gardens, floral art and “how to” demonstrations, including how to create a garden in 60 minutes. Get more inspiration from the Grade II-listed Valley Gardens, 17 acres of shrubs, flowers and herbaceous beds in the heart of the town.

Anything for non-gardeners?
Take the waters at the grandiose, 19th-century Turkish Baths, and learn about Harrogate’s spa history at the Royal Pump Room Museum. Visit the Mercer Art Gallery and go shopping in the pretty Montpellier Quarter, which is full of cafes and independent stores, especially antiques shops. Looking a little further ahead, fans of crime fiction can bookmark the annual Theakstons Old Peculier crime writing festival in July.

And a good place to eat?
Newcomer Norse serves Nordic-inspired, mid-sized plates for sharing – perhaps leg of Yorkshire hogget, spiced sweetbreads and ground elder sauce. Bettys has been baking cakes for nearly 100 years; don’t miss the fat rascals (Yorkshire scones).

How about a pint?
The Harrogate Tap, in the old railway station building, has 28 cask and keg beers, plus 150 bottles. The town’s oldest pub, Hales Bar, has original fixtures such as gas lights; The Fat Badger has a monthly beer club (canapes, two courses and four beers for £25); and the Blues Cafe Bar has free live music every night.

Anywhere to stay for under £100 a night?
West Park is a new boutique hotel converted from a Victorian coach house overlooking the Stray, a 200-acre common (doubles from £75). Hotel du Vin Harrogate is fashioned from a row of Georgian houses (doubles from £79).

Do I need a car?
It is 40 minutes by train from Leeds and York, and 2hr 45min from London with Virgin Trains East Coast. A car would be useful if you want to explore the Yorkshire Dales.

This article originally appeared on guardian.co.uk


This article was written by Rachel Dixon from The Guardian and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.