A quaint and stereotypically English spa town, Harrogate is a favourite with international tourists as well as domestic travellers. Architectural gems seem to be found around every corner, and the streets are lined with stylish bars and with lovely cafés and tea rooms where you can sip your drink as you sit outdoors and soak up the Yorkshire sun. If you’re looking for a relaxing break where you can be self-indulgent, clear your mind and refresh your body, then there are few better UK holiday destinations.
If you prefer modern attractions, then you’re sure to love some of the entertainment venues that are dotted throughout the area. If you’re not already exhausted from using the hotel’s gym, then the impressive Harrogate Climbing Centre is just a short drive away. At nearby Plumpton Rocks you’ll see some of the country’s most breathtaking natural scenery, and there are local golf clubs for those that like a challenge.
Royal Pump Museum
One of Harrogate’s top attractions, the Royal Pump Museum is home to Europe’s strongest sulphur well. It’s an interesting spa building, where you can learn about the town’s unusual history. Taste the spa water, and learn about the treatments that were once offered to visitors. The attraction also includes replicas of old-fashioned shops, and has ever-changing exhibits.
Harrogate International Centre Betty’s Tea Rooms
The HIC is a business conference, event and exhibition centre located in the centre of Harrogate. Live performances, music concerts, business exhibitions, antique shows, wedding fairs and sporting events are amongst the many reasons to visit. Eight halls provide various spaces, totalling 16,500 square metres, and the St. George Hotel is just a five minute walk away.
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Famed the world over, these tea rooms are the perfect place to relax. Betty’s first opened its doors in 1919, and they’ve since served their delicious cream teas, cakes and traditional English meals to visitors from all over the planet. This charming family business has grown into a chain serving more than 1 million customers a year. You can book a private afternoon tea, accompanied by soothing piano music.
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Just three miles from Harrogate, Ripley Castle is one of the most impressive historic buildings in Yorkshire. The castle and gardens are open to the public, and rooms within can be used for weddings and conferences. As well as standard castle tours, members of staff offer tours tailored specifically to children and teenagers. There is an on-site deer park, as well as a tea room and gift shop.
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Harrogate’s most popular shopping centre is home to more than 30 stores, as well as a range of restaurants and fast food outlets, and is situated in a central location. It takes less than ten minutes to walk from the St. George Hotel to all of your favourite shops.
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In Victorian times, spa baths were a relatively common find. Very few survive, and Harrogate’s Turkish Spa Baths are the ones in best condition. They’re the most complete, and are still in full working order, allowing visitors to really appreciate the intricate detail and elaborate decoration, from coloured bricks to painted ceilings, and Italian terrazzo floors.
Harewood House is a charming 18th
century building surrounded by landscaped grounds designed by Capability Brown. The house features magnificent furnishings, collections of paintings, impressive antique furniture and delicate pieces of porcelain all carefully displayed for visitors to view. The Bird Garden is home to a variety of colourful birds from all over the world, from penguins and flamingos to parrots and owls, whilst themed gardens include lakes, sculptures and a diverse display of flowers. Gifts, books and plants are sold on site, and you can enjoy ice creams and snacks at the tea rooms.
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A family-friendly theme park with rides and attractions for all ages, Lightwater Valley is home to roller coasters, thrill rides, children’s rides, a boating lake and the Angry Birds Activity Park. The venue is also home to the Lightwater Country Shopping Village where you can enjoy traditional home-cooked food, meet birds of prey and shop for clothes, gifts and accessories.
Visit their website Fountains Abbey
A National Trust property, this abbey is surrounded by Georgian water gardens and a medieval deer park. It’s a World Heritage Site with 12th
century ruins, an outdoor theatre, stunning parkland and an on-site restaurant where you can enjoy meals and snacks, locally produced chocolate, flavoured ales and local honey. Enjoy 800 acres at your own pace.
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