Just beside the beautiful Yorkshire Dales, the Victorian spa town of Harrogate is brimming with old-fashioned English charm. Its assortment of regal Victorian and Georgian buildings intermingle elegant gardens and historic tea rooms.
Make the most of Harrogate’s love affair with a ‘cuppa’ at Bettys Café Tea Rooms, serving up signature blends, scones, sandwiches and cakes. For souvenir shopping, there’s no better spot than along the cobbled streets of Montpellier Quarter. It’s the oldest part of Harrogate and home to many independent shops selling antiques, high-end clothing and more.
You can learn all about the city’s spa-town heyday at the Royal Pump Room Museum, which chronicles the venue’s former usage as a spa for the likes of Charles Dickens and Tsarina Alexandra of Russia. If you want to take a dip in the city’s mineral-rich waters yourself, then head over to the historic Turkish Baths on Parliament Street, decorated with Islamic arches and Arabesque painted ceiling panels.
Harrogate is famous for its award-winning floral displays that can be seen throughout the city. Perhaps the best-known is the Grade-II listed Valley Gardens, filled with tropical plant species, a skate park and a bandstand offering live performances in the summer. In the heart of the city centre is The Stray, a huge stretch of green that turns into a dazzling display of blossoming cherry trees come springtime.