East of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, Harrogate is a beautiful Victorian Spa town that’s packed full of things to do. Whether you’re coming down for a long weekend or a resident nearby, there’s plenty on offer, whether you want relaxation, entertainment, nature or more. With that in mind, here’s a list of five great things that you can get up to in Harrogate over the weekend.
Visit the Spa
With a rich history as a spa town, Harrogate has long drawn relaxation seekers thanks to its naturally sulphuric water and many springs. That’s why it’s not surprising that the modern day town is full of spa experiences for when you’re in need of a pick-me-up. Whether that’s at Rudding Park Spa which uses natural waters from the Rudding Park grounds; Three Graces Spa located in Grantley Hall or the iconic Turkish Baths which opened in 1897, there are so many experiences to choose from, all grounded in the town’s history.
Try Your Hand at Bingo
Speaking of tradition, there are few things more English than a good game of bingo. Massively rising in popularity in the 1960’s in the UK, Harrogate still has one spot where you can play this classic game – Lucky Numbers Bingo Club. Or, if you fancy some variety with a slots and bingo hybrid, you can always try your hand and play Paddy Power Slingo which is available online. With multiple themed games, there’s something for everyone there.
Explore Plumpton Rocks
Ofcourse, you can’t mention Harrogate without talking about Plumpton Rocks. A man-made lake surrounded by 30-acres of parkland, this is the perfect spot for a weekend lakeside walk. Described by English Heritage as being of ‘outstanding interest’, the rock formations add to the picturesque scenery, as do the woodland trails where you can walk among the flowers. Look out especially for the rock formations including Lion’s Den, Lover’s Leap and Needle’s Eye.
Have a Pint in the Harrogate Tap
Highly recommended by Rachel Dixon, writing for The Guardian, one of the best spots to grab a pint is at the Harrogate Tap. Located in the remains of the 1862 Harrogate train station this is a spot to get a drink and soak up a bit of local history. Specialising in a wide choice of beer from across the globe, the Harrogate Tap has 12 traditional cask handpulls alongside modern keg taps. A thoughtful transformation of what was once a neglected railway, the pub still has many Victorian elements while keeping its foot firmly in the present too.
Take in the Flower Gardens
And finally, Harrogate is renowned for its flowers. Home to the Harrogate Flower Show which takes place in spring and autumn, this small town is a must visit for garden lovers. Most known for the Royal Horticultural Society Harlow Carr Garden you can explore sections including: Kitchen Garden, Sub-Tropicana Garden, Alpine House, Streamside and more. Home to a bevy of natural wildlife including weasels and voles, this is a great family day out. The Edwardian Garden – specially created for the BBC series Gardens Through Time – may be of special interest to any history lovers. But, all the gardens are lovely in their own way!