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Top things to do on a spa break in Harrogate

Harrogate is one of the prettiest towns in the UK, which is one of the reasons that it’s such a lovely place to go on a spa break. Whether you visit the area in the summer months and explore the surrounding countryside, or head there in the festive season for the gorgeous Christmas markets, it’s a place with a history as a spa town but with so many much more to offer as well.

First things first, Harrogate is close to the Yorkshire Dales National Park and it became famous as a flourishing spa town int he 16th century when William Slingsby discovered the first spring in 1571, becoming a destination for those seeking its healing powers. The trend continued through the Victorian era and the Royal Pump Room was opened in 1842.It covered one of the springs and was part of a trend for more formal spa experiences, even attracting the Tsarina Alexandra of Russia.

Today the Royal Pump Room is a museum but there are some beautiful spas in the surrounding area!


Top things to do in Harrogate

Betty’s Cafe Tea Room

Betty’s Cafe Tea Room opened in 1919 and know everything there is to know about a sophisticated cuppa and a perfect afternoon tea. It’s also a great place for gifts - just in case you want to spoil someone!

RHS Garden Harlow Carr

The Royal Horticultural Society’s gardens at Harlow Carr are a treat to visit. A visual feast, the beautiful gardens opened as the Harlow Carr Botanical Gardens in 1950.Its history goes back further than that though - once an ancient Royal hunting ground and springs of sulphur water were also found here, so it continues the spa and wellbeing theme.

Space Vintage and Retro

Adding a little vintage shopping into the mix, Space Vintage and Retro brings retro loveliness to Harrogate. It features men’s and women’s clothing from 15 different traders as well as mid-century furniture and homewares.

The Mercer Art Gallery

The Mercer Art Gallery opened in 1991 in the 200 year old Harrogate Promenade Rooms, one of Harrogate’s first purpose built spa buildings. They host lots of different exhibitions, so there’s something different every time you visit, and of course there are gifts at the end too!

Valley Gardens

The Valley Gardens are English Heritage Grade II Listed gardens. There’s over 17 acres of woodland, and they contain a greater number of mineral springs than any other known place. They are continually being restored and regenerated and they are open all year round, 24 hours a day. They’re also complete with outdoor games such as tennis courts, pitch & putt golf course, crazy golf, boating pool, paddling pool and a children’s play area.

Blues Cafe Bar

End your day with a little jazz in this convivial cafe. Locals love it, and they have good jazz and blues bands playing seven nights a week.

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