"Harrogate – the queerest place with the strangest people leading the oddest lives of dancing, newspaper reading and dining"
Harrogate Spring Water
The first mineral spring was founded in 1571 by William Slingsby and the water soon became well known for it’s medicinal properties, giving Harrogate it’s new nickname – ‘The English Spa’. Discerning individuals sought out the picturesque Yorkshire town to restore body, mind and soul by relaxing, indulging and socialising. In 1740, Harrogate became the first British bottled water and today, Harrogate spring water is included in our very own Slingsby Gin and Vodka.
Royal Pump Room Museum
The Royal Pump Room was built by Isaac Shutt in 1842 to provide shelter for the town’s affluent visitors as they took the famous waters. On May 22nd 1953 the Royal Pump Room was reopened as a museum. The Pump Room displays interesting items and photographs from the time when Harrogate was put on the map by William Slingsby and unexpectedly, has an important collection of ancient Egyptian artefacts.
Betty’s Tea Rooms
Bettys Café Tea Room first opened in 1919 in Harrogate. The combination of Swiss confectionery and Yorkshire warmth and hospitality in such an elegant setting proved irresistible. Bettys became an instant success. Nearly 100 years on, Bettys Harrogate remains as popular as ever. Providing a wonderful relaxed setting for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and evening meals, Bettys offers one of the best spots in town to enjoy the beauty of the town’s surroundings – a window table at Bettys is the best place to enjoy them. The shop will also leave you spoilt for choice with over 300 breads, cakes and chocolates, as well as 50 different teas and coffees, and a small delicatessen section with pastries, salads and soups. Yum!
What could be more appealing on a cold, damp evening than a visit to Harrogate’s restored Turkish baths? Built in 1899 and renovated in 2004. Move between the eucalyptus-infused sauna to three other rooms that are hot, hotter and hotter still. Then simply lie back and admire the Islamic arches, glazed tiles and ornate ceilings. Staff spare you the pummelling and pounding, the scraping and soaping on a marble slab, which is de rigueur in traditional Turkish baths. The toughest thing here is the plunge into the cold bath.
Harlow Carr Gardens
The gardens of Harlow Carr, set out in the 1880s on the edge of Harrogate, have become a very 21st century attraction. The Royal Horticultural Society took over the site in 2000 and has transformed it. Stroll around and check out areas including the rhododendron glade and alpine zone. The bird hide is worth a visit too with woodpeckers, bullfinches and coal tits. The garden even has its own branch of Bettys tearoom!
One of Harrogate’s best known landmarks, the Stray, is 200 acres of grass parkland that encompasses the town centre on the southern half, as well and giving the town a uniquely green and specious feel, it provides a public space for games, walks and relaxation. With so many great food and drink shops the stray makes for a great place to enjoy a picnic away from the bustle of the town centre, but with just a few minutes’ walk back to it. The Stray dates back to 1778 when it was created from the forest of Knaresborough to link of Harrogate’s springs together in one area. Over the years it has grazed livestock, been occasional side for the Great Yorkshire Show and Harrogate Flower Shows, been used as allotments and wheat fields during the second world war, and at several times been used as an airfield for light aircraft. Today it has been returned to open grassland, and in spring takes on the beautiful colours as first millions of crocuses come into flower, which give way to daffodils, and then the long lines of cherry blossom trees and their iconic pink covering.
Rudding Park Kitchen Garden
Located at Rudding Park Hotel just outside of Harrogate and home to 12 of the botanicals found in Slingsby Gin, you will find over 100 different herbs, salads, edible flowers and fruits which are grown to offer guests something different when they dine at Rudding Park.
The Montpellier Quarter is home to 80 exclusive shops, pavement cafes, bars and award winning restaurants. The whole of Harrogate is encapsulated within the Montpellier Quarter, making it an ideal day out. It’s also where our Spirit of Harrogate store is situated! Whether you choose to while away an afternoon in one of the quarter’s quaint street cafes, watching the world go by, or hit the street on a serious shopping mission, the Montpellier Quarter envelopes you in style. The breath taking surroundings, gardens, floral hanging baskets and cobbled streets all add to the traditional atmosphere of the area. The Montpellier Quarter is also home to the ‘Antiques and Art Centre of the North’: with many quality antique shops and art galleries.
Bars & Pubs
Harrogate nightlife has plenty to offer adults of all ages. From trendy wine bars to laidback rock cafes and homely country pubs, there is something to offer every visitor. Whether you are looking for the pick of the pints or a specialty wine, you can find the perfect beverage to quench your thirst in one of Harrogate’s many bars and pubs. Some of our favourite hotspots are William & Victoria, Old Bell Tavern, Banyan, The West Park and Revolution De Cuba.