15 Best Things to Do in Harrogate, England

15 Best Things to Do in Harrogate, England

By will

Fancy a trip to Harrogate, England?

You’re in luck!

This picturesque spa town is home to some of the best things to do and see in the United Kingdom.

From exploring the stunning countryside to shopping and dining, there’s something for everyone.

Whether you’re looking for an adventurous day out or a relaxing weekend getaway, Harrogate has it all. Here are the 15 best things to do in this charming destination that will make your stay truly memorable.

1. Rudding Park

Rudding Park Gates
Photo by Chris Heaton

Nestled in the heart of North Yorkshire is the beautiful Rudding Park.

This stunning estate has been a favorite destination for travelers and locals alike.

From its picturesque gardens and sublime views to its luxurious spa, Rudding Park is an oasis of relaxation and pleasure.

The grounds of Rudding Park are an adventurer’s paradise.

Take a stroll through the formal gardens, complete with topiaries and fountains, or wander through the winding woodlands.

Stop off at the tranquil lake to admire the resident swans or simply relax in the sunshine on one of many benches overlooking lush green fields.

If you’re feeling active, why not explore the extensive network of trails that crisscross the estate?

For those looking for something more thrilling, there’s even a treetop adventure course!

Rudding Park also offers plenty for those seeking some pampering and luxury.

Relax in their lavish spa facilities – perfect for treating yourself after a long day exploring – or enjoy fine dining with locally sourced ingredients in one of their award-winning restaurants.

And when night falls, retreat to one of their elegant rooms or suites to enjoy some restful sleep before another day full of exploring awaits you tomorrow!

2. Brimham Rocks

Brimham Rocks
Photo by Graham Hogg

Next up in Harrogate, England is Brimham Rocks.

Located just outside of the town center and nestled in the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this collection of rock formations offers a unique experience that you won’t soon forget.

Not only are these rocks a sight to behold, but they also provide great possibilities for exploration and adventure.

With over 30 miles of footpaths weaving through the area, you can easily spend a day hiking around the boulders and taking in all the beauty that nature has to offer.

The path network is well-marked, so you won’t get lost as long as you stick to one of the main routes.

There’s even a cafe at the nearby Visitor Centre, perfect for refueling after your trek.

Whether it’s an action-packed day or a leisurely stroll, visiting Brimham Rocks is an absolute must when in Harrogate.

It’s sure to become one of your favorite places!

3. Rhs Garden Harlow Carr

Wildflower meadow at RHS Garden Harlow Carr
Photo by Graham Hogg

Set within 200 acres of stunning Yorkshire countryside, RHS Garden Harlow Carr is a breathtakingly beautiful paradise for nature lovers.

With its rolling green hills, spectacular displays of flowers, and magnificent water features, it’s no wonder why this garden is one of the most popular attractions in the area.

Visitors to the garden can take part in a variety of activities, including guided walks and talks on topics such as botany, horticulture, and wildlife conservation.

There’s also an adventure playground for kids to explore and plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife – even a few resident red squirrels!

A visit to the garden shop will reward you with unique gifts and souvenirs, while their renowned café serves up delicious treats made from locally-sourced ingredients.

The perfect escape from everyday life, RHS Garden Harlow Carr should definitely be top of your list when visiting Harrogate.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful stroll or an exciting day out with family and friends, this fabulous garden has something for everyone.

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Spend some time enjoying the sights and sounds around you – it’s an experience you’ll never forget!

4. Turkish Baths Harrogate

Leaving the gorgeous RHS Garden Harlow Carr behind, take your journey to a place with an even longer history.

Turkish Baths Harrogate is an experience like no other, providing visitors with a unique way to relax and rejuvenate.

This iconic Victorian bathhouse is one of England’s oldest and most popular tourist attractions.

As soon as you walk through the doors of this grand building, you can feel its energy radiating around you.

Its beautiful architecture and stunning artwork make it a sight to behold.

Inside, there are three different baths for guests to choose from – the hot bath, warm bath, or cold plunge pool – each offering its own unique benefits.

In addition to these baths, there is also a spa area where visitors can enjoy a range of treatments such as massages, facials, and body wraps.

The atmosphere is calming and peaceful yet energizing at the same time.

Whether you’re looking for an indulgent escape or just want to unwind in style, Turkish Baths Harrogate is sure to offer something special that will leave you feeling refreshed and revitalized.

So escape reality for a while and immerse yourself in all that this historic bathhouse has to offer.

5. Bettys Café Tea Rooms

If you’re looking for a quintessential English experience, look no further than Bettys Café Tea Rooms.

Located in the heart of Harrogate, this iconic café has been serving up delicious treats since 1919.

The building is steeped in history and offers stunning views of the Yorkshire Dales.

The menu at Betty’s is full of delightful delights.

From traditional afternoon teas with freshly-baked scones to homemade cakes, there’s something to tantalize your taste buds.

They also offer a variety of savory dishes such as the famed Yorkshire rarebit and pork pies.

No matter what you choose, you can be sure it will be prepared with care and attention to detail.

For those who want more than just food, there’s plenty of entertainment on offer too.

With regular events such as live music evenings, book readings, and art classes, you’ll never be short on things to do here.

So why not come and experience the unique atmosphere of Bettys Café Tea Rooms?

It’s sure to be an unforgettable experience!

6. Valley Gardens Harrogate

Harrogate’s Valley Gardens provide the perfect escape for anyone searching for a tranquil oasis within the hustle and bustle of the city.

This stunning 19th-century parkland is located in Lower Nidderdale, just outside of Harrogate town center.

The gardens have been carefully preserved to create an idyllic retreat, with winding pathways, cascading waterfalls, and vibrant flower beds providing a peaceful atmosphere.

The site offers numerous activities for visitors to enjoy, from nature walks and picnics to boating on its many lakes.

For those looking to explore the area further, there are plenty of guided tours available which will take you on a journey through history as well as the natural beauty of the area.

With something for everyone, Valley Gardens is an ideal destination for those seeking respite from their daily lives.

Whether it’s taking a leisurely stroll or enjoying a picnic lunch by one of its many lakes, this peaceful sanctuary provides an enchanting break from reality.

Harrogate’s Mercer Art Gallery is a must-see attraction for visitors to this historic spa town.

Built-in the 19th century and located in the heart of Harrogate, the gallery houses an impressive collection of artwork that spans centuries.

From oil paintings to sculptures and prints, there’s something here to inspire every art lover.

Visitors can explore the collection on their own or take part in one of the many guided tours available.

There are hands-on activities and workshops too, which are perfect for children looking to learn more about art and culture.

The gallery also hosts regular exhibitions, giving you a chance to discover exciting new artwork from both established and emerging artists.

Whether you’re a local or just visiting, the Mercer Art Gallery is sure to be a rewarding experience that will leave you feeling mesmerized and inspired.

8. Montpellier Quarter

If you’re looking for a unique and exciting part of Harrogate to explore, the Montpellier Quarter is for you.

This historic district of the city is full of great sights, sounds, and flavors.

From upscale galleries and boutiques to charming cafes, there’s something for everyone.

The beautiful architecture in this area will take your breath away.

Stroll through the cobbled streets, lined with Georgian townhouses and chic shops.

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The iconic Royal Pump Room is also here, along with the famous Turkish Baths—a must-see while in Harrogate.

Stop into one of the many eateries and sample some delicious regional cuisine. Be sure to save room for dessert; locals love their traditional Yorkshire puddings!

At night, soak up the vibrant atmosphere as you explore this lively neighborhood.

There are plenty of bars and pubs where you can grab a pint or two with friends or enjoy live music from local musicians at one of the popular venues.

Whether you want a leisurely day trip or an evening out on the town, Montpellier Quarter is an amazing place to experience all that Harrogate has to offer.

9. Royal Pump Room Museum

The Royal Pump Room Museum in Harrogate, England is a must-see for anyone looking to explore the town’s fascinating history.

Located within the original nineteenth-century spa building, the museum showcases Harrogate’s rich heritage and allows visitors to gain an insight into the town’s vibrant past.

The museum boasts a range of interactive displays and activities, providing an opportunity for everyone to get involved and learn about the area’s many stories.

There are several interactive exhibits that highlight Harrogate’s Victorian era, including a range of objects from everyday life during this period as well as a selection of artworks from local artists.

Additionally, there is an extensive library with books on a variety of topics relating to the town’s past – perfect for those seeking further knowledge.

The Royal Pump Room Museum offers visitors a unique glimpse into Harrogate’s history.

Visitors can experience first-hand how life was during this period, while also learning more about its various developments over time.

It is an ideal place to visit if you’re looking for something different and exciting in Harrogate.

10. The Stray

Continuing your journey in Harrogate, the next stop is The Stray.

This vast green open space of 200 hectares is perfect for a leisurely stroll or a fun day out with family and friends.

You can enjoy the beauty of nature as you wander through its landscaped paths, surrounded by trees and flowers.

With its Victorian bandstand, lake, and playgrounds it’s a great place to relax and unwind from the hustle and bustle of city life.

For those looking for something more adventurous, The Stray offers plenty of activities to keep you entertained.

Whether it’s cycling, walking, or exploring the parkland on horseback, you’re sure to find something that will make your time there memorable.

There are also plenty of events held throughout the year such as outdoor theatre performances, music festivals, and art exhibitions – all adding to the vibrant atmosphere in this beautiful part of town.

So don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to experience one of England’s finest gems!

11. Harrogate Golf Courses

Golfers find plenty of exciting courses in the Harrogate area.

The area has a wealth of golfing opportunities, from beginner-friendly courses to challenging links and parkland layouts.

For those looking for an enjoyable round of golf, the town’s two championship courses, Valley Gardens Golf Club and Harrogate Golf Club, offer stunning views and outstanding facilities.

Valley Gardens Golf Club is set in beautiful mature woodland with picturesque views of the Yorkshire Dales.

It’s a par 72 course with some tricky holes and plenty of variation in shots needed.

Meanwhile, Harrogate Golf Club is an 18-hole championship course set on rolling hills amid spectacular scenery.

There are also several other golf clubs within easy reach including Rudding Park, Pannal Ash, and Bishop Monkton.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced golfer, there’s something to suit everyone in Harrogate – from lovely parkland fairways to technical links courses.

With so much on offer, it’s no wonder that golfers flock to this charming part of Yorkshire for their rounds!

12. St Wilfrid’s Church

If you’re looking for a tranquil and serene sightseeing experience in Harrogate, look no further than St Wilfrid’s Church.

This beautiful church is located in the heart of the city, surrounded by lush greenery and stunning architecture.

Its historic walls are filled with stories of religious devotion and spiritual enlightenment, making it a must-see destination for visitors to Harrogate.

St Wilfrid’s Church was founded in 1130 and has since been home to several bishops throughout its long history.

In addition to its beautifully decorated interior, the church also features an impressive collection of stained glass windows that depict important Christian figures such as Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene.

Visitors can take a guided tour of the church or simply explore at their own pace.

The peaceful atmosphere provides a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of modern life, allowing visitors to escape into a world of spiritual reflection.

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From its iconic spire to its awe-inspiring stained glass windows, St Wilfrid’s Church is an inspirational landmark that will leave a lasting impression on all who visit it.

Whether you seek peace and quiet or want to learn more about the history of Christianity in Harrogate, this stunning building should be at the top of your list when visiting England’s most beautiful spa town.

13. Mother Shipton’S Cave

Mother Shipton’s Cave is a must-see attraction in Harrogate, England.

Located at the Knaresborough entrance to the Nidd Gorge, this mystical cave has been known for centuries as the birthplace of the legendary prophetess Ursula Sontheil, more commonly known as Mother Shipton.

The cave itself is filled with natural wonders and oddities, such as petrified wood and a mineral spring which has been said to have magical powers.

Visitors to the site can explore all of these wonders, as well as learn about Mother Shipton’s famous prophecies.

There are also guided tours available which provide insight into her life and work.

This is definitely a great way to learn something new while taking in some of the stunning views offered by the surrounding countryside.

Whether you’re looking for an interesting history lesson or simply want to take in some breathtaking scenery, Mother Shipton’s Cave is sure to provide it all.

14. Stockeld Park

Moving on from Mother Shipton’s Cave, another great attraction in Harrogate is Stockeld Park.

An exciting and magical place, Stockeld Park offers a range of activities for all ages.

During the summer months, visitors can take part in a variety of outdoor activities such as mini-golf, zip-wire challenges, boating lakes, and more.

The park also boasts an ice rink, laser tag zone, and Segway course – all perfect for adventurous days out.

For those seeking a tranquil escape, the Enchanted Forest at Stockeld Park is especially beautiful during the autumn and winter months.

This picturesque woodland walk is illuminated by thousands of twinkling lights which lead visitors along winding pathways to discover hidden surprises around every corner.

It’s the perfect place to soak up some peace and enjoy some time away from it all.

From leisurely strolls to thrilling adventures, there’s something for everyone at Stockeld Park – making it an ideal destination for anyone looking to explore the beauty of Harrogate.

Whether you’re after an adrenaline rush or a peaceful getaway, this popular attraction has plenty to offer!

15. Spirit Of Harrogate

Harrogate, England is a charming small town with plenty of things to do.

One of the best experiences in Harrogate is visiting Spirit of Harrogate, a distillery that produces handcrafted spirits made with local ingredients.

The distillery tour is an absolute must-see for those looking to get an insight into the unique and creative process behind their products.

The tour starts with a look at the stills and fermentation tanks, where you can see how the spirit is created from start to finish.

You’ll also have a chance to sample some of their signature products, including award-winning gins, vodkas, and liqueurs.

The knowledgeable staff will explain each step in the process and answer any questions you may have about their craftsmanship.

After your tour, you can explore the tasting room where you can sample more of Spirit of Harrogate’s creations for yourself.

The tasting room offers taster flights and drinks so you can enjoy your favorite selections before taking home a bottle or two as souvenirs.

It’s a great way to explore the flavors of Harrogate while learning about the artistry behind its production – all while enjoying yourself in one of England’s most beautiful towns.

Best Things to Do in Harrogate – Final Thoughts

I hope this article gave you some ideas on what to do when visiting Harrogate, England.

Whether you’re into outdoor activities or prefer to explore the town’s unique history and culture, there’s something for everyone here.

Rudding Park, Brimham Rocks, RHS Garden Harlow Carr, Turkish Baths Harrogate, Bettys Café Tea Rooms, St Wilfrid’s Church, Mother Shipton’s Cave, and Stockeld Park are all great places to visit.

And don’t forget Spirit of Harrogate to get a taste of the local culture!

Harrogate is a beautiful place that I’m sure you’ll enjoy exploring.

From stunning nature to fascinating historical sites, it has something for everyone.

If you’re looking for an unforgettable holiday destination in England, then look no further than Harrogate!


What are the best things to do in Harrogate with kids?

The best things to do in Harrogate with kids are visiting the Harrogate Holiday Camps, Harrogate Climbing Centre, and Brimham Rocks.

What to do during the day in Harrogate?

The best things to do during the day in Harrogate are visiting the Brimham Rocks, Valley Gardens, and Nidderdale Llamas.

Is Harrogate worth visiting?

Yes, Harrogate is worth visiting because the town still has a lot to offer. It is one of the most popular places to visit in Yorkshire.

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.