Harrogate, Ripon & The Dales
Harrogate is an affluent North Yorkshire spa town, which is a popular tourist and shopping destination; and its attractions include its spa waters, the gardens RHS Harlow Carr and in July ‘The Great Yorkshire Show’. Harrogate has consistently been voted the town as “the happiest place to live” in Britain, however having lived in both we would undoubtedly say Thimbleby is happier!
Harrogate’s spa water containing iron, sulphur and common salt was discovered in the 16th century and the town became famous as ‘The English Spa’ in the Georgian period. Over the years wealthy, but usually sickly, visitors significantly contributed towards the wealth of the town.
In addition to some great shopping, Harrogate has an interesting restaurant scene and the famous Bettys Cafe Tearooms (although tables in Northallerton are usually available without the customary waiting times of Harrogate and York).
Nearby Ripon, is a small Cathedral City dating back over 1300 years and its Cathedral is architecturally significant and worth seeing. Ripon also has a Racecourse and nearby, Newby Hall and Gardens, which was remodelled by Robert Adam and Thomas Chippendale in the mid 18th century is also well worth a visit; as is Fountains Abbey which along with the adjacent Study Royal is Yorkshire’s only UNESCO World Heritage site.
The Dales and the Nidderdale ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ is only a short drive from Harrogate and charming villages such as Appletreewick along with some good pubs are there for you to discover.
Footpath around Cod Beck Reservoir
North End, Osmotherley