Harrogate Spa) is a spa
town in North Yorkshire,
England. The town is a popular tourist destination;
its spa waters, RHS Harlow Carr
gardens and Betty's tearooms are world famous visitor
attractions, and the town serves as an ideal location from which to
explore the nearby Yorkshire Dales national park.
The town originated in the 17th century, with High Harrogate and
Low Harrogate as two separate settlements. It lies close to
Knaresborough and is in the Nidd valley.
Harrogate spa water contains iron
and common salt
. In the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries especially, these 'chalybeate
' waters (i.e. containing iron) were a
popular health treatment, and the influx of wealthy but sickly
visitors contributed significantly to the wealth of the town.
railway station and Harrogate bus station in the town centre provide transport
connections. Leeds Bradford
International Airport is south west of Harrogate. The main road through
the town is the A61, connecting Harrogate
to Leeds and Ripon.
is also connected to Wetherby and the A1, by the A661.
of Harrogate on its own had a population of 71,594 at the 2001 UK census; the urban area comprising
Harrogate and nearby Knaresborough had a population of 85,128, while the figure for
the much wider Borough of Harrogate, comprising Harrogate, Knaresborough, Ripon and a large
rural area, was 151,339.
The town motto is Arx celebris fontibus
, which means "a
citadel famous for its springs."
the discovery of its naturally iron and
sulphur rich water, Harrogate was two minor
villages (High Harrogate and Low Harrogate) close to the historic
town of Knaresborough. The first mineral spring in Harrogate was
discovered in 1571 by William
Slingsby, who found that water from the Tewitt Well possessed
similar properties to that from the springs of the Belgian town of
Spa, which gave
its name to spa towns.
Station Parade, Harrogate
properties of the waters were more widely publicised by one Edmund
Deane, whose book, Spadacrene Anglica, or the English Spa
was published in 1626. Following this Harrogate
developed considerable fame as a spa town.
Today the site of the Tewitt Well is marked by a dome within the
Stray. Other wells can be found in Harrogate's Valley Gardens and
the Royal Pump Room museum.
During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Harrogate was
extremely popular among the English élite and was frequented by
nobility from around Europe . Its popularity declined after
World War I
. During World War II
, however, Harrogate's large hotels
accommodated government offices that had been evacuated from
London. This paved the way for the town's current function as a
commercial, conference, and exhibition centre.
Notable former employers in Harrogate were ICI
who occupied offices and laboratories at Hornbeam Park, the
), and the Milk Marketing Board
. ICI's Hornbeam
Park laboratories at Hornbeam Park were the location of the
invention of Crimplene
in the 1950s, named
after the nearby Crimple Valley and Beck.
The town hosted the 1982
Eurovision Song Contest
in the conference centre.
In 2007, two metal detectorists
the Harrogate hoard
, a 10th century
near Harrogate. The hoard contains almost 700 coins and
other items from as far away as Afghanistan. The hoard was described by the British
Museum as the most important find of its type in Britain
for 150 years.
acts, to some extent, as a dormitory
town for commuters working in the
cities of Leeds and Bradford.
Harrogate is very prosperous and as such
has some of the highest property prices in England with many
properties in the town and surrounding villages valued at £1
million or more.
Harrogate is situated on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, with the
Vale of York to the East and the upland Yorkshire Dales to the West
and Northwest. It has a dry and mild climate, typical of places in
the rain shadow
of the Pennines
. Covering an altitude of between 100 and
200 metres, Harrogate is considerably higher than many English
settlements. Harrogate has an average minimum temperature in
January of slightly below 0°C and an average maximum in July and
August of 20°C.
Places of interest
There are many fine examples of building and architecture about the
town, including the Royal Hall theatre, a Grade II listed building
designed by Frank Matcham
. As the only surviving Kursaal
in Britain, the Royal Hall is an important
national heritage building. Restoration work was completed in 2007,
and the Hall was formally opened on 22 January 2008, by The Prince of Wales
is now one of Europe's largest exhibition and conference centres
including the Harrogate International
Centre and has many guest houses, hotels and restaurants
catering for the regular influx of visitors. Harrogate also hosts
Yorkshire Show annually.
military installations are both located to the immediate west of
Harrogate, the Army Foundation College and RAF Menwith Hill, an electronic monitoring station.
Shopping and leisure
Cambridge Street, Harrogate
Harrogate's main shopping district is focussed on Cambridge Street,
Oxford Street, Beulah Street and James Street where most of the
high street shops can be found. There is however a wide range of
boutique and designer shopping on Parliament Street and in the
Montpellier Quarter, as well as independent shopping around
Eating out is popular in Harrogate, with the town well served for
restaurants. Parliament Street and Cheltenham Parade are lined with
many independent and chain restaurants, while there is also a
concentration of chain restaurants on John Street and Albert
Bettys Tea Rooms
Bettys is one of Harrogate's best known landmarks
regionally renowned. They are owned by Bettys and Taylors of
Harrogate - the same company that makes the nationally well-known
. Bettys has a second tea
room at the Harlow Carr Gardens.
The Mercer Art Gallery is home to Harrogate district's fine art
collection which consists of some 2,000 works of art, mainly from
the 19th and 20th centuries. The collection includes works by
William Powell Frith
, Atkinson Grimshaw
, Sir Edward Burne-Jones
, Dame Laura Knight
, Alan Davie
and many more.
The Montpellier Quarter is also the centre of the town's nightlife,
which is mainly centred on the renovated Royal Baths
Places of Worship
Church of England
Trinity Methodist Church,
- Bar and Grove Road
- Killinghall Methodist
- Pannal Methodist
- Starbeck Methodist
- Trinity Methodist
- Wesley Methodist
- Woodlands Methodist
St. Robert's Church, Harrogate
- St. Aelred's Church, 71 Woodlands Drive
- St. Joseph's Church
- St. Robert's Church
- Bilton Grange URC
- St. Paul's Church, Victoria Avenue
- West Park
- Harrogate Hebrew Congregation, St Mary's Walk
- Mayfield Community Church
- Elim Pentecostal Church
- Harrogate New Life Church
- Life Destiny Church
- Society of Friends Meeting House, Queen Parade
- Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall, Skipton Road
Harrogate was the winner of the 2003 Britain in Bloom
in the category of 'Large
Town'. From there it went on to win the European Entente Florale
competition in 2004. This
reprises its win in the first ever Entente Florale competition in
In 2005, a Channel 4
TV show listed
Harrogate as the UK's 3rd best place to live. In 2006 it came 4th
in the same league; the programme claimed that it placed lower due
to "a slight dip in exam results", though presenter Phil Spencer
noted that it was his personal
- Rugby union, football, cricket,
ultimate frisbee, water polo and hockey
are popular sports in Harrogate played at plenty of schools and
- Harrogate Town FC situated
on Wetherby Road play in the Conference
North division and finished 6th in the season. They have a
natural, good-natured rivalry with newly promoted Harrogate Railway Athletic
F.C., of the Northern Premier League
First Division, located at Station View.
- Harrogate RUFC is a National 2 division team and based
at The County Ground, Claro Road.
- Harrogate District Swimming Club Is a very successful
amateur level swimming club that has had teams compete at National
level and come home with medals. There are many different squads
within the club with over 150 total members.
Cricket Club, situated off Bilton Lane provides opportunities
for players of all ages to play in Local League Cricket, Bilton
Cricket Club have a good natured rivalry with Harrogate
Cricket Club with Bilton defeating Harrogate in their last
clash at St Georges Road in the Black Sheep Trophy in 2006.
Harrogate cricket club is one of the strongest clubs in the
Yorkshire league. Until 1995 the town hosted one Yorkshire county
game per year at the St George's cricket ground.
- Running is also a popular sport at Harrogate
Harriers, who run from Harrogate Squash Club on Harlow Hill and
at Nidd Valley Road Runners, who share the premises of
Harrogate Railway Athletic FC. Members compete in road races,
cross-country and fell races or simply run for fun and to keep
Parks and gardens
Harrogate is a well known inland resort for its parks and gardens.
The main park in the town is Valley Gardens
Low Harrogate. The park covers much of the area originally known as
'Bogs Field', an area where a number of springs were discovered.
Valley Gardens has a number of attractions including the Ice Cream
Parlour and Children's Play Area with Outdoor Paddling Pool. The
Sun Pavilion skirting the northern edge of the park can be
privately hired for events such as wedding receptions. A golf
course, crazy golf, tennis courts and bowling green can be found
towards the western end of the park.
is an area of open parkland some 200
acres (800,000 m²) in size that runs through the centre of the
town. The Harrogate Stray
created in 1778 by an act of
. The act fixed the size of the Stray at , and even
now when part of it is removed, due to road expansion etc, it must
be replaced elsewhere. During the Victorian period, part of the
Stray hosted a racecourse (horses). It was created to link together
most of Harrogate's springs in one protected area. There is an
annual funfair that comes twice a year in the summer and more
milder part of the year which attracts a variety of tourists.
RHS Harlow Carr gardens are a privately owned collection of award
winning themed gardens on the outskirts of Harrogate.
is a small open area in central
Harrogate. It is surrounded by some of the towns main tourist
attractions including the Royal Pump Room, Royal Baths and Royal
Hall, as well as the Town Hall. Hall M of the Harrogate
International Centre also fronts onto Crescent Gardens.
A number of smaller parks and gardens can be found throughout the
town, including Jubilee Gardens and Victoria Gardens on the eastern
side of central Harrogate.
is served by four railway stations: Harrogate (for town centre), Hornbeam
Park, Pannal (towards Leeds) and Starbeck on the Harrogate Line
to Knaresborough and York.
Harrogate station's platforms and
tracks, seen from the pedestrian bridge
Trains are operated by Northern Rail
, with one daily service to
London Kings Cross operated by National Express East Coast
Trains run every half hour to Leeds and Knaresborough, and every
hour onto York. There are extra non-stop commuter services at peak
times between Harrogate and Leeds. The former railway lines to Ripon and Wetherby (see Wetherby
railway station) were dismantled in the 1960s.
prospective railway company, First Harrogate Trains plans to run
trains from London King's Cross to Harrogate.
If their plans are realised,
the first direct trains will begin running in summer 2009.
every 20 minutes between Harrogate and Ripon, and
Harrogate and Leeds (via
Harewood, Moortown and Chapel Allerton) on Harrogate and District route
36. The 770 route also runs to Leeds via
Spa and Seacroft as well as other parts of semi-rural Leeds.
further services to Leeds Bradford International
Airport, Otley, Bradford, Knaresborough and Pateley Bridge, and in April 2008 a new service to York was
commenced under the branding Yorkshire Connect
is strongly connected to Leeds, in both
rail and road transport.
This is also evident in the volume
of high school students coming from Leeds to Harrogate everyday.
strong transport connection is very important for some of the
Harrogate schools, especially Rossett School. Road transport to Leeds is via the A61 (north and central Leeds), A658 (north west Leeds/Leeds Bradford
International Airport) and A661 (for north east
The A61 also continues northwards to Ripon, while
the A658 connects to Bradford after passing through north west
Leeds. The A658 also forms the Harrogate Bypass
that skirts the South and East of the town, joining the A59 linking
York and the A1 to the east
and Skipton to the west with Harrogate.
for the Harrogate and Knaresborough
constituency is Phil Willis, a
elected in 1997, ousting the Conservatives
who had won the seat
at the previous three general elections.
Areas of Harrogate
Like all large towns, Harrogate has many suburbs. These
- Central Harrogate is bounded by 'The Stray' to the
south and west, and borders High Harrogate and Duchy to the east
and north respectively. It is a district centre for retail with the
Victoria Shopping Centre housing a number of major chains.
Pedestrianised Cambridge Street and Oxford Street are the main high
streets in the town, with Harrogate Theatre on Oxford Street.
Parliament Street, Montpellier and James Street offer designer
shopping and some of the upmarket department stores. An ODEON
cinema can be found on the edge of central Harrogate, as can an
Asda and Waitrose Supermarket. Marks and Spencer have a large food
hall in their department store on Oxford Street. A number of bars
and restaurants can be found on Cheltenham Mount and John Street,
while the Royal Baths and Parliament Street are the centre of the
town's nightlife. The southern end of central Harrogate consists
largely of detached houses that have been converted to offices
although Harrogate Magistrates Court and Harrogate Central Library
can be found on Victoria Avenue. A bowling alley and some upmarket
boutiques can be found along the Stray in central southern
Harrogate, including the highly praised food emporium
- Oatlands, is a wealthy suburb in the south of
Harrogate. The suburb includes 2 schools, Oatlands Primary School
and Oatlands Infant School, and a set of allotments.
- Woodlands, is a large area of the town covering a part
of the south east of Harrogate. Neighbouring the districts of
Starbeck/Knareborough Road. It is home to Harrogate town football
club, Woodlands primary school, Morrisons and Sainsburys
supermarkets as well as the Woodlands pub.
- Bilton, is a very large area of Harrogate with many
churches, stores and schools situated in Bilton. One of the
best areas for schooling, Richard Taylor School, Woodfield and
Bilton Grange. The Poet's Corner is known for its 'poetic' names
and expensive housing. On the first May Bank Holiday each year the
Bilton Gala takes place. The first Gala
was held in 1977 and the event raises money for local groups and
organisations within the local community.
- Jennyfields, is a large, modern area of Harrogate, it
has one school, a primary school called Saltergate. The town's main
public swimming pool is located on the edge of Jennyfield, as is
'The Academy' Health Club and Gym.
- Duchy, is an affluent area close to central Harrogate
where most of the houses are large detached homes or large detached
homes converted into apartments. There are several private schools
in this area, most notably Harrogate Ladies College. There is also
a golf club and open countryside for walks etc.
- Starbeck, is a large suburb to the east of
Harrogate. There are several shops along the local High
Street, as well as a station with trains to Harrogate onto Leeds, Knaresborough and York.
frequency bus service links Starbeck to Harrogate and Knaresborough. A number of schools, churches, and
convenience stores are situated in Starbeck
- Pannal, is to the south of Harrogate, off the A61
road. It retains much of its village character, although is
considered a suburb of Harrogate by the majority. A commuter station
links it to Harrogate onto York and
Knaresborough, and Leeds.
- High Harrogate, is an inner suburb to the east of the
town centre. It is focussed on Westmoreland Street and the A59
road, where a number of shops and cafes are located. Expensive
terraced houses line The Stray, which stops in High Harrogate. The
4* Victorian Shannon Court Guest House is the only hotel in High
- Low Harrogate, is an inner suburb to the west of the
town centre. It is traditionally the focus of most the tourist
activity in the town, with the Royal Pump Room, Mercer Art Gallery
and Valley Gardens.
- Harlow Hill, is a suburb to the west of the town,
accessed by Otley Road. It has a number of new developments, and an
office park. It is most well known for Harlow Carr Gardens.
Harrogate Spa bottling plant is also on Harlow Hill, as is a water
- New Park, is a small area to the north of Harrogate,
known for its primary school. There are a number of terraced houses
in this area, as well as some light industrial and commercial
- Wheatlands, is a wealthy suburb to the south of The
Stray. It is exclusively residential, with the exception of 2
high-performing schools, St. Aidan's and St. John Fisher.
- Knox joined to Bilton by a pedestrian bridge over Oak
Beck. Originally, a ford allowed road access via Bilton, however
now, road access is via the A61 road.
- Hornbeam Park is a small, recently
developed area of Harrogate accessed only by Hookstone Chase.It was
originally developed as an office park and retains many offices,
but it is now also the focus of Harrogate College (a campus of
Metropolitan University), a Canons health club, Travel Inn and restaurant,
hospice and some small warehouses. It is served by Hornbeam
Park railway station to Harrogate and Leeds.
Harrogate is twinned
- The town's newspaper is the Harrogate Advertiser, part of
Ackrill Media Group.
- The local radio stations are BBC
Radio York on 104.3 & 103.7 FM and Stray FM on 97.2 FM.
- Harrogate is a flavour of Mackintosh's Toffee.
- Harrogate Nights, is
a popular alcoholic beverage, which was created in Harrogate.
- Alongside Runnymede, Surrey, people in
Harrogate drink alcohol to more hazardous levels than anywhere else
in the UK.
- Harrogate is home to the headquarters of Rural Insurance Group
Ltd, an agricultural insurance specialist, located at Hornbeam
- Harrogate was the 'birthplace' of Crimplene, named after
Crimple valley, which is a piece of land between Hornbeam Park and
the Woodlands area.
- Office for National Statistics : Neighbourhood
Statistics Retrieved 2009-09-18
- The population of Harrogate Unparished Area is derived from the
totals for Bilton; Granby; Harlow Moor; High Harrogate; Hookstone;
Low Harrogate; New Park; Pannal; Rossett; Saltergate; Starbeck;
Stray; and Woodfield wards then subtracting that part of
Killinghall Civil Parish within Saltergate Ward. The population for
the portion of Killinghall Civil Parish is derived from subtracting
the populations of Nidd and Ripley Civil Parishes from the total
for Killinghall ward. This gives the portion of Killinghall Civil
Parish in Killinghall Ward; this is then subtracted from the total
for Killinghall Civil Parish to give the total for the portion of
Killinghall Civil Parish in Saltergate Ward.
- Rail misery for commuters - Harrogate
- The most expensive streets in Yorkshire and the
Humber, 2008 - Times Online
- Royal Hall history
- BBC News | England | North Yorkshire | Prince
reopens saved Royal Hall
- Betty's opening news
- Mercer Art Gallery
- Channel 4 Best & Worst
- First Group -Harrogate Trains
- UK Polling Report: Harrogate and
- "Transfer of activities at Harrogate College from
Leeds Metropolitan University to Hull College", Hull College
website, accessed 28 August 2008
- UK Excess Drinking