So, earlier in the month we discovered that the lovely people of Harrogate were voted the happiest bunch in the country. But what makes this Yorkshire spa town such a nice place to visit? I hopped on a train to find out for myself…
1. The Shops
While not as large as nearby cities such as York and Leeds, Harrogate is home to a great range of independent stores and high street favourites. And with the town being fairly compact, it’s extremely easy to find what you are looking for. As well as fashion and homeware stores, the town is perfect for picking up unusual treats and bespoke gifts that will really make your friends smile.
2. The Hotels
From cosy abodes to luxurious suites, Harrogate has accommodation to suit every budget and need. With so much to see and do in the area, you may as well enjoy your time and make a weekend of it! Highlights include the centrally located Yorkshire Hotel and the 4* Cedar Court Hotel Harrogate. Many of our hotel breaks to Harrogate also include dinner on the first evening too, so you can enjoy a tasty meal in elegant surroundings.
3. The Food
Harrogate is home to some of the finest Yorkshire produce and eateries in the area, including the very first Bettys Tea Room and the trendy food hall/restaurant Weetons. I was lucky enough to pop in to Weetons during their 10th anniversary celebrations, and sample one of their sumptuous and alternative afternoon teas. From the miniature Caesar salad to the buttery scones to the indulgent chocolate truffles, it was a pure delight to taste.
4. The Baths
Given the fact that Harrogate is classed as a spa town, The Turkish Baths & Spa are among some of the best in the country. Relax and rejuvenate in a variety of rooms that are designed to help visitors invigorate their body and free their mind. Alternatively, treat yourself to hot stone therapy or an indulgent massage as you feel your stresses simply melt away.
5. Nearby Attractions
If a trip to Harrogate has inspired you to explore the nearby attractions, there is plenty to do and see in the local area. Admire the rolling views of the countryside by foot or bike, pop to Knaresborough for an idyllic boat ride or brave the heights of Brimham Rocks. Harrogate is also close to the stately Ripley Castle; a perfect destination for a day out with the family.
Now I see why Harrogate was voted the happiest place in the UK! From its friendly townsfolk to its premium leisure facilities, Harrogate really does have it all. Have you been to Harrogate? What did you think? Let us know in the comments section below!
For a super Harrogate break with a difference, take a look at our exclusive event: An Evening with Antiques Road Trip’s Philip Serrell.