Tour the Dales, go sightseeing in York, which is only 12 miles away, or the famous spa town of Harrogate, which is only 4 miles away. A short car ride away are several stately homes: Ripley Castle, Newby Hall, and Harewood House.
For the sport-minded, there are a number of excellent golf courses, fishing venues for fly- and course-fishing, horse riding and walks in the wooded countryside, as well as horse racing at York, Ripon, Wetherby and Thirsk.
For more general sporting activities, Harrogate has a large multi-purpose sports centre, including swimming pool.
On the adjoining Touring Park, there is a bar and fully-licensed restaurant.
Other areas of Interest
The exact origins of this market town of ancient walkways, cobbled alleys and secret passageways are shrouded in mystery. But one thing’s for sure, Knaresborough has carved out a real character for itself with a Tudor prophetess, once royal castle, magnificent viaduct and breathtaking countryside views.
History at every turn
An impressive sense of history is woven into the very fabric of Knaresborough, and it’s everywhere to see. A wonderful place to start is Knaresborough Castle which towers over the River Nidd. Once a royal residence, it’s said that Richard II was once imprisoned in the keep – and who knows what secrets the underground dungeon hides! At least you’re free to escape down the hill to the natural haven that is Bebra Gardens, nestling at the foot of the castle.
Agatha Christie’s stone handbag
Take a relaxing woodland walk and you’ll discover one of Knaresborough’s enduring curiosities; Mother Shipton’s Cave. Believed to be England’s oldest tourist attraction, it’s the birthplace of the renowned 15th century prophetress who predicted the death of Mary Queen of Scots. See a whole host of everyday objects slowly being turned to stone in the cascading waters of the Petrifying Well and don’t forget to make a wish in the wishing well before you go.
Ye olde traditions
There’s always plenty going on in the bustling town itself. You’ll find the oldest chemist shop in England in the picturesque market square, and stop for a pick-me-up in one of the charming olde worlde tea rooms. And then there’s the lively Knaresborough Festival that celebrates everything musical and artistic. But the real spectacle is the annual Great Knaresborough Bed Race – a riotous jumble of specially constructed ‘beds’ zipping through the cobbled lanes, with thousands of spectators turning out to support the teams and raise money for charity and community causes.
Valley Gardens Harrogate
The Valley Gardens Harrogate were opened in 1887 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. Now the gardens are an English Heritage Grade II listed garden.
The Valley Garden’s are in ‘Low Harrogate just five minutes walk from the town centre with it’s main entrance situated opposite the pump rooms museum. The gardens are beautifully kept and it open all year round 24 hours a day. Many activities take place during the summer from band concerts to fairs and fetes, along with the historical buildings such as the Sun Pavilion and Colonnades, childrens play park, tennis courts, crazy golf, pitch and putt, outdoor bowls as well as the Magnesia Well Cafe the valley gardens is a fabulous place to spend some time.
The Pump Rooms Museum
The Pump Rooms Museum Harrogate is the site of Europes strongest sulphur well where over 15,000 people used to visit every summer for spa treatments. Two of th eoriginal wells can be seen and the water can be tasted as well.
The museum also has a program of temporary exhibitions.
Opposite the main entrance to the Valley Gardens the Pump Rooms is only 5 minutes walk from the centre of Harrogate.
Harrogate’s Cenotaph or War Memorial was unveiled by the 6th earl of Harewood in 1923 as a memorial to the dead in World War I and then re-dedicated after World War II.
The centotaph is opposite the famous Betty’s tea Rooms and close to St Peter’s Church in Harrogate Town Centre.
Betty’s Cafe Tea Rooms Harrogate
The story of Bettys began in Harrogate in 1919, and we’ve been welcoming locals and visitors to our tea rooms ever since.
Before you enter it’s worth pausing under the wrought iron canopy to feast your eyes on the mouth-watering window displays that vary with the season. Once inside the shop you’ll be spoilt for choice with over 300 breads, cakes and chocolates, as well as 50 different teas and coffees.
In the Café the tables by the windows overlooking the Stray and colourful Montpellier gardens are always the most popular, however, in our downstairs Spindler Gallery you can enjoy views of Yorkshire of a more unusual kind. Here you’ll find a collection of exquisite Marquetry scenes of Yorkshire from the studio of Charles Spindler in Alsace, which was established in the late 1890s at the height of the Art Nouveau period. Bettys founder, Frederick Belmont, discovered Spindler’s work in the early 1930s and commissioned the studio to make Yorkshire scenes to hang in his tea rooms.
RHS Harlow Carr Gardens
Harlow Carr is a garden dominated by water, stone and woodland and is very much part of the surrounding Yorkshire landscape.
Harlow Carr seeks to push the boundaries of design and planting styles, creating displays that are beautiful but on occasion, also provocative. Careful gardening techniques, reflecting our respect for the environment, ensure that flourishing wildlife can also be enjoyed on a visit to the garden.
Pick up the latest gardening tips and ideas throughout the seasons, and our friendly team of expert gardeners are happy to share their knowledge with you. In short, Harlow Carr is a stunning place to meet friends, bring the family and enjoy a leisurely stroll but also to expect the unexpected even if you have visited us before! We aim for visitors to leave us feeling relaxed yet inspired, de-stressed but invigorated and if you want to, ready to help improve the planet by gardening at home.
The Mercer Gallery
The Mercer Gallery was originally built as the first spa building in 1806 ‘The promenade Room’ which has been restored to it’s former glory.
Now housing the districts excellent collection of fine art.
The fine art collection which consists of some 2000 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 collection is not on permanent display. Paintings, prints and drawings from it are featured in our lively and diverse exhibition programme throughout the year.
The gallery has two spaces, the Main Gallery and the smaller North Gallery. The changing exhibition programme for both galleries ranges from national touring exhibitions of painting, photography, sculpture and crafts to exhibitions from the permanent collections to displays by local artists.
Contact the gallery direct to enquire about current exhibitions on 01423 556188.