Visiting Harrogate?

May 31, 2021

Harrogate is an elegant spa town.  Smart casual works well.  Barber coats and jackets are never out of place.  Monsoon, Joules, Hobbs and LK Bennett - all on James Street

What to bring and what to wear - it all depends on your reason for coming to Harrogate - wedding - obviously hats, glamour - think Snooty Fox on Hookstone Drive - a bit away from the town centre- excellent cafe upstairs - always busy! And Julie Fitzmaurice on Parliament Street - 

Intending to venture no further than the town centre and to enjoy events, theatres, cinemas and not much else. Or, perhaps a stroll around the Valley Gardens - perhaps as far as the RHS - in that case comfortable flat shoes - Harrogate is hilly so heals make walking any distance problematical. The pavements are well made so you will not require walking boots unless you intend to cut across country or venture into the Dales.

If you are heading to the night clubs and better restaurants - check their dress codes - generally smart casual - no jeans or trainers.

The Hydro located on Ripon Road is a car ride from the town centre.  Has a gym and swimming pools, including a diving pool and children's pool.  If you intend to use these facilities you will require swimwear/gym wear.

If you are heading to the Dales and Lakes you will require your waterproofs, hiking boots or very good quality walking shoes.  Even on the most sublime days you can find misty rain or worse on the hill tops or around the Lakes. Make sure you have an OS map - internet is not great in The Dales or in the Lake District so do not depend on your apps. Always be sure to tell someone who is staying behind, your planned route if you are heading into the hills, check the weather before you go - conditions can change surprisingly quickly and you can find yourself in a dense cloud with no visibility in driving rain with no advance warning!  - Make sure you stick to your planned route or turn back along it. Make sure someone knows what time to expect you back.  This helps the rescue organisations to find you should the need arise. Remember they are people who risk their lives to protect others.  Always carry water and some food - Kendle mint cake is great for hikers - sold in Harrogate by Farrah's - near Crown Hotel Roundabout - bottom of Cold Bath Road 

For the coast - buckets and spades and a wind shield might come in handy.  It's rarely warm enough to sun bathe without one!  The sand is fine  and flat - it's a gradual incline to the sea - tides are high and leave you with just a few feet of beach - the tides also go out for miles!  Be aware the water does suddenly surge towards high tide.  The water is always cold.  The beaches are some of the world's best - just can't guarantee the weather.  A wet suit is a good idea. Don't forget a towel. Warm clothes as well as swim wear and shorts if the weather is set fair. I like flip flops for walking on the beach.  In cold weather you will find locals in wellingtons and hiking boots.

If cycling, ensure your brakes are properly maintained - we've seen professionals have nasty spills on the narrow stonewalled lanes and on the steep inclines of the town centre.  Be aware cars and motor cycles use these roads to commute and it's not unknown for them to go wide on the bends! Harrogate and its environs is where you find the British Cycling Team practicing. - Not for the feint hearted - Prologue on Cold Bath Road can furnish all your cycling needs - also has a cafe - where you can catch up on local knowledge.

There are cycle tracks on the Yorkshire Showground and limited mountain bike trails.