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Quintessential English: Be Charmed By Harrogate

Aug 28, 2008
Harrogate is located in North Yorkshire, in England. Largely a spa town, it is one of the most picturesque places in England that still retains its Victorian charm. Pretty is the best word to describe the town and it is home to beautiful floral gardens as well as the famous Betty tea rooms.

It has also become a very popular convention place with its many charming bed and breakfasts and large convention hotels. It also has its share of restaurants and great beautiful parks. Unlike the other English towns, Harrogate remains largely un-commercialized and makes it a pleasant place for vacations.

The great thing about Harrogate is that you can walk around the area or take a bike to sight-see. There is also a bus service that can bring you to neighboring towns but going around on foot is the best way to experience the charm of this English countryside paradise.

* Architecture

The town has several beautiful buildings including the Royal Hall theatre designed by Frank Matcham. It is the last surviving Kursaal in England and is prized as a national heritage site. Being a conference centre in Europe, Harrogate also boasts of hotels and dormitories such as the Harrogate International Centre.

* Spas

Mineral spring waters were discovered in the town by William Slingsby in 1571. The medicinal properties of the waters were highly expounded by books and newspaper articles that gave fame to the place as a spa town. You can take a dip in the original waters found by Slingsby in Tewitt Well as well as in Valley Gardens and the Royal Pump Room.

* Parks

Still on foot, take a stroll along Harrogate's parks and gardens. The most popular one is the Valley Gardens which was originally "Bog's Field" where some hot springs can be found. The park offers various attractions such as an ice cream parlor, children's playground, a paddling pool, a pavilion for events such as weddings, golf course and a tennis court.

The Stray, a park created by an Act of parliament runs through the town with over 200 acres of parkland. A racecourse was created before to link Harrogate's springs during the Victorian times.

Walking along, you will find yourself in the center of the town fronting the Crescent Gardens where Town Hall is located nearby. Various tourist attractions surround the Crescent.

* Cafes

Of course, you cannot leave Harrogate without visiting its famous Betty tea rooms. Betty's first opened its door to the public in 1919 and its customers have since found the delicious confections irresistible. Its elegant tea rooms have also been renowned for serving tea the traditional English way. There are two branches in Harrogate and the Betty Café Tea Room is the Queen's favorite spot when in the area.

* Museums and Art Galleries

Harrogate's history is well preserved in the Royal Pump Room Museum. The museum features the famous sulphur springs of Harrogate, which was believed to have curing powers when first discovered. Visitors also have the chance to taste the sulphur-rich spring. It was said that various royalties and famous people visited the Royal Pump Room in the early days.

The Mercer Art Gallery is home to Harrogate's 19th and 20th century fine art pieces of about 2,000. The Knaresborough Castle cnd Courthouse Museum and St. Robert's Cave is worth the trip back to medieval Harrogate.
About the Author
For accommodation in Harrogate please visit: HarrogateHotels.me.uk | Hotel-Harrogate-Hotel.co.uk | Harrogate Hotels
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