6 things you should know about Harrogate
PUBLISHED: 13:30 21 July 2015 | UPDATED: 21:45 09 January 2016
A spa town famous for its style and warm welcome
Centre for the Arts
Harrogate is the home of one of Europe’s biggest arts festivals, the Harrogate International Festival which includes Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival. The summer of events has attracted performers from all over the world including the likes of JK Rowling, Van Morrison and the late B.B King.
The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, where Agatha Christie sought peaceful refuge way back in 1926, was the first building in the town to have electric light. The building, Grade II listed in 1972, was requisitioned by the Ministry of Aircraft Production at the start of the Second World War when a telephone exchange was installed in the Library Restaurant.
Harrogate was voted the happiest place to live in a survey by property website Rightmove. Harrogate came top for safety, neighbourliness and how much residents enjoyed spending their spare time in the area.
Harrogate Rugby Union Club, one of the oldest in Yorkshire, is moving to its plush new headquarters and ground off Rudding Lane, on the town’s outskirts after more than a century at Claro Road, Harrogate. It’s hoped the move will give the club a much needed boost. Go to www.harrogaterugby.com for latest fixtures, results and club news.
Norse, one of a very few Scandinavian-style restaurants in the region, is based in Harrogate as part of Baltzersen’s Café. There are no starters, main courses or side orders. Instead try a selection of eight savoury dishes and two desserts. Each dish is complete and you can try as many as you like. Norse is already much talked about. Find out more at www.norserestauant.co.uk
More than three million visits have been made over the last 12 months to Harrogate’s Valley Gardens which covers 17 acres of park, woodlands, and floral displays. The park is also thought to have more mineral springs than any other known place on earth - with 36 of Harrogate’s 88 mineral wells found within the gardens.
The park also features historic buildings, such as the Sun Pavilion and Colonnades; a children’s play area; outdoor games facilities including tennis courts, pitch and putt, and crazy golf; a skate park; boating pool and the Magnesia Well Café. For music lovers, band concerts take place on Sunday afternoons throughout the summer. Visitors in 2014 were also able to enjoy the newly created rock and sensory garden, and see the restored Magnesia Well Pump Room.