Harrogate is an elegant spa town that grew up mineral spring that was first discovered in 1571 by William Slingsby. More recently it has established itself as an international exhibition and conference centre, and has many hotels, guest houses and restaurants to cater for the regular influx of visitors.
An outstanding feature of the town is The Stray, 200 acres of greensward protected by ancient law and conserved for walking and recreation. The Stray is at its best in Spring, when it is enhanced by masses of flowering daffodils and crocuses.
Harrogate was the winner of the 2003 Britain in Bloom in the category of Large Town. It went on to win the European Entente Florale competition in 2004.
Harrogate is a shopper's delight, an antique collector's heaven and a gournmet's paradise.
You can discover the history of Harrogate as a spa town, and taste the waters for yourself, at The Royal Pump Room Museum.
The Mercer Art Gallery is home to Harrogate district's 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 but items from it are featured in the changing exhibition programme throughout the year.
Harrogate is also the home of the three-day Great Yorkshire Show which is held every year in July - an event that combines entertainment and fun with the opportunity to see at first hand the many aspects of country life and farming in Yorkshire.OS grid reference SE 305 555
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On the edge of the town is the delightful RHS garden of Harlow Carr. Highlights include the spectacular Gardens Through Time; streamside garden; contemporary herbaceous borders; scented and kitchen gardens; woodland & wildflower meadow; extensive Plant Centre; and the new Betty's Cafe Tea Rooms.
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