Location, location, location
Lying less than 20 miles north of Leeds and slightly further west of York, the North Yorkshire spa town of Harrogate is within easy driving distance of the two cities, while direct trains to either take less than 40 minutes. The Yorkshire Dales National Park is also close at hand.
There’s something in the water
Well-to-do Victorians flocked to take the waters in Harrogate and this legacy lives on in the restored Turkish Baths, first opened in 1897, which has wonderful Moorish-style interiors. Recently opened upmarket hotel Rudding Park, outside the town centre, was named best newcomer at the Good Spa Guide 2017 awards.
In The Stray, Harrogate boasts 200 acres of picnic-perfect public grass parkland protected by act of parliament, while the 17-acre Valley Gardens, also protected, is home to 36 mineral wells and offers varied garden styles to explore. Attractions at the 68-acre Royal Horticultural Society Garden Harlow Carr include a “hedgehog highway” and glass Alpine House.
You’ll be happy
Harrogate is consistently named as one of the happiest places in Britain to live, based on factors such as community spirit and friendly neighbours. It topped the Happy at Home Index, compiled by property website Rightmove, three years in a row between 2013 and 2015. It ranked fourth in 2017.
The home of Yorkshire Tea, the town has a thriving café culture, offering plenty of choices to stop for a cuppa after a browse in its plentiful shops. Its most famous haunt is Bettys, which opened in 1919 and has been serving its popular afternoon tea since 1927.
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