Your introduction to jolly old Harrogate, gets you round the main bits, which is all you need really!
More Pictures of Harrogate. More Info.
Try taking this whistle stop tour of super dooper Harrogate, the details provided here by your expert guide, in this case me! We start our epic journey having arrived at the rail station, that is if you arrive by train and that the buggers aren't on strike! On leaving the station you enter the car park, where if you come by car you could also start here. Turning left your first view is the impressive Victoria Shopping Centre, but we are not going in there! Now, cross the road by the lights, unlike the jay-walking members of Harrogate seen in pic 2. Head towards the Victoria Monument, erected to the memory of Queen and Empire, I'm sure some still think we have an Empire!! You should now be at the top of James Street, named after - well someone called James!
The first pic. here is another view of Victoria Monument with the Shopping Centre in the background, if you find yourself with this vision in front of you, you've gone to far and need to come back a bit.
The second pic. is the view down James Street. Now there are some very expensive shops down here. So, blokes out there make a mental note, keep the ladies moving fast or your wallet will need medical attention!!
It's best to travel down the left side of the street, as there is a big issue seller half way down on the right.
Once at the end of the street you enter a square with the towns war memorial.
You should now be in the Memorial Square, if you wallet took a pounding in James Street, you can fill it up here as most major banks have a branch here.
Directly opposite you should be able to see the famous Betty's Tea Rooms, unless you have terrible eye sight that is. If you've just refilled your wallet going in here will empty it again, not the cheapest place in the world. But a visit to Harrogat without going to Betty's isn't a visit to Harrogate.
Coming out of Betty's, full of Tea and Crumpets but light on cash, turn right and down Montpellier Hill. It's rather nice down here, smashing grass and flower beds, plenty of benches to have a little sit down and take in the beauty of Harrogate.
The first pic. here is a good example of Harrogate in bloom, wish my garden looked as good! There are a few antique shops and stuff like that around here, if you have the money. If you dont it's still worth poking aroung, you dont have to buy anything, and who's to say you are not an odly dressed eccentric millionaire.
Continuing down Montpellier Hill cross the round-about and head down Royal Parade. Not far and you come to the Old Pump Museum, pic.2, Well worth a visit if you're into old pumps! Seriously though it is worth a visit, even if it's just to use the loo.
Just past the museum is the gateway to Valley Gardens. Time for an ice cream unless it's the middle of Winter.
Valley Gardens has a Sun Pavillion, little stream, pond and a place to buy ice cream, tea and snacks.
There are plenty of trees to slob out under if it's a hot sunny day. There is also a play area for small children and if you are a budding golfer, there is a putting green, 18 holes I think. But not being a golfer I prefer the 19th with a bag of nuts!
If you continue to the end of Valley Gardens past the golf bit you come to Harlow Moor, which is actually quite woody. Now for those more mobile if you pass through Harlow Moor cross the road into The Pine Woods and continue for about half a mile you reach Harlow Carr Botanical Gardens. By now you'll need a drink and lucky for you there is a pub, the Harrogate Arms.
Leaving the Gardens from the gate you entered, pass the Pump Museum now on your right and continue up Crescent Road.
You'll pass through a narrow bit with a pub on your left into an open grass area. The Mercer Atr Gallery is across the grass to the left. Half way up on the right is the Toutisf Info. Centre, you may need this by now if you are finding my directions a tad hard to follow!
At the end of the road you come to traffic lights, across which is the Royal Hall and the beginning of the Harrogate International Centre.
There is also a Whetherspoon pub on the right at these lights, time for a bevy?
Before crossing the road take a look back, you should get the view in pic. 1, unless that visit to the pub has kicked in, in which case there will be two of them!
Crossing the road and continuing for about 400 yards gets you to the Harrogate International Centre.
Lots and lots go on here, exhibitions, shows and concerts, and there are usually kids doing skate board tricks on the steps outside. So if you are a bit wobbly on your pins do take care.
Just past and connected to the Centre is the Holiday Inn Hotel.
This is as far as we go up here, pic.1, you can just see the Hotel in the right of the pic.
Now back track down the road, to the traffic lights and turn left into Cheltenham Crescent leading to Cheltenham Parade.
You travel up hill past quite a few restuarants, time for some nose bag? You can sometimes get in without booking.
Near the top you'll come to a set of Pelican Crossing lights, the view back pic. 2. We turn right here back into the shopping area. Time for us blokes to start sweating.
Talking of which, just past the lights is Spearmint Rhino Gentlemens Club. Worth a visit if you can loose the misses for an hour or two!!
Turning right gets you bang in the middle of the shops, M&S is the first big one you'll see. Followed by Argos then Macdonnalds at the end on the left.
Just round this corner on the right before M&S is Harrogate Theatre. Usually has some good plays and stuff on here, so if you are a lovey, it's the place for you.
At the end of the street you come to Macdonnalds on the left, if you didn't get into one of the restuarants earlier you could grab a bite here! No?
Turn left into Cambridge Road, if you didn't pick up your pension this morning, don't worry there is a Post Office a little way down on the right.
At the end of Cambridge Road you are back in the War Memorial Square, take a left into Cambridge Street.
Basicall walk straight down the street, most major retailers down here, plus coffee shops, sandwhich shops and the obligatory pie shop.
You'll pass the back side of M&S, or is it the front? Also the Victoria Shopping Centre, remember we saw it first thing out of the Railway Station?
Once at the end of the street you'll come to Station Parade, to the left across the road is the Bus Station, only just been renovated.