Posted on Monday, April 17, 2017
If you’re considering living in Harrogate you probably already know that the town has frequently been rated the happiest place to live in surveys run by property website Rightmove and voted best place to live in the North or North East of England by The Sunday Times (2016).
Known as the ‘English Spa’, in the 18th century the rich and famous of Georgian society came here to ‘take the waters.’ But what makes Harrogate still so special today not to mention a modern and vibrant place to call home?
One of Harrogate’s best known landmarks is the 200 acres of grassland surrounding the urban ‘old town.’ The Stray is a fantastic open green space for everyone that’s popular for walks and relaxation, picnics and games. Harrogate wouldn’t be Harrogate without The Stray! That’s why it’s protected by an Act of Parliament to ensure this beautiful area is preserved.
From independent restaurants to familiar high-street names, there’s no shortage of traditional and modern places to eat. Harrogate’s most famous café is of course the famous Bettys which first opened its doors in 1919 - afternoon tea is still a treat not to be missed! Around the new boutique cinema, Everyman Harrogate, and across town there’s lots of choice to cater for all tastes. The Cold Bath Road area is home to many unique cafes, bakeries and restaurants that are sure to appeal. Designer shops along with familiar high street brands make for a fabulous shopping experience but don’t forget to stop for lunch!
This thriving area steeped in history with lots of boutique shops has something for everyone. Here you can discover the story of Harrogate’s spa waters at the Royal Pump Room Museum. Home to the strongest sulphur well(s) in Europe, it attracted thousands of visitors every summer at its peak. Nearby, the Moorish-style Turkish Baths restored to their former glory in 2004 offer a modern spa experience in wonderful surroundings.
With 17 acres of park, woodland and flowers, the Valley Gardens and adjacent Pinewoods are a gem in the heart of Harrogate. A popular destination for all ages, the fantastic children’s play area and paddling pool are a real draw particularly on sunny days. Beautiful floral-lined walks not to mention great festivals such as 1940s Day and the StrEAT Food Festival all come together to make Valley Gardens one of Harrogate’s best-loved spots.
In 1926 Agatha Christie famously disappeared only to be discovered at The Swan Hotel in Harrogate following a nationwide search. Harrogate’s renowned crime writing festival now in its 15th Year is held at the very same hotel every July to critical acclaim. And there’s certainly no shortage of other events in the town: Harrogate Convention Centre, the stunning Royal Hall and Harrogate Theatre host concerts, performances and exhibitions throughout the year including the BBC Good Food Festival.
Top-performing state and independent schools make Harrogate a popular place to live with families. Nearly nine out of ten parents in North Yorkshire got their first choice of secondary school for their child in 2017. And with the Yorkshire Dales on Harrogate’s doorstep, there are plenty of outdoor activities for families to enjoy whether it’s a walk at Fountain’s Abbey, exploring Brimham Rocks or a trip out to one of the many fantastic local farms. Rural Yorkshire is just a step away.
The town we know today was created from two Hamlets, High Harrogate and Low Harrogate.
In Central Harrogate, West Park is a prestigious location to live with upmarket apartments lining The Stray. Within easy walking distance of the Royal Baths and Valley Gardens, the elegant Cold Bath Road has much to offer, particularly in the way of independent shops and restaurants. Substantial Victorian terraces stretch out along its length and beyond to the popular West End Avenue area which backs onto Harrogate Grammar School.
Oatlands, Wheatlands and The Saints to the South side are appealing locations too with excellent schools, shops and rail links. To the North, Bilton is a large residential area with shops, churches and schools and a strong sense of community – not to mention some lovely walks along the Nidd Gorge and easy access to the cycle path to Ripley. And the nearby King’s Road with its fantastic deli and fishmongers is a vibrant spot popular with locals.
Starbeck to the East still has a village like feel with lots of local amenities, its own train station and fantastic public baths. It’s also well served by buses and has a good selection of shops.
On the Western side, Harlow Hill is close to one of Harrogate’s best-known and loved attractions RHS Harlow Carr. Recent new developments have increased the housing stock in this area and supplemented already established and desirable streets around Pannal Ash and the Duchy area.
To find out more about where to live in Harrogate and what properties are available to rent or buy speak to one of our team on 01423 501211.