As you’d expect from a city that polled as Britain’s happiest town three years in a row, a famous spa town in the Georgian era and the secret hideaway of Agatha Christie, Harrogate offers its visitors a wealth of attractions and things to do. It’s a fantastic place for older tourists to visit. Compared to more active cities like London or Manchester, Harrogate has a much more relaxed air and pace to it.
As is typical for a spa town, the main activities to be had in Harrogate are intended to help people feel at ease and recover lost energy, rather than spend it all on adrenaline-driven diversions. As you wander through England’s Spa, you’ll find your aches and worries melt away no matter how old you are.
Enjoy an afternoon tea at Betty’s Harrogate
Nothing quite makes the day like a pleasant cup of tea. Teahouses are as much an experience as they are places to eat, offering a chance for people to sit back and enjoy the traditional rituals that make up English tea customs. Betty’s Harrogate offers an afternoon tea experience that is not easily matched.
Offering everything you’d expect from a traditional English tearoom, from silver cake trays to traditional costume, Betty’s Harrogate is an experience not to be missed. The tearoom overlooks the Montpelier Gardens, and offers cooked as well as cold dishes.
Tables can be booked in advance, if you want to be sure to have a seat during the lunch time rushes.
Explore the Nidderdale Museum
Based in an old workhouse that once formed part of Yorkshire’s thriving industrial economy, the Nidderdale Museum is run by enthusiastic volunteers to tell the story of life in Yorkshire during the Industrial Revolution. Eleven separate rooms are dedicated to specific parts of life from the period, from culture, to religion, to agriculture, to leisure. Each one contains painstakingly preserved artefacts, set pieces and objects from the period, as well as restored and recreated costumes.
The museum is perfectly accessible for older guests, with most of the museum found on the ground floor and lift access provided to the upper parts. Any specific arrangements can be made with the museum staff if contacted before the visit. The museum has an admission fee of £2.
Be refreshed at the Royal Pump Room Museum
Back in its heyday as a spa town, wealthy visitors would come from across the continent for a chance to experience the supposed healing properties of the waters drawn from the Royal Pump Room. Some 1500 glasses a day used to be served, and today the Royal Pump Room Museum stands to educate visitors of Harrogate’s history as a fashionable spa resort.
As well as detailing the history of Harrogate itself, the museum also contains numerous pieces and artefacts from other areas and periods, donated by grateful visitors over the centuries.
Senior and disabled concessionary rates are offered at the door, and hearing loops are available at the front desk. Further, the entire museum has level access.
Relax at the Turkish Baths
For those looking for a more traditional itinerary when visiting Harrogate, a trip to a spa is a must. Although not as many people visit specifically for the healing properties of the local waters anymore, Harrogate still boasts plenty of luxury spas and resorts for guests to unwind and rebalance within. These establishments continue to bolster the town’s local economy and maintain its reputation as a place for healing and tranquillity.
Of these spas, the Turkish Baths on Parliament Street, is among the oldest and most popular establishment in the industry. The spas are opened for visitors at certain times throughout the week, offering various experiences for various prices. There are mixed-sex and single-sex sessions available. The packages include classics such as saunas, hot stone therapies, massages, and mud baths.
Many of these sessions are therapeutic in nature, helping to promote healing, wellness, and relaxation. Whether it’s to help de-stress and unwind, or as a means of supporting and expanding upon physiotherapy, many benefit physically, mentally and spiritually from visits to these spas.
And of course, for those uninterested in the spa treatment itself, the spa also offers guided tours of its buildings. Established in 1893, the Turkish Baths have a proud and established history, and guides are happy to take visitors to see this legacy, as well as what goes on behind the scenes at a typical luxury spa.
Be welcome at the Ripley Castle and Gardens
Just north of Harrogate, you can find Ripley Castle, a 14th-century manor house located on the banks of Ripley Lake. Nestled in the idyllic Yorkshire countryside, Ripley Castle has played a role in the religious, military and social history of the county for centuries.
While still serving as a private residence, the Castle has been opened to the public and is available for visitation year-round. Private tours are only available from March to November, but public tours are offered throughout the year and throughout the week. As well as tours of Ripley Castle, the house has also partnered with “Live Today for Adventures” to offer various outdoor activities during the summer months.
In addition, the gardens and surrounding lands of Ripley Castle are also open to the public, allowing visitors to stroll through ancient deer parks, along the banks of Lake Ripley, and experience the rich and diverse flora and fauna that they offer.
As an older building, not all parts of the Castle are wheelchair accessible. Wheelchairs are provided with a ramp into the main entrance, and four of six rooms on the tour can be reached by them, as well as the Tearoom and Gift Shop. DVD footage is available of the upper rooms. The grounds are provided with a good network of stone paths; however the Park Walk is not suitable for wheelchairs and some paths may be gravelled.
Hearing loops are offered to the hard of hearing, while the seeing impaired are welcome to handle physical objects discussed during the tour. If any assistance is needed, they need only ask the tour guide.
Are you looking for a carer in Harrogate? At SuperCarers, we can help you find the right home care for you, and the right care worker to support you in the comfort of your own home in Harrogate. Give us a call on 020 8629 1030 to find out more.
You may also be interested in our article about the best pubs in Harrogate for a lunch with your parents.