Exploring Harrogate
Local Area & Activites

Exploring the Harrogate District

Many of our guests come to visit us for a relaxing break away. There are some lovely things to do in Harrogate and the surrounding areas there is sure to be something to delight you.

Harrogate was the original detox destination. Visitors and locals used to drink 3 glasses of the sulphurous foul smelling water that comes from underground at various points around the town. There is no evidence it did anyone any good but they seemed to get better! We are also famous for the many independent shops, cafes, tea rooms in elegant Victorian buildings all within walking distance of Acorn Lodge.  

Surrounded by a protected parkland named The Stray, Harrogate is well known for the beautiful parks and gardens including the famous RHS Harlow Carr and the twice yearly Flower Show.

From feedback from our guests we have put together a list of our top attractions  to help you plan your visit to Harrogate and the surrounding area.


A visit to Betty’s tea room is a big attraction for our guests, although there are plenty of other places for a lovely afternoon tea. There are two Betty’s in Harrogate and we prefer the Betty’s at Harlow Carr, which is a nice walk up through the Valley Gardens and Pine Woods. There is a lovely conservatory restaurant and outside terrace overlooking the Harlow Carr Gardens.

If History is your thing you will be more than well catered for. We are surrounded by Castles including Ripley Castle which is set in a beautiful village and is still occupied by the Ingilby family. They even offer a Segway experience around the grounds, tours of the castle and Afternoon Tea.

We have some absolutely stunning countryside on our doorstep. Right on the edge of Nidderdale, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it is the ideal place for walking, cycling or visiting the many attractions and small towns.

On rainy days it is lovely to snuggle up at one of the many spas in the area. The most famous of which is the Turkish Baths, a place to really unwind and relax with it’s beautiful Roman mosaic interior.

Continuing with the History theme we also have some lovely Abbeys on our doorstep. Fountains, Bolton and Rievaulx Abbeys are all a short drive away.

Knaresborough is a lovely short train ride away and has a stunning viaduct, riverside walks and cafes, a Wednesday market and cafe to visit.


If shopping and cities are your thing we are not very far from Leeds and York. Harrogate sits midway between both and the train runs half hourly to each city. York is famous for its Viking heritage, Roman walls and historical sites. Leeds has fantastic Victorian architecture from its industrial past and a great selection of shops, bars and restaurants.


Our personal favourite activity! There are over 200 excellent restaurants in Harrogate there is something for everyone. We’ve been here over 15 years and still haven’t tried them all! From traditional family run gastro-pubs, to Italian, French, Michelin starred, it’s all here waiting for you. We provide a list of our favourites and recommended by guests in your Welcome Folder which we can send prior to your arrival to help you plan your stay.

Walk on the wild side on the many walks available in the locality. Fewston and Swinsty Reservoir walks are one of our favourites, Riverside walks at Pateley Bridge in Nidderdale, moorside walks and the beautiful scenery of the Dales.

Museums and Art Galleries are also popular places to visit. We have the Pump Room museum with a history of the spa town of Harrogate, Mercer Art Gallery, Nidderdale Museum, and our personal favourite the James Herriott Experience!

Join Harry for a leisurely 1 hour and 20 minute walk around Harrogate to discover why guests have been flocking to Harrogate for hundreds of years. Private tours can be arranged.

If food is your thing, apart from our fantastic selection of over 200 restaurants, you can join Yorkshire Appetite Food Tours. a great way to spend the afternoon walking around Harrogate, being entertained and tasting some great Yorkshire fare whilst discovering some of our history and culture.