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Hidden Gem Attractions in Harrogate

By wizu | 06 April 2023

Located in the heart of Yorkshire, Harrogate is an amazing Victorian spa town and a rural district where you can find the mediaeval city of Ripon and other sites. The area is the perfect place to spend a weekend or a week, whether you enjoy hiking in nature or visiting museums. In addition, Harrogate is the site for a wide range of events, so you’re sure to find something going on when you visit.

In this article, we’ve put together a list of some of Harrogate’s more hidden gem attractions. So, let’s get started!


1. Brimham Rocks

Brimham Rocks is a natural site of giant rock formations that were created by a huge river 100 million years before the dinosaurs lived on the planet. Taking a trip here is truly going back into prehistory.

The rocks were carved by 320 million years of movement between continents, along with millennia of weathering by ice, rain, and wind. The end result is the wonderfully weird rock formations. You can explore the site for free. Try to see if you can catch a glimpse of the Dancing Bear, Gorilla, Eagle, and Turtle in the rock shapes. And then enjoy a crawl through the Smartie Tube and balance on the Rocking Stones.

You’ll also find the area’s heather moorland is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), and is home to three varieties of heather, including ling heather, bell heather, and cross-leaved heather.


2. Nidderdale Llamas

Next on our list of Harrogate hidden gems is the Nidderdale Llamas. Here, you can have plenty of fun and relax while trekking with llamas or walking with Alpacas. Harrogate offers the perfect natural area for llama and alpaca experiences and treks.

You’re sure to have a unique, personal experience with our llamas and alpacas. Nidderdale Llamas is perfect for people of all abilities and ages. However, kids must be at least seven years of age to engage with the family experience and ten years old to participate in a trek.

And don’t worry—all the llamas and alpacas are friendly and gentle. The entire family will have a great time at Nidderdale Llamas!


3. Ripley Castle and Gardens

Ripley Castle and Gardens is another hidden gem of Harrogate. The site is situated about 3 miles from Harrogate in North Yorkshire, on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. This is a historic attraction that’s open to the public all year round.

The site is filled with history on all levels, including political, military, religious, and social turbulence. The castle also survived the plague, persecution, and much more. Come and learn the tale of romance, courage, and adventure that the castle has to tell.


4. Fewston Reservoir

The next hidden gem on our list is Fewston Reservoir, situated in Washburn Valley; the area is popular with walkers and runners. The area is perfect for walkers, runners, cyclists, and horse riders. The surrounding woodlands are beautiful, with wide, well-surfaced paths and moderate inclines.

The walks in this area vary from ¼ mile to 6 miles long. Some walks are shared with the area’s sister reservoir, the Swinsty. And you’ll find no steps, stiles, or gates along the site’s paths!


5. Pateley Bridge Nidderdale Museum

If you love museums, don’t miss the Pateley Bridge Nidderdale Museum! Here, you’ll find a wonderful collection of thousands of items demonstrating life in Nidderdale over the past 200 years. All items are displayed in their natural settings, such as a schoolroom, shop, and more. The museum guarantees you’ll find something you remember from your own past!

The museum is an amazing source of information on local history and is a great activity for tourists and school groups. It’s also interesting to note that the museum is completely operated by volunteers who are passionate about the area’s heritage. So, you’re sure to learn something new in this delightful museum.


6. Washburn Heritage Centre

Next on our list of hidden gems near Harrogate is the Washburn Heritage Centre. The museum is free to explore, and you’ll find exhibitions about the heritage of the Washburn Valley. The centre also offers programs of events that include walks, workshops, talks, and courses. On the weekends, you’ll find there’s a popular tearoom featuring a wide selection of homemade cakes. The centre is fully accessible, too.

The site offers permanent exhibitions at the rear of the church, explaining the history of the Valley and the church. Each year, the site also offers 3-4 temporary exhibits in the Heritage Centre. These focus on different aspects of the Valley’s heritage. Topics you covered at the centre include War and the Washburn, Hostelries, the Washburn Valley Show, the geology, and the natural landscape of the Valley.

The exhibitions include heritage walks, art workshops, courses, special suppers, and short talks. What a great way to learn more about the Washburn Valley area than by visiting the Washburn Heritage Centre!


7. Spirit of Harrogate Ltd

The next hidden gem of Harrogate is the Spirit of Harrogate Ltd. It all started when William Slingsby came upon the unique properties of the natural spring water from Harrogate’s Tewit Well in 1571. His discovery led to thousands of people visiting Harrogate to “take the waters,” which were thought to have medicinal properties.

Today, Spirit of Harrogate Ltd is a place that produces Slingsby Gin. You can visit the site and enjoy one of several experiences that you can choose. For instance, try the Spirit of Gin experience or the Master Distiller experience. Each experience guides you through a session where you can learn about gin, sample different styles of gin, and more.

Needless to say, the Spirit of Harrogate Ltd is only for adults (18 years and over), so you’ll have to find a babysitter for the kids if you’d like to visit this establishment!


Summing It Up

So, there you have it! These are some of the hidden gems that many tourists fail to explore when visiting Harrogate. You’ll find a mix of activities for families, kids, and adults!

We hope you have a great time visiting these locations and have a wonderful experience!

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