Spa Town of Harrogate, England

This evening I am posting information on the spa town of Harrogate in Yorkshire, northern England. 

 Harrogate is about 23 miles due west of the city of York and is home to a population of c.75,000.

The name has a fascinating etymology. It is of Scandinavian (Old Norse) origin and translates as 'Place at the road to the cairn or heap of stones'.

Mineral waters were discovered here in 1571 subsequent to which the town rose to prominence as a major Spa destination in Britain, attracting many wealthy patrons. However, later in the 20th century scientific developments surpassed the need for water treatments and the baths were closed for medical use in 1969. However, there is a strong legacy of times past and Turkish Baths are still in operation.

Here is the front of the former Royal Baths building which dates from 1897 and now houses a Chinese restaurant.

Harrogate-Royal Baths

This is the front of the intriguing Royal Hall which dates from 1903 and benefited from a GBP10.8M restoration programme in 2008.

Harrogate-Royal Hall

Here is a video clip illustrating the stunning interior:

This is the Royal Pump Room which also a museum. It was built over the Old Sulphur Well which produces water quite safe to drink but was once known as the 'Stinking Spaw'. A taste of this water lingers on the palate for a considerable time! 

 Harrogate-Royal Pump Room

 This is the former Magnesia Pump Room which in it's day dispensed water rich in magnesium.

Harrogate-Magnesia Pump Room

This is a tap producing free sulphur water for anyone who wishes it. 

Harrogate-Sulpher Water Tap

This is the Bogs Field which contains a total of 36 mineral wells, all producing separate and distinctive waters.

Harrogate-Bogs Field

Victorian era shopping area which includes the popular Betty's Cafe.

Harrogate-Shopping zone

Interesting iron work outside Betty's Cafe with War Memorial in middle distance. 

Betty's is a traditional, mainstay tearoom which offers formal afternoon teas or casual cafe dining on British fare.

Harrogate-View from Betty's Cafe


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