Area Guides

A Guide to Living in Harrogate Guide

Posted May 15, 2024
A Guide to Living in Harrogate Guide

Harrogate, a charming town in North Yorkshire, is frequently cited as one of the best places to live, thanks to its stunning natural beauty, distinguished schools, and vibrant community life. It boasts beautiful surroundings and a high quality of life, making it a great place to live. It has also been voted as one of the happiest places to live in the UK by RightMove.

Job opportunities are plentiful because of the town’s thriving economy and the influx of businesses. You can enjoy green spaces such as The Stray and Valley Gardens, alongside excellent shopping at Victoria Shopping Centre.

Choosing Shared Ownership Property in Harrogate means stepping into the property market while joining a welcoming community. Make your move today and explore all that this delightful town offers.


Transportation in Harrogate is varied and efficient, serving both residents and visitors well.

Whether using public transport or walking or cycling, Harrogate’s infrastructure makes it easy to visit attractions, shops, and restaurants.


The Harrogate Bus Company operates the town’s bus services. This makes travelling around simple. Routes connect key landmarks and shopping centres, offering an affordable option for those without cars. You can take the bus to places like Wetherby and Knaresborough.

Walking and Cycling

Harrogate is perfect for walking and cycling because of its compact size and gentle terrain. The town has pedestrian-friendly areas along with dedicated cycle lanes and paths. This ensures safety for everyone exploring on foot or a bike.


The train service strengthens connections to various locations, making it easy to reach Harrogate.

Harrogate Train Station

Harrogate Railway Station is central on the Harrogate Line. It serves as a gateway to Victorian architecture, beautiful gardens, and the renowned Harrogate Spa. Upgraded several times, it connects with major cities like Leeds, York, and London. The station caters to all passengers’ needs, including those with mobility issues, ensuring a comfortable journey for everyone.

Starbeck Train Station

Starbeck Station is located just east of the town centre. This smaller station primarily serves residential areas providing access to Leeds and York, supporting daily commutes education or leisure trips for locals.

Hornbeam Park Train Station

Situated south of the centre near places like District Hospital & Hornbeam Business Park, this station is vital for healthcare workers & business professionals.

Pannal Train Station

In Pannal village, serving southern parts of Harrogate provides essential links to Leeds among other destinations, aiding rural communities’ connectivity with larger urban centres.

These stations ensure smooth transportation within North Yorkshire, enhancing economic growth while keeping regional charm intact.

Property in Harrogate

For first-time buyers in Harrogate, you can expect a diverse range of properties catering to different tastes and budgets.

The town is known for its picturesque Victorian terraces and late 19th-century homes, perfect if you love character and period features.

There are also plenty of modern apartments and contemporary townhouses, especially in newer developments.

Areas like Starbeck and Woodlands offer great value, while The Duchy Estate provides an upscale feel with luxurious homes. Pannal and Bilton are popular for their family-friendly vibe and good schools.

Whether you’re looking for a cosy one-bedroom flat or a spacious three-bedroom home, Harrogate offers a blend of traditional charm and modern convenience, often set against a backdrop of beautiful parks and gardens.

Local Attractions

Here’s a list of local attractions in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, along with a brief description of each:

The Royal Pump Room Museum

The Royal Pump Room Museum offers a fascinating glimpse into Harrogate’s history as a renowned spa town. Housing Europe’s strongest sulphur well, the museum features historical artefacts and exhibits that explore the therapeutic treatments once sought by visitors internationally.

Bettys Café Tea Rooms

Established in 1919, Bettys Café Tea Rooms is an iconic establishment in Harrogate. Known for its traditional afternoon teas, elegant setting, and high-quality pastries and sandwiches, it’s a must-visit for anyone looking to experience classic British dining.

The Turkish Baths Harrogate

Opened in 1897, The Turkish Baths Harrogate retains its exquisite Victorian décor while offering a series of thermal rooms, a plunge pool, and relaxation areas. This luxurious spa provides a journey through heat and cold, designed to detoxify and rejuvenate.

Harrogate Theatre

Harrogate Theatre, constructed in 1900, is celebrated for its stunning Victorian architecture and diverse programming. It hosts a variety of performances, including drama, comedy, music, and dance, and plays a significant role in the town’s cultural life.

The Mercer Art Gallery

The Mercer Art Gallery showcases over 2,000 works of art, including paintings and sculptures dating from the 19th to 20th centuries. The gallery regularly features special exhibitions and educational programs, making it a focal point for art enthusiasts.

Valley Gardens

Valley Gardens spans about 17 acres and features beautiful floral displays, historic buildings, and various recreational activities. It’s perfect for leisurely walks, picnics, and enjoying the seasonal flower beds and landscaped areas.

RHS Garden Harlow Carr

One of England’s most beautiful gardens, RHS Garden Harlow Carr, offers an inspiring mix of contemporary and traditional planting styles across its 58 acres. Highlights include the wildflower meadows, kitchen garden, and the striking Main Borders.

Ripley Castle

Situated a short drive from Harrogate, Ripley Castle is a historic country house offering guided tours, beautiful gardens, and lakeside walks. The estate has been home to the Ingilby family for over 700 years and provides a rich narrative of English history.

Knaresborough Castle

Overlooking the River Nidd, Knaresborough Castle offers spectacular views and a deep dive into medieval history. The site features a museum, ruins, and beautiful grounds perfect for exploring or picnicking.

Harrogate’s Stray

Known simply as “The Stray,” this 200-acre area of open parkland encircles the southern part of Harrogate. It’s a wonderful spot for walking, running, and leisure activities, providing a green oasis in the town’s heart.

Mother Shipton’s Cave

In the nearby town of Knaresborough, Mother Shipton’s Cave is England’s oldest tourist attraction. Visitors can explore the cave, the Petrifying Well, and learn about the fascinating legend of Mother Shipton, a famous prophetess born in 1488.

Harrogate Convention Centre

An important venue in Harrogate, the Convention Centre, hosts many events, exhibitions, and conferences throughout the year. Its versatile spaces attract both national and international gatherings, making it a hub for business and cultural activities.

Harrogate’s Montpellier Quarter

The Montpellier Quarter is a charming area known for its boutique shops, art galleries, and high-end restaurants and bars. It’s a perfect spot for a leisurely afternoon of shopping and dining.

Each attraction contributes to Harrogate’s charm, offering visitors a rich blend of history, culture, and modern amenities. The town provides a comprehensive experience, ensuring that there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Parks and Green Spaces

Harrogate Gardens

Green spaces and parks are essential for relaxation, enjoying nature, and community well-being.

Harrogate has many such places, both in town and nearby. They offer beautiful views, activities, and peaceful escapes. There are also plenty of places to visit in the surrounding areas in the countryside, Yorkshire Dales and local villages.

RHS Garden Harlow Carr

RHS Harlow Carr covers 58 acres of tranquil gardens in Yorkshire. It features horticultural displays, a charming stream, and unique garden designs that inspire visitors.

Ripley Castle

Ripley Castle is a short drive from Harrogate. Visitors can enjoy stunning views while learning about history on guided tours of the castle grounds.

The Pinewoods

The Pinewoods provide scenic woodland paths along a reservoir for relaxing walks. Fewston Reservoir also offers well-kept trails surrounded by natural beauty.

Crescent Gardens

Crescent Gardens boasts neatly maintained flower beds, but its proximity to busy roads may reduce its tranquillity slightly.

Education and Schools


Harrogate College

This college offers vocational training and apprenticeships. It also provides higher education courses in creative arts, IT, and healthcare. The programs combine practical skills with theoretical knowledge.

Askham Bryan College (Harrogate Centre)
Specialising in land-based industries, this college offers courses in agriculture and animal management. Its Harrogate Centre uses the local environment for hands-on learning.

Primary Schools

St Peter’s C of E Primary School
Known for high academic standards and a supportive environment, this school promotes both intellectual and personal growth.

Richard Taylor Church of England Primary School
Famous for its wide range of extracurricular activities, it has strong community involvement that enhances learning.

Secondary Schools

Harrogate Grammar School
Renowned for outstanding GCSE and A-Level results. This school has an extensive extracurricular program that ensures a well-rounded education.

St Aidan’s Church of England High School
Recognised for excellence in academics, sports and arts. It excels in pastoral care too.

Rossett School
This school emphasises a modern curriculum with new technologies to prepare students for future challenges.

Employment Opportunities

If you’re planning to move to Harrogate and seek job opportunities, you’ll find a vibrant job market across many industries. Harrogate boasts a robust economy with both traditional and modern sectors.

The tourism and hospitality industry is one of the largest employers here. With its historical sites, parks, gardens, and events like the Great Yorkshire Show, there’s always demand for workers in hotels, restaurants, and leisure facilities. Jobs range from management to customer service roles.

Healthcare is another key sector in Harrogate. The Harrogate District Hospital offers many healthcare jobs. Several private healthcare facilities around town also provide roles in medical and administrative fields.

Harrogate hosts several national and international businesses, boosting its economy. For instance, Wolseley UK, a leading specialist in plumbing and heating products, is based here. The town also sees growth in IT and digital companies, reflecting the national trend towards tech industries. This sector provides various jobs, from technical support to software development.

Public administration and education are important employment sectors too. Harrogate has many schools and significant local government job opportunities in administration, finance, and teaching.

If you plan to buy a home after moving to Harrogate, it’s good to know that the town offers a diverse job market.


You’ll find many shopping options to suit your tastes, from popular high street brands to unique independent shops.

The Victoria Shopping Centre is at the heart of Harrogate’s retail scene. In the town centre, this indoor mall features a range of shops, including national chains and independent retailers. You can find everything from clothes and electronics to beauty products. The centre also has cafes where you can relax with a coffee after shopping.

Outside the Victoria Shopping Centre, Harrogate’s streets provide more shopping options. The Montpellier Quarter is known for its high-end boutiques, art galleries, and antique shops. Here, you can find handmade jewellery, designer clothes, fine art pieces and vintage items—great for special gifts or personal treats.

Harrogate supports local businesses with regular farmers’ markets and independent food shops. These markets are ideal for finding local produce and artisan goods while supporting local growers. The monthly farmers market on Cambridge Street offers fresh produce that can improve the experience of your home cooking!

For those interested in organic and health-focused products, Harrogate has several specialty shops. Health food lovers will find stores with organic produce, eco-friendly items, and foods for specific diets like vegan or gluten-free.

Harrogate offers a mix of large shopping centres, stylish boutiques, and lively markets. This provides both convenience and a touch of luxury. Whether you’re setting up a new home or enjoying retail therapy, Harrogate’s shopping scene is welcoming.

Socialising and Entertainment

Pubs and Bars

The Fat Badger

Description: In central Harrogate, The Fat Badger is a chic gastropub with a laid-back vibe. It offers many craft beers, wines, and classic British meals. It also has cosy outdoor seating and an excellent Sunday roast.

Cold Bath Brewing Co.

A local favourite known for its on-site brewed craft beers. Its rustic industrial look and friendly atmosphere make it perfect for a casual drink. They even offer brewery tours and tasting sessions.

Harrogate Tap

Located at the Harrogate Rail Station, this traditional British pub features an excellent selection of cask ales, craft beers, and ciders in a warm setting. They also hold regular beer festivals and live music events.

Restaurants and Cafes

Bettys Café Tea Rooms

A Harrogate staple, Bettys provides a true British experience with afternoon teas, fresh pastries, and Swiss-inspired dishes. Stunning interior and a tempting selection of cakes and chocolates.

William & Victoria

Description: This family-owned wine bar offers fine wines and modern British cuisine made from local ingredients. It has an impressive wine list in a cosy, welcoming setting.

The Ivy Harrogate Brasserie

Elegantly designed, The Ivy serves an extensive menu of classic British and international dishes. It has beautiful decor paired with exceptional service.

Entertainment and Nightlife

Harrogate Theatre

This historic venue hosts drama, comedy, dance, and live music. It’s a key cultural spot in the town. They offer excellent shows in a beautiful Victorian-era building.

Royal Hall

An Edwardian theatre featuring classical music concerts to comedy nights. The venue has stunning architecture and a rich history.

Everyman Cinema

An upscale cinema with plush seating, waiter service, and curated films. They offer gourmet snacks and a stylish bar area.

Final thoughts on living in Harrogate

Harrogate offers something for everyone with its attractions, green spaces, rich history, and diverse entertainment. We hope our guide has given you a flavour of what it’s like to live in Harrogate.