Discover a handsome and historic spa town amid England’s glorious Yorkshire Dales
Harrogate, a delightful and unashamedly traditional English town
in the West riding of Yorkshire was not slow to promote its natural
and mineral-rich spring waters when spa resorts became fashionable
with the affluent classes during the Georgian and Victorian
eras. The town's origins can be traced back to the early
fourteenth century when two hamlets merged to form a single
destination called Harwegate presumed to be derived from the
ancient Norse words for 'cairn' and 'street'.
When nobleman and soldier William Slingsby discovered a natural well-spring in 1571, the waters of which bore comparison to those of the 'medicinal' springs found in the Belgian town of Spa - after which all spas are named - Harrogate's reputation as the 'English Spa' was sealed. Rapid expansion during the seventeenth century saw increasing numbers of public baths opened to satisfy the demand for bathing in Harrogate's 'health-giving' waters and by the late nineteenth century the town was an established and popular Royal spa resort.
When the fashion for spa resorts waned at the onset of the First World War, Harrogate re-invented itself as a world-class conference venue; a status it proudly retains today. Harrogate, a gateway to the beautiful Yorkshire Dales and a welcoming town with a rich cultural, historical and architectural heritage, and abundant attractions offers something to delight every visitor whether in town for business or leisure.