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This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!



Sunday, 13 March 2016

Harrogate

A couple of weeks ago I spent three days in Harrogate, NorthYorkshire.  Harrogate developed during Victorian times as a spa town and is still  a very elegant town. But the special properties of the waters had been discovered long before that in the 1600s. Over 100 mineral springs have been discovered in and around Harrogate. The springs do not originate from the same source and as a consequence they have different mineral contents. In the 17th and 18th century the waters containing iron were a very popular health treatment and people came from far and wide to bathe and drink the waters.

In 1897 the Royal Baths was opened to offer spa treatments and hydrotherapy to visitors. Much of the building is now used for other purposes such as bars and restaurants but the Turkish Baths still remain open. I couldn't resist a visit and spent a couple of relaxing hours in the steam room and hot rooms and managed two seconds in the cold plunge pool. It was a highlight of my trip. No photos though.





















This Royal Pump Room was built in 1841  to pump the sulphur water from a natural spring known as the Old Sulphur Well. Visitors to the Pump Room would pay  to drink the sulphur water inside the Pump Room. However legislation from 1841 stated that the water must be freely available to those who cannot afford to pay. Outside the Pump Room is a tap where you can still taste the water.
Nowadays EU regulations state that the water is not fit for human consumption but the water still flows if you want to try it.










A short distance away in the Valley Gardens is the pump room for a Magnesia well erected in 1858. With all these wells it is no wonder the town was known as the 'English Spa'. Between 1830 and 1840 local business men ciphered off spa water for their own wells to profit from the influx of visitors. As a result of this dishonest activity locals petitioned for an Act of Parliament to protect the town's wells which was instrumental in its survival and preservation for today's visitors.



Other places of interest in the town include the Hotel Majestic. Built in 1900 it was favoured by the likes of Sir Winston Churchill, Errol Flynn and various Prime Ministers. Bombed in 1940 it served as an RAF Reception Centre in WW2. It was extensively refurbished between 1998 and 2002.











A visit to Harrogate would not be complete without having tea and cakes at Betty's tea shop which has served a variety of teas here since 1919.


In 2014 the Tour de France cycling race began in Yorkshire and the evidence is everywhere. Here in Harrogate you will see numerous yellow cycles adorning gardens, houses and streets. It was hugely successful and now we have the annual Tour de Yorkshire.  It is a gruelling 3 day race covering 518.5kms.  This year it begins in Beverly on the 29th April.


















31 comments:

  1. in my opinion it is a nice place to visit

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  2. I've heard of Harrogate but is there also a London suburb called Harrowgate? No matter. Sulphur water is vile. I hope your skin did not blister after the treatments. Tea and cakes would compensate. So it is North Yorkshire, that is well north.

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  3. Very nice post to read and watch.

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  4. Enjoyed. Think I would have skipped the cold dunk.

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  5. Looks like a lovely place to visit. Liked the bikes. . Have a good week.

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  6. Fun getaway! Reminded me of our stop at Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas, where similar baths still operate just as they used to. We too could not resist the whole treatment. Loved it. And very definitely no pictures ;>)!

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  7. I love hot mineral spas. Interesting how water everyone thought was healthy years ago is now considered unfit for consumption.

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  8. An interesting town. I remember my mum often speaking about Harrigate. She came from nearby.

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  9. Harrogate is a very interesting place! It reminds me of Karlovy Vary, a small SPA town in the Czech Republic, with a lot of springs with different enriched waters from which you can drink.
    The Hotel Majestic looks so grand and impressive, must be a great place to stay.

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  10. My husband and I stayed in Harrogate one night on a driving trip to Scotland. We did B&B's all the way from Bath, England to St Andrews Scotland on hour honeymoon in 1986. Beautiful place.

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  11. No photos of you and the baths? So disappointed! It does look very elegant and I can imagine it was full of elegant folks taking the waters in its heyday.

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  12. Hello, I would love to go there and soak in the hot spas. Sounds awesome. The bicycles are a cool decor and sight. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

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  13. That is an attractive town. We have natural hot springs within a couple of hours drive of where we live.

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  14. Fascinating background. Do the bicycle shots offer a variation of the expression "having been driven up the wall"?! Wishing you an adventurous week.

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  15. I just saw this film about Agatha Christie hiding out in the baths there, with Dustin Hofmann in a nice roll. It didn't look very atractive with the old equipment :-)
    And Betty's tearoom now incorporating the ubiquitous roasting station.
    Modern times. Nice post.

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  16. Always a fascinating photography journey with you ~ Wonderful!

    Happy Week to you ~ ^_^

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  17. This was so interesting! I enjoyed all your photos. I see a lot of similarities to the popularity of hot springs here in Colorado. People used to come for the "cure," but now it is more recreational. Bicycles are also popular here as a sport--the high altitude and high hills make the bicycle riders very strong and able to compete well.

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  18. Beautiful shots of the place.

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  19. Great tour again.
    Good they have put up the caution.

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  20. Nice pictures. Beautiful buildings and well spotted details

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  21. I have very fond memories of (rather too frequent) visits to the Bettys in York - 'Fat Rascal and pot of tea please'

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  22. It looks like a beautiful place, the funny thing is I just have seen it on "Escape to the country" !

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  23. Looks like a great tour! Very nice pictures!

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  24. I too have fond memories of my few visits to Harrogate. A genteel town, or at least it used to be. I hear tell it's not like it used to be?

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  25. I love all the photos but the one I like the best is the hotel Majestic. Lovely tour!

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  26. Yep been there and remember a few of those places. Nice visit

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  27. I have never been to Harrowgate, it looks like a cool place and I love the bicycles

    Mollyxxx

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