Harrogate is a hub for cultural events, conferences and exhibitions. When visiting Harrogate for a last-minute autumn break, consider including at least one of the following events to your itinerary.
Countryside Live: 21st-22nd October at GYS
Come along to the Great Yorkshire Showground and see two of the small screen’s favourite vets: Julian Norton and Peter Wright from The Yorkshire Vet. This large outdoor event has a variety of attractions, including dog agility and sheepdog displays (not to mention a pop-up country pub).
Raworths Harrogate Literary Festival: 19th-22nd October at the Crown Hotel
Now in its seventh year, Harper’s Bazaar consider the Raworth’s Harrogate Literary Festival one of the best in the UK. The festival is a collaboration of best-selling authors, actors and even politicians. This year’s theme is ‘Generations’, which focuses on how literature is passed down and adapted across the ages. Contributors include Jonathan Aitken, Ann Widdecombe and Denise Welch.
Northern Antiques Fair: 19th-22nd October at the Harrogate Convention Centre
If you’re a budding valuation expert, or you enjoy collecting objet d’art, this antiques fair is a must. The reputable specialist dealers will be offering a great variety of fine art, collectibles, antique furniture and contemporary pieces.
The Magic Flute: 4th November at the Harrogate Theatre
The award-winning OperaUpClose company are renowned for reinventing classic opera. This time they’ve brought Mozart’s iconic piece bang up to date, setting it in a trendy London nightclub. The Times called it ‘madly brilliant’, so it’s hardly surprising this group are holders of an Olivier award.
Fizz Festival: 4th November at the Majestic Hotel
Move over beer festivals – we’re going up market. If the idea of sampling champagne, prosecco and cava from all over the world appeals to you, then be sure to visit the Fizz Festival during your stay in Harrogate. Chat to the producers while enjoying bubbly, food and live music. You can even take a champagne masterclass.
All or Nothing – the Small Faces Musical: 6th-11th November at the Harrogate Theatre
Whether you were around during the Mod era or not, you’re bound to enjoy this musical charting the rise of The Small Faces. The show includes all their hits, including Lazy Sunday and Itchycoo Park. Their upbeat brand of rhythm and blues will put a smile on your face and get you grooving along.
Harrogate Christmas Market: 16th-19th November on the Montpellier Stray
The sixth annual Harrogate Christmas Market is always popular, as rather than being another continental market, this event has a distinctly Yorkshire flavour. The market has 200 stalls selling everything from Christmas decorations to artisan jewellery, as well as a great selection of food and drink. Sip some delicious mulled wine as you take in the magical setting. Free entry.
Knitting and Stitching: 24th-27th November at the Harrogate Convention Centre
This show is extremely popular with anyone who works with yarn or textiles. Crafters of all abilities, from all over the UK converge on Harrogate to see the latest trends, take workshops, meet designers and to add to their ‘stash’.
There’s always so much going on in Harrogate, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
The sixth Harrogate Christmas Market runs from Thursday, 16th November until Sunday, 19th November. This award-winning event is rather unique when compared to other Christmas Markets in Yorkshire and beyond, which is why visitors from all over the UK keep coming back. What makes it so special?
The perfect fit
Many Christmas markets are either so large you don’t have the time or energy to see everything, or they’re inconveniently located far out of town. The Harrogate Christmas Market has 200 stalls of gifts, food and drink perfectly laid out on a site in the centre of town, so that visitors can enjoy everything that the market (and Harrogate) has to offer.
Unlike most outdoor events of this type, Harrogate’s market doesn’t have a beer tent. Rather than encouraging everyone to stay inside consuming large quantities of alcohol, our market prefers a limited number of stalls selling festive drinks which are dotted around the market. This means you can still browse while enjoying a mulled wine, glass of prosecco or a ‘fortified’ hot chocolate. And as the market is surrounded by excellent and welcoming bars and pubs, there are plenty of options if you feel like relaxing with a pint or cocktail afterwards. To keep young children entertained, the market has a small fun fair with rides suitable for little ones. And naturally, no visit is complete without seeing Santa and the live reindeer!
The Harrogate Christmas Market is organised and run by a dedicated team of volunteers, rather than through an events company or local council. Any profits go to benefit the Harrogate Christmas lights appeal, local charities and arts programmes. One advantage of being not-for-profit means that this wonderful event has free entry, so anyone can come along and experience the magic.
The organisers go to great lengths to give priority to Yorkshire-based traders selling locally produced goods, which makes our event stand out from the more common continental markets. They also try to ensure repetition is kept to a minimum. Visitors can choose from a wide variety of quality Yorkshire produce and gifts. A few exceptions are made allowing imported items that are ethically produced and fairly traded. Incidentally, the various musicians performing in the buskers’ area are all locally grown too.
It’s not just about the market
The Harrogate Christmas Market began in 2012 as a way of encouraging visitors to our lovely Yorkshire town out of season. For the past five years, Harrogate’s wonderful array of hotels, restaurants, bars and shops have greatly benefitted from the influx of visitors coming for the market. The market has also helped fund Harrogate's Christmas lights; the Big Switch On is Thursday, 16th November, from 4pm to 6pm at the Piazza, Victoria Shopping Centre.
To experience the sparkle of the market and Harrogate at Christmas, book your autumn break here.
The nights are drawing in and you already have a bad case of S.A.D. What's the remedy? A visit to Harrogate this autumn. This Victorian spa town is considered the ‘jewel in Yorkshire’s crown’, and is fast becoming one of the most popular destinations for short breaks in England. Here are my top five reasons to visit Harrogate.
1. A sight for sore eyes
Unlike many British towns, Harrogate retains its Victorian charm. The ‘old town’ is still surrounded by 200 acres of grass and tree-lined paths known as The Stray. Brilliant floral displays greet you at every turn, plus there are wonderful examples of Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian architecture.
2. Yorkshire’s best spa town
While Jane Austen had her characters take the waters in Bath, people were really flocking to Harrogate during the reign of George I. While the original 88 sulphur wells are part of Harrogate’s heritage, the fantastic Turkish Baths are still going strong - even after 120 years. What’s so appealing about these Victorian Turkish Baths is that after relaxing in the various hot rooms, you can enjoy a sublime pampering package from the health and beauty team. They offer everything from hot stone therapy to bespoke facials, and have treatments for men and women. It’s essential to book in advance.
3. Harrogate’s gardens
Harrogate’s Valley Gardens opened in the late 1800s, and together with the neighbouring woodland known as The Pinewoods, cover 17 acres. Free to enter, the gardens have an interesting and attractive landscape of plants and trees, as well as tennis courts (seasonal) and an impressive children’s play area. If you take your gardening more seriously, RHS Garden Harlow Carr is a 68-acre site on the outskirts of Harrogate. These gardens offer everything from wildflower meadows to an alpine house. There are events and guided walks throughout the year, and you can purchase plants from the nursery.
4. The arts
From theatres to galleries, Harrogate has plenty of culture to keep you intellectually entertained.
With over 300 establishments to suit every palate and budget, you’ll be spoilt for choice when you dine out in Harrogate. It’s a hot spot for gourmet independents such as Norse and Restaurant 92, as well as for popular chains like Jamie’s Italian, Gino D’acampo’s My Restaurant and The Ivy. If you prefer your food fast, Five Guys, Nandos and YO! Sushi will step up. But no visit to Harrogate is complete without sampling an exquisite afternoon tea at the famous Betty’s café.
Make sure you consider a short break in Harrogate this autumn to chase the blues away!
Harrogate Theatre has outdone itself yet again with a star studded line up of acts for the 9th Annual Comedy Festival over its various town center venues (Harrogate Theatre, Royal Hall Theatre, Studio Theatre and Harrogate Convention Center) all within a 5 minute walk of our location.
2nd October - Jason Mansford
2nd October - Comedian of the Year Heat 1
3rd October - Shappi Khorsandi
3rd October - Comedian of the Year Heat 2
4th October - Jason Byrne
4th October - Lou Sanders
5th October - Stewart Lee
5th October - Ed Gamble
6th October - Simon Amstell
6th and 7th October - Greg Davies
7th October Hyena Lounge Comedy Club Kids Club
7th October - Circle Live - Live Music
9th October - Phil Wang
10th October - Jimmy Carr
10th October - Graeme Swann's Great British Spin off with Henry Blofeld: The Second Innings
10th October - The Game's a Foot, Try the Fish (and The Man with the Twisted Hip)
11th October - Comedian of the Year Final
11th October - Paul Zerdin
12th October Eleanor Conway's Walk of Shame
12th October - Andy Parsons
13th October - Paul Chowdhry
13th October - Invitation to Artificial Ineloquence
14th October - Closing Gala
Tickets if still avaliable are sold through www.Harrogatetheatre.co.uk or the town center box office.
An amazing fun night out with the dual purpose of helping people with disabilities in the uk connect through crafts and people abroad to make a living.
Kimberley Wilson & Simon Storer
owners and operators of The Camberley