THINGS TO DO IN HARROGATE AND THE SURROUNDING AREA

North Yorkshire folk are rightly proud of what they call “God’s Own County”. It’s the most photographed in England, we’re told. We do recommend spending a few days with us here at The Vicarage as there’s plenty to explore in the local area. Our secluded yet central location makes a great base that allows you to explore all the sights by day, then sleep in peaceful luxury by night.

Here are some of our suggested things to see, do, eat and drink during your stay. You can check event listings here. Of course our comfy B&B is a destination in itself, so remember to factor in some chill time too! Don’t just take our word for it – read some of our reviews.

Dining

The Malt Shovel, Brearton 1.5 miles – 01423 862 929 – closed Mondays     Menu    Book Table
A favourite of ours.  Quaint 16th century village pub and restaurant. Lovely owners and exquisite food. More than one roaring fire to choose from. Open for lunch and dinner.

The Boar’s Head, Ripley 1.5 miles – 01423 771 888    Menu    Book Table
Another favourite. A beautiful old coaching inn which is part of the Ripley Castle Estate. Afternoon tea as well as meals in the bar, dining room or beer garden. Traditional British food.

The Inn at Stainley, South Stainley, 2 miles – 01423 779 060     Menu   Book Table
A large gastropub known for both seafood and meat dishes. Lots of outdoor seating.

Nidd Hall Hotel, 300 yards walk, reservations by special arrangement.  01423 771598
Our closest hostelry with acres of gardens to explore.  Lovely setting for afternoon tea.

Carriages, Knaresborough, 4 miles – 01423 867041  – closed Mondays   Menu   Book Table 
A treasured wine bar and restaurant gem. Modern British and European food in listed building, including early bird menus and tapas. Fantastic view of the viaduct from their beautiful beer garden, which is heated in winter months.

The Black Mulberry, Knaresborough, 4.5 miles – 01423 797930    Menu 
Award-winning café on the waterside – our very own riviera. Excellent daytime fare daily except Monday.  Open evenings in the spring and summer.

There are over two hundred restaurants in Harrogate itself just 4 miles away – ask for our recommendations.  Have a look here for which ones have lots of vegan and vegetarian choices.

Spa Experiences

The first mineral spring in Harrogate was discovered in 1571 by William Slingsby who found that it had similar properties to the springs in the Belgian town of Spa, which gave its name to spa towns.  In its heyday, Harrogate was known as ‘the English spa’ and a leading destination for European high society

These days you are spoilt for choice

Turkish Baths, one of only seven in the world dating from the 19th century.  Reopened in 2018 after extensive refurbishment. You can expect a traditional experience. Ask us about preferential rates for Vicarage guests.

Rudding Park Hotel, only a few years old and just what you would expect from a contemporary five-star hotel.

Nidd Hall Hotel, so close you can walk there.

Historic

Ripon  North Yorkshire gem with its cathedral dating back to 672, boasts a wealth of history and facilities, ranging from the historic Market Place with its family-run shops to the brand new Curzon Cinema. We love the cathedral partly because, unlike most, they don’t charge admission.

Harrogate  Famed for its floral displays and Victorian grandeur, beautifully showcased in Valley Gardens as well as Betty’s Tea Rooms. The Stray is a 200 acre swathe of parkland traversing the heart of the town, a much cherished green space in every season.  Harrogate is consistently voted one of the most popular places to live in the UK and the wide variety of independent shops, restaurants and bars certainly reflects this.

Knaresborough Picturesque town with its castle, market place and spectacular viaduct straddling the River Nidd, is definitely worth a visit. Once a much more significant town than Harrogate. It’s our own local riviera.

Ripley Beautiful village on our doorstep. Ripley Castle, home to the Ingilby family for over 700 years, is a lovely place for afternoon tea, but be sure to book ahead. Also one of the most popular wedding venues in the area.

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal An abbey dating back to 1132, Georgian water garden, a medieval deer park, Elizabethan Hall and a Gothic church. What more does the history enthusiast need?

York One of the biggest visitor destinations in the whole country. A magnificent minster, castle, no fewer than 2 versions of Betty’s, The Shambles and so much more.  There’s a lot of traffic in York and parking can be challenging.  We really recommend using the Poppleton Bar Park and Ride service which is 18 miles away or a 30-minute drive.

Active

Walking – the area around The Vicarage lends itself perfectly to walkers. Take the time to explore the beautiful surrounding countryside.

Cycling – this is one of the most popular pastimes in the area. Harrogate was picked as the finish for the opening stage of the Tour de France in 2014 and it was such a success that Le Tour de Yorkshire was created. You still see yellow bicycles dotted around as reminders. In fact, the 2019 UCI Road World Championships are coming to our doorstep in September – only the fourth time in the UK.

Nidd Hall Hotel is right on our doorstep just the other side of the church. It has both spa and gym facilities. Contact us for details or book online. They also have acres of beautiful gardens to explore including outdoor gym activities.

Natural

Nidd Gorge, a spectacular natural gorge cut out over time by the River Nidd. Hire yourself a rowing boat in Knaresborough.

Brimham Rocks, an amazing collection of weird and wonderful rock formations: a great day out for families, climbers and those who love the outdoors.

RHS Harlow Carr, one of four public gardens run by the RHS. Well worth a visit.  Has its very own Betty’s Tea Room.

Valley Gardens, a beautiful year-round treat for the senses.

Yorkshire Dales, hilly, rugged, romantic and full of dramatic views and landscapes. A fantastic place to explore by car or on foot. Watch out for the cyclists!

North York Moors, beautiful moorland, mysterious forests, rugged coastline and an abundance of nature. Visit the majestic 200m cliffs at Boulby, and the picturesque fishing town of Staithes.

Our Favourites, yes it’s all food!

Appleton’s Pies in Ripon Market Place – in our opinion these pork pies are the best available on the planet!

Afternoon Tea.  Betty’s Tea Room is of course famous, but for that afternoon tea experience in grand country house style try our two local favourites Swinton Estate, 17 miles to the north, Goldsborough Hall 8 miles east, or indeed Nidd Hall which is just the other side of the church.  For something different, there is Tipsy G&Tea at The Grand Hotel in York, or Eileen’s favourite, Japanese Afternoon Tea Lunch at Issho restaurant in Leeds.

CONTACT US

The Vicarage is a stylish, boutique, North Yorkshire B&B in the little village of Nidd just outside Harrogate. With breakfast in your room any time you want it, it's just the spot for a great night’s sleep, a romantic break or your business base.

Town Street, Nidd,
Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG3 3BL

T: +44 (0)1423 423113 EMAIL US