Visit the UK- ‘The Happiest Place to Live’ in Britain

Our Centre Director Candice, wrote about the beautiful city Harrogate, to inspire language travellers to explore less common places in Britain.


Harrogate is a prosperous spa town in North Yorkshire in the north of England and has a population of 71,594. It is only 17 miles from Leeds and 21 miles from the famous city of York. Harrogate is most famous for its spa water which helped sick people in the 17th and 18th centuries to get better. The spa still exists and many people still visit to drink or bathe in the waters.

In 2013, 2014 and 2015 Harrogate was voted ‘The Happiest Place to Live’ in Britain. In 2013 Harrogate was also voted the 3rd most romantic   place in the world beating Paris, Rome and Vienna.

Harrogate is divided into two parts – High Harrogate and Low Harrogate and each part has its own charm.  There are a lot of places to eat, dance and have fun. One of the most  famous places to visit is ‘Betty’s Tea Room’ which is an expensive and luxurious café selling wonderful cakes, teas and coffees for tourists and locals.

There is also the ‘Valley Gardens’, a beautiful park in Low Harrogate which is only a 5 minute walk from the centre of town. In the Valley Gardens you can find an ice cream parlour, a children’s play area, tennis courts, a skate park, an outdoor paddling pool and mini golf as well as a lot of trees and colourful flowers.

‘The Stray’ is a large area of open park in the centre of town and was created in 1778. It is very big and green and many people walk their dogs on the Stray.

There are also a large number of hotels, Bed and Breakfasts and restaurants for all the tourists. Many business people come to Harrogate to go to conferences at the enormous Conference Centre.

Harrogate is famous for its link with the author Agatha Christie, a woman who wrote crime novels in the 1920’s. In December 1926 Agatha Christie disappeared and the police, normal people and airplanes searched the whole country looking for her. On the 14th December Agatha Christie was found safe and well living in a hotel in Harrogate called ‘The Old Swan’!

I can recommend visiting Harrogate for a day. You will find plenty of shops, restaurants, cafes and parks to go to and fill your time. The train station is in the very centre of town so it is an attractive and easy place to visit.