Harrogate is also a top shopping destination and known for its eclectic mix of nightlife...
The town is no longer the preserve of the privileged English elite, who flocked here in the 19th and early 20th centuries to sample the healing spa waters. These days, hotels in Harrogate - many of which were built during the booming spa years - are filled with business visitors and those on weekend breaks looking to dive into the delights of this truly elegant Yorkshire town.
The Yorkshire Dales are close by, and it's easy to venture from Harrogate to other equally beautiful Yorkshire towns such as Knaresborough, Pateley Bridge, and the cathedral city of Ripon.
Use our guide to Harrogate hotels to find the best hotel for you...
Harrogate is dotted by friendly B&Bs, budget chain hotels, grand luxury hotels and spa hotels. There are also five-star hotels and country houses on the outskirts of town, which are surrounded by acres of verdant countryside. All offer a typically warm Yorkshire welcome. Green spaces are in abundance on the edges of the town centre too, so you're never far from a patch of greenery in Harrogate. If you're looking for a peaceful stay, consider a hotel a few minutes from the heart of the town centre, as late-night bars and nightclubs can be noisy.
If you plan to arrive in Harrogate on the train or by bus, book a central hotel. If you have a car then you can opt to stay on the outskirts and drive into the town centre, though parking can be pricey - if you can find a space! There's a good network of public transportation though.
The attractions of this handsome spa town have been luring visitors for centuries...
Harrogate has been charming its way into the hearts of Brits for many years, and it still knows how to put on a good short break.
Top five attractions
RHS Harlow Carr
Part of a former royal hunting forest until sulphur springs were found, this site became a spa with a hotel and bath house in the middle of the 19th century. The hotel still stands as the Harrogate Arms, though the wells have been capped. Beautiful gardens have been crafted by the RHS.
Overlooking Montpellier Gardens, this is the original tea room of the Bettys brand and it has been serving up delicious afternoon tea treats of sandwiches, scones and cakes since 1919. There's another Bettys in Harlow Carr.
Turkish Baths and Health Spa
Opened as the Royal Baths in 1897, at this central location you have the chance to be immersed in history as well as the wonderfully rejuvenating waters.
Royal Pump Room Museum
Find out all you could ever wish to know about sulphur wells and peat baths, plus much more about the spa history of Harrogate.
Just down the road from Harrogate is the pretty market town of Knaresborough, home to a castle, Mother Shipton's Cave, and glorious views of the River Nidd.
Visitors flock to Harrogate throughout the year. Find out what's on when...
Harrogate International Centre, one of the UK's biggest convention and exhibition centres, brings many events to the area (including the Eurovision Song Contest in 1982). The following annual events also attract crowds to the town.
Harrogate Flower Shows; spring and autumn: Two of the most popular horticultural shows in the country, the spring and autumn shows are held at the Great Yorkshire Showground. Spring's offering teases visitors with blooms to come and the autumn show presents a look at the year's harvest and offers the chance to buy Christmas gifts.
Great Yorkshire Show; July: The Great Yorkshire Showground is also the venue for this annual show of agriculture, the largest in England, during which you can see rural life from a number of angles. It's a great - and popular - family day out and hotels in Harrogate will be busy.
Comedy Festival; October: Have your funny bone tickled during this fortnight-long line-up of big-name and up-and-coming funny men and women.