Harrogate district - guide to cheap days out
"You don't get 'owt for nowt" at least that's according to the old Yorkshire saying, but bearing in mind the rising cost of a day out, we thought we'd let you into a few of our secrets for a great day out - on the cheap - in North Yorkshire.
There's so much to see and do in North Yorkshire and it doesn't have to cost you a fortune. With a few carefully chosen ideas on where to go and what to do, we hope we can help you enjoy some great days out for next to nothing in North Yorkshire. If we're going to let you into the secrets of our favourite days out, we do want something in return, we want you to share your secrets with us. Where do you go in North Yorkshire for a great day out? We want suggestions of places which won't cost a kings ransom.
First things first, sort out your food - a couple of rounds of sandwiches and a flask of tea should just about do! So, where is there to go...
Parks and gardens are the jewels in Harrogate's crown. At the centre of these stand the Valley Gardens. Beautiful buildings such as the Sun Pavilion and Colonnades sit alongside a wide variety of outdoor games.
Valley Gardens, Harrogate
There are beautiful flower beds, walks through the gardens, a paddling pool and children's play area as well as plenty of benches where you can enjoy a sit in the sun. For a small price you can try your hand at activities like crazy golf and pitch and putt, with tennis courts also for hire.
Bandstand at the Valley Gardens
If you've not brought your own picnic the Magnesia Wells café serves light refreshments whilst the Sun Pavillion offers something more substantial. On Sunday afternoons throughout the summer there are Band concerts.
Elsewhere in the town, Harrogate's famous 'Stray' offers great opportunities for walking. There's loads of space for the kids to enjoy a kick about, or why not get some friends together to share a picnic and a game of rounders.
If you're after a touch of culture, there's free admission to Harrogate's main art gallery - the Mercer Gallery (although there may be a charge for special exhibitions). The gallery's collection is mainly of 19th and 20th century art and includes works by William Powell Frith and John Atkinson Grimshaw.
There's loads to do for next to nothing in Knaresborough if you know where to look. A couple of minutes walk from the Market Place brings you to the grounds of Knaresborough Castle where there are stunning views across the River Nidd and railway viaduct over the Nidd Gorge. There's a pitch and putt in the summer and paths down the cliff to the riverside walks below.
Bebra Gardens - is a small, well kept park which is hidden away at the foot of Knaresborough Castle. The Gardens were formerly known as Moat Gardens because of their closeness to the moat of Knaresborough Castle moat. There's a paddling pool which is a great way to keep the children cool on a warm summers day.
Paddling pool at Bebra Gardens
Enjoy a walk along the Waterside (there are a couple of places where you can hire a rowing boat). A short walk up river brings you to Conyngham Hall where there are more woodland and riverside walks. There's a little 'beach' down by the river and plenty of space to have a barbeque. During the day, for a small charge, Conyngham Hall also offers activities like pitch and putt and crazy golf.
In Ripon, the Spa Gardens is a beautiful park right in the heart of the City. There's space to run and play as well as a grand looking Victorian bandstand where band concerts take place on Sunday afternoons throughout the summer.
Ripon Spa Gardens
For a small charge you could have a go on the putting greens or the crazy golf, otherwise have a nice stroll round and enjoy what the gardens have to offer. Carefully sited nesting boxes have encouraged many species of birds to make their home in the Gardens alongside the outdoor games. The Sun Parlour Café serves light meals and refreshments.
If you're looking for a more strenuous challenge perhaps Brimham Rocks, near Pateley Bridge in Nidderdale, is the place for you. There are scores of curious rock formations in all kind of weird and wonderful shapes. They offer loads of opportunities for exploring and clambering about, but you've got to be careful and watch your footing - especially if its been wet.
Brimham Rocks is a great place to spend the day and you'll almost certainly wear the children out. On a good day you can see for miles. The views across Nidderdale to the Yorkshire Dales or over the Vale of York towards Sutton Bank are often stunning.
There's a refreshment kiosk serving tea, coffee, sandwiches, cakes and ice cream. Brimham Rocks is owned and run by the National Trust. The only thing that's going to cost you is the price of parking (£3.50 for up to 4 hours parking, £4.50 over 4hrs).
last updated: 20/05/2008 at 15:37
Have Your Say
We've shared our secrets for cheap days out around Harrogate, now it's your turn. Tell us where you go, if we agree we'll include it in this section!
Phil from Ripon
Simon - Birstwith
andrea di virgilio
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