|Population||75,070 (mid-2016 ONS estimate)[ citation needed ]|
|OS grid reference||SE303550|
|• London||180 mi (290 km) SSE|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Areas of the town|
|Postcode district||HG1, HG2, HG3|
Harrogate ( /ˈhærəɡət,-ɡeɪt,-ɡɪt/ HARR-ə-gət, -gayt, -ghit)  is a spa town and the administrative centre of the Borough of Harrogate in North Yorkshire, England. Historically in the West Riding of Yorkshire, the town is a tourist destination and its visitor attractions include its spa waters and RHS Harlow Carr gardens. 13 miles (21 km) away from the town centre is the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the Nidderdale AONB. Harrogate grew out of two smaller settlements, High Harrogate and Low Harrogate, in the 17th century. For three consecutive years (2013–2015), polls voted the town as "the happiest place to live" in Britain.   
Harrogate spa water contains iron, sulphur and common salt. The town became known as 'The English Spa' in the Georgian era, after its waters were discovered in the 16th century. In the 17th and 18th centuries its 'chalybeate' waters (containing iron) were a popular health treatment, and the influx of wealthy but sickly visitors contributed significantly to the wealth of the town.
Harrogate railway station and Harrogate bus station in the town centre provide transport connections. Leeds Bradford Airport is 10 miles (16 km) southwest of Harrogate. The main roads through the town are the A61, connecting Harrogate to Leeds and Ripon, and the A59, connecting the town to York and Skipton. Harrogate is also connected to Wetherby and the A1(M) by the A661, while the A658 from Bradford forms a bypass around the south of the town. Harrogate had a population of 73,576 at the 2011 UK census;   the built-up area comprising Harrogate and nearby Knaresborough had a population of 89,060,  while the figure for the much wider Borough of Harrogate, comprising Harrogate, Knaresborough, Ripon, as well as a number of smaller settlements and a large rural area, was 157,869. 
The town motto is Arx celebris fontibus, which means "a citadel famous for its springs". 
The name Harrogate is first attested in the 1330s as Harwegate, Harougat and Harrowgate.  The origin of the name is uncertain. It may derive from Old Norse hǫrgr 'a heap of stones, cairn' + gata 'street', in which case the name presumably meant 'road to the cairn'.  Another possibility is that the name means "the way to Harlow". The form Harlowgate is known from 1518,  and apparently in the court rolls of Edward II. 
In medieval times Harrogate was a place on the borders of the township of Bilton with Harrogate in the ancient Parish of Knaresborough, and the parish of Pannal, also known as Beckwith with Rossett. The part within the township of Bilton developed into the community of High Harrogate, and the part within Pannal developed into the community of Low Harrogate. Both communities were within the Royal Forest of Knaresborough. In 1372 King Edward III granted the Royal Forest to his son John, Duke of Lancaster (also known as John of Gaunt), and the Duchy of Lancaster became the principal landowner in Harrogate. 
Harrogate's development is owed to the discovery of its chalybeate- and sulphur-rich spring water from the 16th century. The first mineral spring was discovered in 1571 by William Slingsby who found that water from the Tewit Well in High Harrogate possessed similar properties to that from springs in the Belgian town of Spa, which gave its name to spa towns.  The medicinal properties of the waters were publicised by Edmund Deane; his book, Spadacrene Anglica, or the English Spa Fountain was published in 1626. 
In the 17th and 18th centuries further chalybeate springs were discovered in High Harrogate, and both chalybeate and sulphur springs were found in Low Harrogate. The two communities attracted many visitors. A number of inns were opened for visitors in High Harrogate in the 17th century (the Queen's Head, the Granby, the Dragon and the World's End). In Low Harrogate, the Crown was open by the mid-18th century, and possibly earlier.  
In accordance with an Enclosure Act of 1770, promoted by the Duchy of Lancaster, the Royal Forest of Knaresborough was enclosed.  The enclosure award of 1778 clarified ownership of land in the Harrogate area. Under the award, 200 acres (81 ha) of land, which included the springs known at that time, were reserved as a public common, The Stray, which has remained public open space.  The Enclosure Award facilitated development around the Stray. During the 19th century, the area between High Harrogate and Low Harrogate, which until then had remained separate communities a mile apart, was developed, and what is now the central area of Harrogate was built on high ground overlooking Low Harrogate.  An area to the north of the developing town was reserved to the Duchy of Lancaster, and was developed for residential building. To provide entertainment for the increasing numbers of visitors the Georgian Theatre was built in 1788.  Bath Hospital (later the Royal Bath Hospital) was built in 1826. The Royal Pump Room was built in 1842. The site of Tewit Well is marked by a dome on the Stray. Other wells can be found in the Valley Gardens and Royal Pump Room museum.  
In 1870, engineering inventor Samson Fox perfected the process of creating water gas, in the basement laboratory of Grove House. After constructing a trial plant at his home on Skipton Road, making it the first house in Yorkshire to have gas lighting and heating; he built a town-sized plant to supply Harrogate. After Parliament Street became the world's first route to be lit by water-gas, newspapers commented: "Samson Fox has captured the sunlight for Harrogate." After donating the town's first fire engine, and building the town's theatre, he was elected mayor for three years, an unbroken record.
In 1893 Harrogate doctor George Oliver was the first to observe the effect of adrenaline on the circulation.
Harrogate's popularity declined after the First World War.  During the Second World War, Harrogate's large hotels accommodated government offices evacuated from London, paving the way for the town to become a commercial, conference, and exhibition centre. 
Former employers in the town were the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB), the Milk Marketing Board and ICI who occupied offices and laboratories at Hornbeam Park where Crimplene was invented in the 1950s and named after the nearby Crimple Valley and beck.
In 2007, two metal detectorists found the Harrogate hoard, a 10th-century Viking treasure hoard, near Harrogate. The hoard contains almost 700 coins and other items from as far away as Afghanistan. The hoard was described by the British Museum as the most important find of its type in Britain for 150 years. 
In 1884 the Municipal Borough of Harrogate was created, taking High Harrogate from the civil parish of Bilton with Harrogate and Low Harrogate from the civil parish of Pannal.  The borough absorbed neighbouring areas in subsequent years, including the whole of the civil parishes of Bilton and Starbeck, and a large part of the civil parish of Pannal, including the village of Pannal, in 1938. The municipal borough was abolished in 1974, when Harrogate was transferred from the West Riding to North Yorkshire and became part of the wider Borough of Harrogate. Harrogate then became an unparished area, with no local government of its own.
The MP for the Harrogate and Knaresborough constituency is Andrew Jones, a Conservative. He was elected in 2010, ousting the Liberal Democrats who had won the seat at the previous three general elections.  He subsequently won re-election in the 2015, 2017 and 2019 (albeit with a reduced majority) general elections.
The town is governed by Harrogate Borough Council, which since the 2010 election has had a Conservative majority. 
The Borough of Harrogate is twinned with:
The town has good commuter services for people who work in the City of Leeds, City of Bradford, York, East Riding of Yorkshire and North Yorkshire in general.   Harrogate is prosperous and has some of the highest property prices in England, with many properties in the town and surrounding villages valued at £1 million or more, it is generally considered the most expensive place to live in the North of England.  Fulwith Mill Lane in Harrogate is the most expensive street in Yorkshire. 
Harrogate is situated on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, with the Vale of York to the east and the upland Yorkshire Dales to the west and north-west. It has a dry and mild climate, typical of places in the rain shadow of the Pennines. It is on the A59 from Skipton to York. At an altitude of between 100 and 200 metres (330 and 660 ft), Harrogate is higher than many English settlements. It has an average minimum temperature in January of slightly below 0 °C (32 °F) and an average maximum in July and August of 20 °C (68 °F). 
Harrogate's climate is classified as warm and temperate. There is significant rainfall throughout the year in Harrogate. Even the driest month still has a lot of rainfall. The Köppen-Geiger climate classification is Cfb. The average annual temperature in Harrogate is 48 °F (8.9 °C). In a year, the average rainfall is 29 inches (742 mm). 
|Climate data for Climate data for Harrogate|
|Record high °C (°F)||16|
|Average high °C (°F)||6.9|
|Average low °C (°F)||0.8|
|Record low °C (°F)||−16|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||52.7|
|Average precipitation days||11.1||9.1||9.5||9.3||9.1||9.3||8.9||10.0||8.6||10.4||11.3||10.7||117.2|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||40||59||98||141||190||218||229||203||156||103||65||47||1,548|
|Source: Met Office |
Harrogate has a strong and varied economy. The conference and exhibition industry is the focus of the town's business, with Harrogate International Centre  the third largest fully integrated conference and exhibition centre in the UK, and one of the largest in Europe.  Harrogate draws numerous visitors because of its conference facilities. In 2016 such events alone attracted 300,000 visitors to Harrogate.  The convention centre was developed in 2020 to be used as a Nightingale Hospital. However, whilst it has been used in an NHS capacity, it has not treated any Coronavirus patients (as of late January 2021) because the conventional hospitals had not run out of capacity. 
It brings in over £150 million to the local economy every year and attracts in excess of 350,000 business visitors annually.  The town is home to the Great Yorkshire Showground and Pavilions of Harrogate, which are major conference destinations. 
Harrogate is the home of Yorkshire Tea, exported by Taylors of Harrogate, as well as internationally exported Harrogate Spring Water.   The town also exports Farrah's Toffee, Harrogate Blue cheese and Debbie & Andrews Harrogate sausages.
The Great Yorkshire Showground is the hub of the regional agricultural industry, hosted by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society. The Great Yorkshire Show, Countryside Live and the twice yearly Harrogate Flower Shows take place there annually. The many business visitors to Harrogate sustain a number of large hotels, some originally built for visitors to the Spa.
Harrogate's main shopping district is focused on Cambridge Street, Oxford Street, Beulah Street and James Street where most of the high street shops can be found. There is a wide range of boutique and designer shopping on Parliament Street and in the Montpellier Quarter, as well as independent shopping around Commercial Street.
Eating out is popular in Harrogate, and the town is well served by restaurants. Parliament Street and Cheltenham Parade are lined with many independent and chain restaurants, while there is a concentration of chain restaurants on John Street and Albert Street.
The following companies are either headquartered or have significant bases in Harrogate.
There are many fine examples of architecture about the town. The only Grade I listed building in Harrogate is St Wilfrid, Duchy Road, which was designed by the architect Temple Lushington Moore and is often considered to be his masterpiece.  Another main landmark is the Royal Hall theatre, a Grade II listed building designed by Frank Matcham.  As the only surviving Kursaal in Britain, the Royal Hall is an important national heritage building.  Restoration work was completed in 2007, and the hall was reopened on 22 January 2008, by the Prince of Wales.  In Station Parade stands the Jubilee Memorial, commemorating Queen Victoria's golden jubilee of 1887. 
The Royal Pump Room houses Europe's strongest sulphur well,  but is now a museum showcasing the town's spa history.
An imposing cenotaph is an important landmark in the centre of the town.
Two military installations are located to the west of Harrogate, the Army Foundation College and RAF Menwith Hill, an electronic monitoring station. There used to be a Royal Air Force supply depot and logistics centre on St George's Road in the south-west of the town, but this closed down in 1994.  During the Second World War, RAF Harrogate was also used as a training establishment for medical staff and recruit training for the Women's Auxiliary Air Force. 
Bettys are Tea Rooms established in 1919 owned by Bettys and Taylors of Harrogate – the same company that market Yorkshire Tea. Bettys has a second tea room at the RHS Harlow Carr Gardens. 
The Mercer Art Gallery  is home to Harrogate district's art collection which consists of some 2,000 works of art, mainly from the 19th and 20th centuries. The collection includes works by William Powell Frith, Atkinson Grimshaw, Sir Edward Burne-Jones, Dame Laura Knight and Alan Davie.
The Montpellier Quarter is the centre of the town's nightlife, which is mainly centred on the renovated Royal Baths development.
The Valley Gardens, in Low Harrogate, is the town's main park and covers much of the area originally known as 'Bogs Field', where a number of springs were discovered. The Valley Gardens (locals use the definite article) has an ice-cream parlour, children's play area with outdoor paddling pool, a skate park, frisbee golf, crazy golf and mini golf. The Sun Pavilion at the northern edge of the park can be privately hired for weddings. Tennis courts and a bowling green are in the west of the park. The Friends Of Valley Gardens group was formed in 2009 to support the park. It works in partnership with Harrogate Borough Council to guide the park's development.
The Stray is an area of open parkland in the centre of the town. It was created in 1778 to link most of Harrogate's springs in one protected area by an act of Parliament which fixed its area as 200 acres (81 ha ), and even now when part is removed, e.g. due to road widening, it must be replaced elsewhere. During the Victorian period, there was a racecourse for horses there.
RHS Harlow Carr gardens , on the western edge of Harrogate, are award-winning themed gardens and are the Royal Horticultural Society's main presence and representative in the North of England.
Crescent Gardens is a small open area in central Harrogate surrounded by some of the town's main tourist attractions including the Royal Pump Room, Royal Baths and Royal Hall, as well as the Harrogate Council Offices. Hall M of the Harrogate International Centre fronts onto Crescent Gardens.
The town has several smaller parks and gardens, including The Softpot Garden at Grove House, the Jubilee Gardens and Victoria Gardens on the eastern side of central Harrogate.
On 11 January 1900, Harrogate Grand Opera House, now Harrogate Theatre opened with a charity gala in aid of British soldiers fighting the Boer War in South Africa followed on 13 January 1900 by J Tully's pantomime Dick Whittington'.
In 1966, the Harrogate Festival of Arts & Science was established, now known as the Harrogate International Festivals and the North of England's leading arts festival,  incorporating a number of festivals within the portfolio including the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival & Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award, Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival, Harrogate Music Festival and a number of year-round events within the portfolio.
The town hosted the Eurovision Song Contest 1982 in the Harrogate International Centre. 
Harrogate won the 2003 and 2016 Britain in Bloom in the category of 'Large Town' and the European Entente Florale in 2004 reprising its win in the first Entente Florale in 1977. Harrogate was a gold medal winner of Europe in Bloom in 2004. In 2005, a Channel 4 TV show listed Harrogate as the UK's third best place to live. In 2006 it came fourth in the same league; the programme claimed that it placed lower due to "a slight dip in exam results", although presenter Phil Spencer noted that it was his personal favourite. 
Harrogate has two orchestras; Harrogate Symphony Orchestra  and Harrogate Philharmonic Orchestra. 
The town is also home to an underground music scene that has produced heavy metal and punk rock groups including Workshed, Acid Reign and Blood Youth.   It is also home to Bombed Out records, an independent record label, who has signed groups such as Fig 4.0. 
On 5 July 2014, Harrogate served as the finish line of the first stage  of the Tour de France. The event attracted record crowds to the town centre and was televised to a global audience. British cyclist Mark Cavendish was forced to drop out of the race when he crashed a few metres from the finish line and suffered a dislocated shoulder.  The town has since been the focal point for finishing stages of the Tour de Yorkshire in 2017.  Each event of the 2019 UCI Road World Championships finished in the town, although the entire historic county of Yorkshire was the official host.
Harrogate Town AFC play at Wetherby Road. The club competes in League Two, the fourth tier of English football, following promotion to the English Football League, which came via victory in the 2019–20 National League Play-offs.  They have a historical rivalry with Harrogate Railway Athletic F.C., of the Northern Counties East Football League, located at Station View.
Harrogate RUFC is a North Premier team and formerly based at The County Ground, Claro Road but relocated to Rudding Lane to the South side of the town.
Harrogate Cricket Club is to be the home of Yorkshire Women cricket team. Until 1995 the town hosted one Yorkshire county game per year at the St George's Road cricket ground. Since 2022, the ground has been sponsored by Kirbys Solicitors. In 2008, a fire destroyed the historic old pavilion at the ground but it has since been re-built with a modern pavilion, bar, function room and changing rooms.
Harrogate Cricket Club has 4 Saturday teams:
Bilton Cricket Club, off Bilton Lane provides opportunities for players of all ages to play in Local League Cricket, Bilton Cricket Club have a good natured rivalry with Harrogate Cricket Club with Bilton defeating Harrogate at St Georges Road in the Black Sheep Trophy of 2006.
Accord to designer Thomas Heatherwick, the Olympic Cauldron for the 2012 London Olympics was built in a ‘Bond Gadget Workshop’ in Harrogate. 
Harrogate Harriers run from Harrogate Squash & Fitness Centre on Hookstone Drive and Nidd Valley Road Runners share the premises of Harrogate Hockey Club. Harrogate District Swimming Club is an amateur level swimming club that has had teams compete at National level. Rock climbing is a sport in and around Harrogate, indoors at the Harrogate Climbing Centre and at Almscliffe Crag and Brimham Rocks.
The town is served by four railway stations on the Harrogate Line; Harrogate, Hornbeam Park, Pannal and Starbeck. All are served by Northern Trains services from Leeds to York, while London North Eastern Railway operates a two-hourly service to London King's Cross. 
The former railway lines to Tadcaster and Wetherby were dismantled in the 1960s. 
The Ripon line was closed to passengers on 6 March 1967 and to freight on 5 September 1969 as part of the wider Beeching Axe, despite a vigorous campaign by local campaigners, including the city's MP.  Today much of the route of the line through the city is now a relief road and although the former station still stands it is now surrounded by a new housing development. The issue remains a significant one in local politics and there are movements to restore the line.  Reports suggest the reopening of a line between Ripon and Harrogate would be economically viable, costing £40 million and could initially attract 1,200 passengers a day, rising to 2,700.   Campaigners call on MPs to restore Ripon railway link. 
Buses are every 15 minutes between Harrogate, Ripon and Leeds (via Harewood, Moortown and Chapel Allerton) on route 36, which run more frequently at peak time and overnight on Fridays and Saturdays between Leeds and Harrogate. The 7 route runs to Leeds via Wetherby, Boston Spa and Seacroft as well as other parts of semi-rural Leeds. There are services to Otley, Bradford, Knaresborough and Pateley Bridge.
Road transport to Leeds is via the A61 (north and central Leeds), A658 (north-west Leeds/Leeds Bradford Airport) and A661 (for north-east Leeds). The A61 continues northwards to Ripon, while the A658 connects to Bradford after passing through north-west Leeds. The A658 also forms the Harrogate Bypass that skirts the south and east of the town, joining the A59 linking York and the A1(M) to the east and Skipton to the west with Harrogate.
Harrogate bus station is in the town centre. It is managed by Harrogate Bus Company, the main operator.  The 13 stands are also used by Connexionsbuses,  Transdev York & Country  and National Express.
In 2018 all bus routes that operated within Harrogate and did not venture to other towns became served by electric buses. These buses charge on stands 1–3 at Harrogate bus station. The scheme is part funded by the government's Low Emission Bus Scheme. 
The nearest airport is Leeds Bradford, 10 miles (16 km) to the south-west, to which there are bus services on route A2  and train services on the Harrogate Line to Horsforth, one of the closest stations. Teesside and Doncaster Sheffield are next nearest to the town while Manchester Airport is accessible by rail via Leeds.
Harrogate has a non-civilian airport of its own at RAF Linton-on-Ouse, which carries the IATA code HRT for Harrogate. 
Harrogate High School was rebuilt under a governmental scheme in mid-2017. It is also home to many private schools in the town centre and others in the surrounding areas, such as Queen Ethelbuga's.
In 2012, Harrogate had the highest concentration of drink-drivers in the UK.  A March 2013 survey from the British property website Rightmove ranked Harrogate as the "happiest place" to live in the United Kingdom; the same result was seen in 2014 and 2015.  In 2014, Harrogate District Hospital had the best cancer care of any hospital in England. 
Knaresborough is a market and spa town and civil parish in the Borough of Harrogate, in North Yorkshire, England, on the River Nidd. It is 3 miles (4.8 km) east of Harrogate.
The Borough of Harrogate is a local government district with borough status in North Yorkshire, England. Its population at the census of 2011 was 157,869. Its council is based in the town of Harrogate, but it also includes surrounding towns and villages. This includes the cathedral city of Ripon and almost all of the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The Harrogate line is a passenger rail line through parts of North Yorkshire and the West Yorkshire area of northern England connecting Leeds to York by way of Harrogate and Knaresborough. Service on the line is operated by Northern, with a few additional workings by London North Eastern Railway starting and terminating at Harrogate. West Yorkshire Metro's bus and rail MetroCard ticket is available for journeys between Leeds and Harrogate.
Harrogate was a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament. As with all constituencies, the constituency elected one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election. The constituency was renamed Harrogate and Knaresborough in 1997.
Harrogate and Knaresborough is a parliamentary constituency in North Yorkshire which has been represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2010 by Andrew Jones, an MP from the Conservative Party. The constituency was formed in the 1997 boundary changes, before which it was named Harrogate.
Bilton is a suburb of Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England, situated to the north-east of the town centre.
Harrogate railway station serves the town of Harrogate in North Yorkshire, England. Located on the Harrogate Line it is 18.25 miles (29 km) north of Leeds. Northern Trains operate the station and provide local passenger train services, with a London North Eastern Railway service to and from London King's Cross running six times per day.
Starbeck is a railway station on the Harrogate Line, which runs between Leeds and York via Harrogate. The station, situated 18+1⁄4 miles (29 km) west of York, serves the suburb of Starbeck, Borough of Harrogate in North Yorkshire, England. It is owned by Network Rail and managed by Northern Trains.
Killinghall is a village and civil parish in the Harrogate district of North Yorkshire, England. The civil parish population taken at the 2011 census was 4,132.
The Harrogate Bus Company operates both local and regional bus services in North Yorkshire and West Yorkshire, England. It is a subsidiary of Transdev Blazefield.
Starbeck is an area of Harrogate in North Yorkshire, England. The population of Starbeck Ward taken at the 2011 census was 6,226. It has many facilities, including Starbeck railway station, which serves the Harrogate Line. Frequent services depart to Harrogate, Leeds and York.
The Churches in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England, number around 30. Almost every one is listed on the Churches Together website.
The Nidderdale Greenway is a 4-mile (6.4 km) path that runs between Harrogate and Ripley in North Yorkshire, England. It uses a former railway line that ran between Harrogate and Pateley Bridge as its course. The route connects to other cycle paths including the Way of the Roses.
Isaac Thomas Shutt was an architect, a farmer, and the proprietor of the Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, then in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England, from 1849 to 1879. In 1842, at the age of 24 years, he designed the Royal Pump Room, Harrogate, now a Grade II* listed building. In partnership with Alfred Hill Thompson he co-designed the Church of All Saints, Harlow Hill.
The Forest of Knaresborough was a royal hunting forest in Yorkshire, England. It covered an area of some 45 square miles (120 km2) west and south of the town of Knaresborough, between the River Nidd and the River Wharfe, then in the West Riding of Yorkshire and now in North Yorkshire.
Malcolm George Neesam was an English historian and writer specialising in the history of Harrogate, North Yorkshire. He was also a librarian and archivist. His major works were the first two parts of a projected trilogy on that subject: Harrogate Great Chronicle, 1332–1841 (2005) and Wells and Swells: The Golden Age of Harrogate Spa, 1842–1923 (2022). The third part was to remain unfinished when he died, although his research papers are preserved in the Walker-Neesam Archive at the Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate.
Richard Ellis (1820–1895), J.P., of Harrogate, North Riding of Yorkshire, England, was a builder, property developer, alderman, mayor, and a public benefactor to his town. The son of a blacksmith, he was a self-made man who started as a joiner and became a rich developer who joined High and Low Harrogate into a single town, helped obtain a Charter of Corporation, and promoted the erection of civic buildings appropriate for a spa town. Thus he became known as the Bismarck of Harrogate, his achievement in joining two villages to create a single town having been wittily compared in the 19th century with Bismarck's unification of Germany.
John Turner (1800–1883) of Bradford and Harrogate in Yorkshire, England, was a draper, landlord, and moneylender, whose perceived behaviour led to his reputation as a miser.