Rain or shine…

find plenty to do in the Harrogate district this spring

Spring has arrived, the clocks have sprung forward and with the longer daylight hours, it’s a joy to be outdoors. 

Harrogate and the wider area are beautiful to explore whatever the weather, but should the drip, drip, drip of little April showers make you want to head undercover, you’ll find a great variety of exciting indoor attractions and unique indoor experiences to enjoy across the Harrogate district.

Harvest 6 3 81 90 x 96 inches 229 x 244 cm

Dive into culture at the Mercer Art Gallery, which launches a brand new exhibition of Abstract art this April. “Celebration” is a stunning collection of 60 paintings – several on a heroic scale – from 12 leading British Abstract artists, including Yorkshire’s Patrick Heron and John Hoyland, along with acclaimed contemporary Abstract painters, Mali Morris and Fred Pollock.

The gallery also showcases Victorian paintings from the Harrogate Fine Art Collection by famous artists of the day such as Atkinson Grimshaw, William Powell Frith and John William Buxton Knight who created their own interpretations of some of the area’s most famous landmarks. 

In the charming market town of Masham, you’ll find the Nolon Stacey Gallery and studio- where British wildlife artist, Nolon Stacey stocks the original pencil and charcoal drawings of his stunning portraits of British wildlife.

Royal Hall sm

Missed the thrill of a live stage show? Harrogate is famous for hosting fantastic events, including live theatre and the performing arts, so for true escapism why not catch a show while you’re here? There’s something to suit all tastes, from tribute bands to ballet, comedy to poetry, music, dance and more.

Sneak a peek inside Harrogate's Royal Hall, a stunning Edwardian theatre built at the turn of the 20th century and known as Harrogate’s “Glittering Palace of Gold” - open days take place throughout the year, offering you the opportunity for a guided tour of the grade II listed building. 

Across the wider area you’ll find a number of small and intimate theatre venues, such as Knaresborough’s Frazer Theatre and the Pateley Bridge Playhouse – where theatrical programmes range from touring drama companies to bespoke productions, often exploring local history and themes.

Royal Pump Room Museum Charlotte Graham Photography

Escape to the past and unearth the history of the Harrogate district with a plethora of fascinating museums to explore, covering topics from the spa heritage of Harrogate at the Royal Pump Room Museum Harrogate to the origins of law and order through the ages at the Prison and Police Museum in Ripon.

Step back in time at the Nidderdale Museum in Pateley Bridge, where eleven rooms within the old Victorian Workhouse cover all aspects of Nidderdale’s past. The open-fronted Buttermarket Museum in Boroughbridge dates back to the 18th Century and was built to shelter farmers' wives selling their dairy products on market day. The artefacts on display, donated or loaned by members of the community, help to tell the story of the area through the ages.

Stump Cross

For a family-friendly all-weather option, check out Stump Cross Caverns. Enjoy the natural wonders of this Yorkshire Dales’ show cave as you tread the paths of the designated walkways, all under cover and lit to entice. Budding artists will love a visit to Creative Capers a fun, family friendly arts and crafts studio in Harrogate which aims to inspire children to be creative and try something new.

Of course, we love April showers as they bring May flowers! - but if the weather is unsettled while you’re here and you fancy a little respite from the rain, head to the spa. It’s the ultimate way to unwind and escape and, as you’d expect, you’re spoilt for choice for spa options across the Harrogate district.

Extract Rudding outdoor pool

Treat yourself to a treatment at the world famous Turkish Baths Harrogate in the beautiful Royal Baths Building in the heart of Harrogate. Or enjoy luxurious pampering at Rudding Park Spa; Swinton Park Country Club & Spa; or the Harrogate Spa at Doubletree by Hilton Majestic Hotel. From a quick plunge in the pool, to an all-day, head-to-toe indulgence, there’s a spa package to suit all tastes.

Head to our Things To Do page for many more ideas on how to spend your time having fun in the Harrogate district, rain or shine.

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