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10 great attractions to visit this Winter

10 great attractions to visit this Winter

RHS Garden Harlow Carr

The most northerly of the Royal Horticultural Society’s gardens - Harlow Carr excels in the winter months, with vibrant displays of dogwoods and the first of the winter bulbs begin to make themselves known.  With hard standing paths and its very own Betty’s tearoom offering refreshments, you will find just as warm a welcome in January as in July.

How Stean Gorge

This geological wonder has the benefit of being somewhere you can explore and enjoy from inside!  This is all thanks to How Stean Gorge's magnificent café and visitor centre that overhang the gorge with glass walls and a glass floor.  Those who want to venture through the limestone chasm can get adventurous while those who do not can enjoy some delicious home baked goodies and watch from above.

Beningbrough Hall Gardens

The Hall at Beningbrough closes for winter while the gardens remain open on weekends and the parkland is always available to stretch those winter legs.  The walled garden at Beningbrough Hall offers those of a horticultural persuasion the chance to see how the team care for their soft fruits and tree during the winter months.  There are often garden volunteers preparing the garden for the year to come who are happy to share the secrets of this National Trust gem.

Coldstones Cut

The highest sculpture in Yorkshire, Coldstones Cut offers a view of Yorkshire unlike any other.  Perched atop the edge of the last working quarry in Nidderdale the apron of Coldstones Cut looks down unto the quarry pit where machinery and vehicles busily work away processing limestone.  From the two minarets, you can view Nidderdale and much of Yorkshire beyond.  A cold January day can often offer the clearest view and at night, the lights of the Teeside are visible, along with the transmitting tower of Bilsdale near Helmsley and the glow of Leeds and Bradford.

Mercer Art Gallery

From the 18th of January 2020 Harrogate’s Mercer Art Gallery will be hosting an exhibition of works by William Turner.  Northern Exposure is a collection of works by one of the most influential British artists, celebrating his sketching tour of the North of England in 1797.  These eight weeks began the journey exploring the interaction of light and natural elements that would define his career.  Northern Exposure is accompanied by an exclusive exhibition to Harrogate of Yorkshire artists whose work shows how Turners legacy is still evident in the work to see over 220 year later.

Ripon Cathedral

This impressive grade I listed church was built in the English Gothic style.  For the full impact head into the city centre and approach the Ripon Cathedral along the eclectic shopping Street of Kirkgate.  The woodcarvings of Ripon Cathedral choir stalls are thought to be the inspirations for Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. The author spent much time among the pews in the Cathedral where his father was canon. 

The Crypt of St Wilfrid’s original church built in 672AD is still intact and in use to this day, making it the oldest church building in continuous usage in the UK.

Brimham Rocks

The rock formations of Brimham are open to explore all year round and make an impressive backdrop to a winter walk.  These seemingly unlikely shapes of millstone grit are popular subjects for photographers with a choice of backdrops, stunning views and prolific lichens which offer powerful contrast in black and white.  Brimham Rocks is also very dog friendly and part of the National Trust.

Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal Water Garden

With hardstanding paths, wide open viewpoints, a deer park with herds of three different deer species and the abbey itself, a walk around Fountains Abbey already has lots to enjoy before you even reach the water gardens which have been granted UNESCO World Heritage Status.

Fountains Abbey is dog friendly and a great location for young ones to burn off energy and maybe get a little muddy while they are at it.  At the visitor centre you can enjoy a café serving freshly prepared refreshments, a children’s play area and a gift shop with a range of National Trust goodies.

Ripon Walled Garden

This garden project to the north of Ripon is well worth a visit on a winter mornings.  Ripon Walled Garden is home to a garden nursery with cafe and shop and a historic orchard with rare fruit varieties that dates back to when the garden was part of the Bishops Palace. 

The shop sells a number of craft products and preserves produced locally and all the profits from the café and shop go back into the garden. The Ripon Walled Garden supports adults and young people with learning disabilities in the local area.

Turkish Baths Harrogate

Saving the best until last, forget the chills of winter and enjoy the stunningly decorated Victorian Turkish baths for which Harrogate is so well known.  Lovingly restored to their original glory you can enjoy Turkish Baths Harrogate not only as a spa experience but also through an informative guided tour given by one of the team.  The baths are open daily, and the 45 minute informational tour which takes place at 9am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday.   Advance booking recommended.

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