If you like spa days and garden tours, look no further than Harrogate, Yorkshire. During the last few unnerving months of lock down, I spent a couple nights in this “spa town” and I was not surprised when I found some much needed R&R. The Valley Gardens, the RHS garden Harlow Carr, and Ripley Castle and gardens, are just a few of what seems an endless amount of estates and beautiful landscapes to discover. The Turkish baths and healing waters have drawn people to this town since the 17th century! Needless to say, there is much to peruse and appreciate, and discover I did!
Voted one of the happiest places to live for three consecutive years, Harrogate offers that joyful sense of pride from its residents. Friendly smiles and laid back attitudes are the usual here, as if everyone started their day receiving an hour long massage. The youthful energy and glow I was seeing in others made me wonder, is there something in the water? I decided to test out the theory and found myself at the Rudding Park Spa, face up, floating like a piece of sea kelp in their indoor heated salt bath. It is at times like these when you think to yourself, I must stop thinking and quiet my mind. Of course, I’ve never been very successful at meditation, so instead I began dreaming up a bouquet for Harrogate.
Posh, soothing and elegant, the Harrogate bouquet offers an assortment of deep maroons and muddled pinks to portray that air of sophistication and calmness. Tea stained roses and ruby red hydrangeas are a romantic combination with the breezy and rambling wild grasses. This offering is a splendid interpretation of the tranquil city, with hints of joyful liveliness and manicured prestige. It is a winning arrangement for the seasoned gardener, or tea drinking enthusiast, offering warmth and delight to any corner.
Although my visit to Harrogate was quite short, and I know it will be some time yet until I can go back to the village of self care and pampering, I will always remember my time there as a lucky break of rejuvenation. Now that autumn is arriving and the seasons are transitioning, with it comes alteration to the flora and fauna of our landscape and gardens. As homeowners and farmers begin to dig up and prepare their beds for the winter we see that everything changes, it’s the one constant in life. But everything that ends, can be renewed again. Hope springs eternal, especially in Harrogate.