Set amid the stunning countryside immortalised by TV's 'All Creatures Great and Small', the town of Harrogate is an impressive sight in its own right. Owing to its spa town status, Harrogate became much visited during the Victorian era by those seeking the supposed health benefits of the local spring water, and because of this popularity the town today is still dominated by the imposing architecture of that time.
Just outside Harrogate are a number of important historic sites that come highly recommended: the 600 year old Ripley Casle, which is full of interesting artifacts, surrounded by a huge estate and can boast gardens designed by 'Capability' Brown; the even more ancient Spofforth Castle that dates back to the Norman Conquest; the site of the last major battle of the English Civil War, Marston Moor, with its large obelisk to commemorate the fallen.
One of the things that is immediately noticeable about Harrogate is how green it is. Known as "England's Floral Town", there seem to be flowers and foliage everywhere you turn, the finest example of which has to be the Royal Horticulture Society Gardens. Frequently award-winning, these gardens are immaculately cared for and landscaped to offer a perfect oasis of tranquility.
The town's architectural heritage is evident in a number of examples, such as the Mercer Art Gallery which makes its home within a one-time Victorian Promenade room in the centre of Harrogate.
Another grand piece of the town's Victoriana comes in the shape of the Royal Baths, now restored to their original glory and boasting sauna and solarium facilities.
For those of a sporting persuasion, Harrogate has a vast range of facilities on offer, from the town flying club, sailing club or one of several local golf clubs.