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Harrogate is one of the UK’s most popular spa towns, so we think it’s only fitting to enjoy some time at the spa during a visit. After all, what better way could there be to soothe away the stresses and strains of modern life than by relaxing at Harrogate’s Turkish Baths - an institution that dates back to 1897.
#01 Spend time with friends
Harrogate makes a great destination for a weekend break with the girls. You’ll find stylish shops, elegant cocktail bars and, of course, the ubiquitous Bettys Afternoon Tea. Discover the best Harrogate spots for afternoon tea.
It’s just right for a sophisticated hen weekend or celebrating your birthday in style and a day at Harrogate’s Turkish Baths means you can spend time catching up with friends while getting primped and pampered at the same time.
Our top pick: The Turkish day experience. You’ll have the chance to relax and unwind in the Turkish Baths before getting a massage, facial, manicure and pedicure. You’ll come out of the spa with soft glowing skin, feeling a million dollars and ready for whatever the weekend has in store for you.
#02 Relax and unwind with a partner
Harrogate is surrounded by beautiful Nidderdale countryside that makes an idyllic backdrop for a romantic Yorkshire getaway. After a scenic stroll through the Dales, you can soothe away aches and pains and relax in the sumptuous surroundings of the Turkish Baths.
Spending time at the spa is the perfect treat to make a romantic weekend in Harrogate even more special.
Our top pick: Harrogate’s Turkish Bath has a couples’ treatment room where you can enjoy side-by-side massages for the ultimate in romantic relaxation. Afterwards, you can get a drink together in the Winter Garden Lounge then head to a Harrogate restaurant for a candlelit meal for two.
#03 Take in the grand Victorian surroundings
Harrogate Turkish Baths dates back to the late 19th century and the beautifully restored building retains many original features from this time.
It’s the most complete example of a Victorian Turkish Bath in the UK and is filled with the elaborate Moorish designs, Islamic arches, Italian floors and painted ceilings that were traditionally used in this type of building.
It’s said the baths were visited by royal families around the world and the relaxation journey still starts and ends in the intricately designed Frigidarium - exactly as it would have done more than 100 years ago.
Our top pick: Go for the traditional Turkish Baths experience which starts in the Frigidarium then moves through various heat chambers - the Tepidarium, the Calidarium and the Laconium. You can then cool off in the Plunge Pool before finishing your journey at the Frigidarium.
There are also regular guided tours around the baths where you can find out more about the building’s fascinating history.
#04 Enjoy a range of soothing treatments
As well as the traditional experience, Harrogate Turkish Baths offers spa treatments, wellness therapies and luxury packages to leave you looking and feeling your best from head to toe. Options include:
- Jessica manicure and pedicures
- Reiki, hot stone therapies and Indian head massages
- NEOM de-stress, energise and sleep treatments
- A collection of bespoke massages, facials and body scrubs
Our top pick: Treat yourself to one of Harrogate Turkish Baths’ signature packages which include a ‘mum to be’ treatment package and ‘fit for a queen (or king)’ pamper sessions which combine exfoliation with massages and a bespoke facial treatment. The 'Turkish Delight' package is one of our favourites with a luxurious rose and vanilla milk body wrap and rose or vanilla tea that’s served with a Turkish delight sweet to finish off.
#05 Explore the spa town of Harrogate
The springs of Harrogate were first discovered by William Slingsby in the 16th century and the unique properties of the sulphur and iron-rich water led to Harrogate becoming one of the North of England’s leading spa towns.
Visitors flocked to the town for the water’s therapeutic benefits and, while Harrogate may be better known today for its shopping and gardens, there are still plenty of reminders of the town’s spa heritage.
Harrogate Royal Baths
The Royal Baths building is directly opposite Harrogate Turkish Baths and has been transformed into an opulent Chinese restaurant. The original building architecture and design has been beautifully renovated with grand arches, pillars and stained glass so it’s a top choice for a stylish Harrogate meal.
Harrogate Royal Pump Room Museum
The Royal Pump Room is a grand octagonal building which was built in the Victorian era to house the town’s sulphur wells. Visitors would come to the building to drink a glass of Harrogate’s medicinal waters with up to 1,500 glasses served each day. These days, the building houses a number of interesting exhibits with daily tours down to the wells.
The Stray is an area of around 200 acres of parkland in Harrogate which links the town’s spas and wells; it’s also the site of the original Tewit Well discovered by William Slingsby. In the 18th century, the park was bequeathed to the people of Harrogate by the Duchy of Lancaster to be forever unenclosed and makes a lovely spot to enjoy a picnic, an outdoor game or a walk.
The Montpellier Quarter is Harrogate at its most cosmopolitan and elegant with pavement cafes, independent shops, stylish bars and exclusive boutiques. The area was built in the 1860s and it remains one of Harrogate’s most exclusive shopping districts - a reminder of Harrogate’s royal past.
Spirit of Harrogate
Spirit of Harrogate is a gin distillery that produces Slingsby Gin using the famous spa waters of Harrogate. Many of the botanicals used are also local to Harrogate and were selected for their restorative properties - the perfect excuse to treat yourself to a G&T! Spirit of Harrogate is based in the Montpellier Quarter so you can call in for a taster, to pick up supplies or for a gin-making experience.
Where to stay for a visit to Harrogate Turkish Baths
If you have been inspired to visit Harrogate and experience the Turkish Baths for yourself, Harrogate Holidays has a range of self-catering apartments and holiday cottages in and around the beautiful spa town.
Brass Castle is a holiday home with the wow factor (and a hot tub) that’s perfect for either a special celebration or an indulgent treat. With six en-suite bedrooms, there is plenty of room to gather friends together and it’s all set within a 100-acre private estate that looks out over Nidderdale’s Washburn Valley, just a short drive from Harrogate.