Things to do in Harrogate on a Sunday
When the sun is out, there is no better place to be on a relaxing weekend than Harrogate. Residents and visitors alike are fortunate that there are plenty of things to do on a Sunday in Harrogate.
RHS Harlow Carr, on the western outskirts of town, is one of the most popular attractions on a sunny day. Its gardens and woodland walks are filled with families, whether gardening enthusiasts or not – and of course, having a branch of Bettys in its visitor centre helps to draw the crowds!
Similarly, Bettys on Parliament Street in the town centre is always a popular destination, as proved by the queue at the door at lunchtime.
But if you want to do something a little more unusual and perhaps avoid the crowds, we have some great suggestions of things to do in Harrogate on a Sunday.
Live jazz at the Harrogate Brasserie
For many years, this traditional destination has entertained its guests with live jazz. A range of talented performers visit the venue six nights a week, including Sundays from 8pm and often at lunchtime too.
There’s something very relaxing about the laid-back sounds of jazz while you eat or just enjoy a drink or two with good company. The menu features plenty of high quality dishes, with a traditional Sunday lunch on offer – and you’ll find an extensive wine list at the Brasserie, too.
Bands at the Blues Bar
If you’re looking for live music but don’t fancy jazz, try the Blues Bar in Harrogate – just a few doors down from Bettys. This venue has regular live acts and, on Sundays, often manages to squeeze three different bands onto the programme from afternoon into evening.
The bar has plenty of choice for drinkers, while upstairs, The Green Room caters for hungry customers. In the summer, there’s nothing better than spilling out from the cosy corners of the bar onto the hill outside, where the well-tended gardens and lawns of the Montpellier Stray are a great spot for enjoying the sunshine.
Petanque in Harrogate
It may be a very French pastime, but petanque is proving increasingly popular in Harrogate. A version of the traditional game boules, it sees teams compete to get their metal balls closest to the small wooden jack or “coche”.
There are four petanque terrains at the top of Montpellier Hill, just next to Bettys and behind the bus stops. You can hire sets of boules from Oxfam – right between Bettys and the Blues Bar, where you can also buy a drink to take with you to the terrains.
Harrogate Montpellier Petanque Club practises on a Sunday morning from 11am and always welcomes visitors to join in. Members will be happy to explain the rules and get you up and running on your own. If you know what you’re doing, the terrains are open and free to use any time – just grab a few friends and get started.
One of Harrogate’s most popular destinations is Valley Gardens, the historic pleasure gardens now proving ideal for visitors of all ages. From peaceful flower-lined paths to a huge children’s play area, there is something for everyone – and there are often events here too, including 1940s Day in June and the StrEat Food Festival over the August Bank Holiday weekend.
Enjoy crazy golf, pitch and putt or disc golf with equipment from the games pavilion, stroll up to the cool Pine Woods at the top of the hill, or settle yourself on the grass to enjoy live music from the bandstand on Sundays in the summer. Don’t forget to have a look at the charming Sun Pavilion and wander down the wisteria-lined colonnade before you leave.
Crimple Hall antiques
If you’re looking for your own piece of history, take a trip just south of Harrogate to Crimple Hall, near Pannal. Alongside the garden centre and Christian’s cafe, you’ll find an enormous antiques centre filled with everything you could imagine.
From ornaments and books to furniture, the aisles are packed with treasures you’ll want to take home with you. Although you can get there on the 36 bus or the train from Harrogate, we recommend taking the car if you can – you’ll be glad of the space for everything you’ve bought on the way back!
One of Harrogate’s newest and popular editions is our very own boutique cinema – Everyman. Why not have a drink and food as you sit back in comfort to enjoy the show? It’s a memorable cinema experience.
Mercer Art Gallery
Or immerse yourself in the exhibitions at the Mercer Art Gallery – a lovely venue where you can explore historical and contemporary pieces at your leisure.
Knaresborough Castle and Museum
For a beautiful and historic setting, it’s hard to beat Knaresborough Castle. Overlooking the River Nidd, the castle dates back to medieval times and the walk along the riverside is not to missed.
Enjoy the simple pleasures of fresh air, spectacular views and beautiful heather moorland at Brimham Rocks. This ‘weird and wonderful’ rock formation is popular with families, climbers and walkers for a great day out.
Or do something really different and take a Llama for a walk! Trek through the beautiful Nidderdale countryside and discover what makes this a truly unique experience.
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