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The Best Museums and Galleries in Harrogate for Rainy Days

The spa town of Harrogate is a place brimming with history and culture. For visitors to the area who want to explore more about the history of the town, there are several museums and galleries in Harrogate and the surrounding area. Our luxury apart-hotel Harrogate accommodation is the ideal place to stay when you want to explore the local area, so why not check out five of the best museums and galleries to explore next time you stay with us?

Mercer Art Gallery

The Mercer Art Gallery in Harrogate has a collection of over 2000 19th and 20th-century fine art pieces, along with temporary exhibitions running throughout the year. There are paintings, photography, sculptures and crafts on exhibit, including displays from local artists.

Open 10am to 5pm Tuesday to Saturday, 2pm to 5pm Sunday, open on Bank Holidays, closes 4pm November to March. Entry to the gallery is free.

Royal Pump Room Museum

You can find out more about Harrogate’s spa town origins at the Royal Pump Room Museum, built in 1842 for the affluent visitors to Harrogate. Here, you can visit the strongest sulphur wells in Europe, where every summer the waters would attract thousands, including Russian royals, politicians and artists, throughout the 19th and 20th century. Two World Wars and the NHS meant curing waters were not done as often, and the doors were closed before it was turned into a museum in 1953.

The museum is open 10.30am to 5pm Monday to Saturday year-round, and open 2pm to 4pm on Sundays between October and March.

Nidderdale Museum

Nidderdale is one of the Yorkshire Dales, and the museum in Pateley Bridge covers all aspects of life in Nidderdale. There is a Victorian sitting room, cobbler’s shop, general store and joiner’s shop and schoolroom to explore in the museum, which used to be a Victorian workhouse. The museum was founded in 1975 by locals who wanted to remember the traditional Yorkshire way of life that was disappearing.

Open daily from 1.30pm to 4.30pm between April and October and bank holidays. November to March, the museum is open on weekends between 1.30pm and 4.30pm. Admission is £2 for adults and £1 concessions.

Ripon Law and Order Museums

Ripon Law and Order Museums combines three museums into one great place to go for a rainy day out! The museums follow the theme of law and order and based at Ripon’s old workhouse, prison and courthouse. The workhouse museum and garden has recreated what life was like for the least fortunate in the 19th century. At the prison, you can see what prisons were like during Victorian times and the daily routine of prisoners. Last on the list is the courthouse, which has barely changed since it was built in 1830. Displays at the courthouse tell the story of the people who have passed through.

Opening times are 11am to 4pm Monday to Sunday until December 1st.

Knaresborough Castle and Museum

Knaresborough Castle was once a medieval stronghold, overlooking the River Nidd. When visiting the castle, you can explore on your own or join tours to learn about the king’s chambers, dungeons and the secret underground exit. Knaresborough offers amazing insight into the medieval life and its residents throughout history. There are interactive displays and costumes to try on, and there special events are held at the castle throughout the year.

Opening times are 11am to 4pm between April and September. Admission prices are £3.20 for adults, £1.75 for children, £2.10 for concessions and family tickets are available too.

Book online or call us today to see what dates are available for a stay in Harrogate with your family.


Image credit: Robert Lowe


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