Harrogate & The Yorkshire Dales - 2 day Group Itinerary

Harrogate & The Yorkshire Dales - 2 day Group Itinerary

2 Days

This itinerary starts in the famous spa town of Harrogate. Popular among the English elite in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Harrogate is a charming place to visit, with beautiful parks and handsome tree-lined boulevards. Today the town is perhaps best known for being the home of Bettys and Taylors – the makers of Yorkshire Tea and proprietors of the finest tea rooms in England – not to mention Farrah’s Harrogate Toffee.

Harrogate is the perfect place from which to explore the Yorkshire Dales National Park, a region with a rich rural heritage and famed for its delicious produce. There are several excellent cheese producers in the Dales and this is thanks in part to the Cistercian monks. They started making cheese when they came over from Normandy, settling at abbeys such as Fountains back in the 11th century. This is best experienced when visiting the region’s world famous creamery.

Day 1

RHS Garden Harlow Carr and the Slingsby Gin Experience

RHS Garden Harlow Carr

Day one starts with a visit to RHS Garden Harlow Carr, one of four public gardens run by the Royal Horticultural Society. Set in a valley and very much a part of the Yorkshire countryside, the garden offers a variety of landscapes, from streams and lakes to woodland and wildflower meadows.

Highlights include Streamside, which runs the length of the site and is one of the longest streamside gardens in the country. The Winter Walk is also a magical part of the garden at any time of year, but especially when low light and frosts highlight the shapes, textures and colours.

On site there is even a branch of Bettys Café Tea Rooms and Shop, perfect for sampling fabulous food, delicious hand-made cakes, and the best teas and coffees.

Tour details

Min-Max capacity: Rates available for groups of 10+
Gardens Opening times:  1 March – 30 October: 9.30am – 6pm
31 October – 28 February: 9.30am – 4pm
Bettys Opening times: 9am – 5.30pm (April – Oct)
9am – 4.30pm (Nov – March)
Private tours: Available on request (minimum group size of 10)
FIT or Groups: FIT or groups.
Translation: Not available

Website: Rhs Garden Harlow Carr

Returning to Harrogate, next stop is a visit to Farrah’s Fine Chocolate Shop, in Montpellier Parade. Farrah’s was established in 1840, and this store stocks over 200 lines of old-fashioned sweets. A 5-metre purpose-built counter holds almost 100 different types of English and continental chocolates, with 12 varieties of butter fudge – all of which is made on the premises.

Just up the road on the corner of Parliament Street is the flagship Bettys Café Tea Rooms and Shop. There are over 300 breads, cakes and chocolates, as well as 50 different teas and coffees, to choose from, all of which are a great treat to take home.

Slingsby Gin Experiences

In the afternoon or evening, the perfect way to switch from food to drink is with the unique Slingsby Gin Experience, at the Spirit of Harrogate. There are three different fun and immersive experiences available, each including a range of activities – all including gin tasting of course.

Participants can sample the bar’s very own Slingsby Gin, as well as a selection of over 80 other gins and 30 tonics they stock, and take mixology lessons while learning about the history of gin.

Tour details

Min-Max capacity: Experiences available for groups of 10-20
Some experiences available for FIT/small groups
Experience frequency: Wednesday – Saturday 2pm & 6.30pm (2.5 hours)
Friday 6.30pm or Saturday 2pm for FIT/Small Groups
FIT or Groups: FIT or groups.
Translation: Not available

Overnight in Harrogate.

Website: Slingsby Gin Experiences

Day 2

Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal Water Garden, the Wensleydale Creamery and the Black Sheep Brewery Tours

Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal Water Garden

A busy day of sightseeing, and some of Yorkshire’s best producers, await today, starting with a short journey north to one of the largest and best-preserved Cistercian monasteries in England. Fountains Abbey was one of the most important in the region until it was abandoned in 1539, when Henry VIII ordered the Dissolution of the Monasteries, and now, along with the parkland in which it is situated, it has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The Royal Water Garden of the neighbouring Studley Estate was developed in the 18th century, inspired by the work of the great French landscape gardeners of the time. Visitors can enjoy the gardens, classical statues and follies much as they would have looked over 200 years ago.

Tour details

Min-Max capacity: Group rates available for groups of 15+
Frequency of Service: Open daily 10:00 – 18:00
Closed 24 & 25 December and Fridays November – February
Guided tours can arranged on request
FIT or Groups: Groups
Translation: Foreign language tours can be arranged

Website: Group visits to Fountains Abbey

Wensleydale Creamery

A journey into the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park to Hawes, home of Wensleydale Creamery, is the next part of this tasty itinerary!

Visitors to the creamery can enjoy a real taste of Yorkshire, from learning about the history and watching the cheese being made, to savouring the finished product in the on-site Cheese Shop. Tuck into a home-made lunch that uses locally sourced ingredients and is inspired by the use of the cheese, milk and butter produced on site, before browsing the extensive shop for gifts.

The creamery welcomes groups and offers a range of packages which can be tailored to individual requirements.

Tour details

Min-Max capacity: Group rates available for groups of 15+
Frequency of Service: Daily 10:00am – 4:00pm
Please contact the Creamery to make a booking – +44 (0)1969 667664
FIT or Groups: Groups
Translation: Not available

Website: Wensleydale Creamery

Black Sheep Brewery Tours

On the way back to Harrogate, Masham, a small market town with a big brewing history, offers a great pit stop.

A tour of the Black Sheep Brewery guarantees a quintessential Yorkshire beer experience. The traditional brewery can be seen in action with a visit to the fermenting rooms, where guests will learn how the award-winning beers are brewed, and of course get to try a few of the famous beers back in the bar. One of the most popular beers is the Black Sheep Ale, and fans of Monty Python might be keen to try the Holy Grail Ale – the official Monty Python beer.

Tour details

Min-Max capacity: Min 10 Max 25
Group rates available for groups of 10+
Frequency: Visitor centre open:
Monday – Wednesday: 10am – 5pm
Thursday – Saturday: 10am – 11pm
Sunday: 10am – 5pm4 scheduled daily tours, and private tours available (tours last one hour)
Evening tours are available on Thursdays & Fridays
Please contact the team on +44 (0)1765 680101 for more information and group
FIT or Groups: Groups
Translation: Not available

Overnight in Harrogate.

Website: Black Sheep Brewery Tours