Stylish Harrogate in the heart of Yorkshire couples its appeal as a spa town with bucolic bliss.
Quality of life associated with Harrogate has pushed prices to expensive highs for the north of England and as a result, a typical Harrogate home now costs a considerable leap above the wider average of North Yorkshire. You can check the latest figures here.
How much will it cost to buy?
For buyers, the current average asking price is £369,094. The table, below, shows how many properties have sold in Harrogate over the past 12 months, the average sale price, the current average value based on Zoopla's data and how values have changed.
What about renters?
Average asking rents in Harrogate currently stand at £999 per month. Renters will need to budget around £914 a month for a two-bedroom flat or £1,930 a month for a four-bedroom house.
Harrogate shares the refined air of beloved spa towns such as Bath, Cheltenham and Leamington Spa. The Regency, Victorian and Edwardian taste for fine stone façades, wrought iron railings and balconies is reflected in the town’s architecture.
Modern-day Harrogate is as popular with tourists and day-trippers as it was in the 1800s thanks to its location near the Leeds Bradford Airport and the A1/M1 road.
This is ideal for businesses fed by the hand of tourism but it can be a drawback for locals trying to find a parking spot, especially in the summer months.
However, Harrogate has plenty to offer to permanent residents including good schools, history, entertainment, festivals and plenty of trendy local eateries.
Where to start your property search
For a signature period house a stone’s throw from Harrogate’s centre, search around Park Parade and North Park Road. Parking in these central streets can be an issue, but Harrogate is a compact town and it’s easy to get around on foot or by bicycle.
Cornwall Road is another of Harrogate’s sought-after locations, offering established period homes. But new-build property is available close by at developments such as Oakdale, part of The Duchy Estate.
For villas or three-storey terraced townhouse, the streets leading off Cold Bath Road are a good call. Prices are high but if you’re prepared to take on a renovation, you’ll find plenty of opportunity here.
For smaller, semi-detached homes, try Sovereign Park, the former site of the Royal Baths Hospital. Fawcetts Yard, for example, a small mews-style development close to Waitrose supermarket, offers contemporary houses with zinc roofing, floor-to-ceiling glazing and state-of-the-art appliances.
The large stone villas and townhouse terraces of central Harrogate give way to 1930s semis and more affordable housing on the outskirts. To the south of the city, the streets off Otley Road, such as West Lea Avenue, are good spots for a range of old and new homes.
East of Harrogate, the suburb of Starbeck is gaining in popularity thanks to its railway station, amenities and parade of shops.
Check out streets such as Stonefall Avenue, off the busy A59 High Street, for period properties. If you’re in search of a bungalow or chalet, consider roads around Forest Lane or watch out for new developments in the area.
With eight primary schools and 26 secondary schools within a three-mile radius of the town centre, there are a lot of different options for your child's educational needs.
Many hold an Ofsted rating of 'good' or 'outstanding' and there are also a number of independent schools in the area. Springwater School also caters for students aged two through to nineteen who have a wide range of learning difficulties and associated Special Educational Needs.
What's for sale
... for the first-time buyer?
This two-bedroom cottage situated in Killinghall village offers both old-world charm and proximity to the beautiful surrounding countryside.
By car, the house is only a few minutes away from Harrogate town centre, making the village popular with commuters. There is also a regular bus service between the two locations.
The neutral furnishings of this cottage act as the perfect blank canvas, especially for the first-time buyer eager to personalise their starter home.
Available via Verity Frearson
... for the family?
As expected from a 1930s build, this three-bedroom home is spacious with well-sized reception rooms and an extended kitchen and dining room.
Situated in a sought-after area and within close walking distance from the esteemed Harrogate Grammar school, this is an ideal family home. To top this off, the idyllic Yorkshire Dales are a short drive away, perfect for refreshing weekend rambles.
Available via Verity Frearson
... for renters?
Although higher than the average rental price, the price-tag for this two-bedroom apartment could be well justified.
With a central HG1 postcode, this apartment is situated in the landmark Prince of Wales mansion, overlooking The Stray park.
Beyond the lavish entrance of the building, the immaculate apartment offers two good-sized bedrooms - one with ensuite - a sleek bathroom and contemporary kitchen. Large sash windows allow light to flood in, adding the perfect finishing touch.
Available via Force 10 Property Management
... with the biggest discount?
This three-bedroom duplex apartment has seen a 14.4% reduction in over a year since the first listing price of £450,000.
The apartment has been meticulously refurbished, boasting high-quality fittings and integrated appliances. Yet with the use of traditional wall panelling, cornicing and a grand bay window in the living room, the apartment's design remains in keeping with the era of the property and gives a crisp and elegant feel.
Available via Verity Frearson
The most popular Harrogate property currently for sale is…
A complete showstopper, this six-bedroom home is as majestic inside as it is out. The former Wesleyan Methodist Chapel built in 1896 has seen painstaking refurbishment.
Among the many wow-factors, a clear winner is the dining room which sits beneath a staggering 50-foot high ceiling - part of the original amphitheatre of the chapel.
From decorative marble flooring, Victorian stain glass windows and an Italianate portico, this home is truly a labour of love and a unique opportunity for the extravagant housebuyer.
The most expensive streets to buy...
Getting around Harrogate
By rail: Harrogate has its own station in the heart of the town. It’s also served by Hornbeam Park station and Pannal station to the south and Starbeck in the north east. Trains run to York and Leeds as well as to nearby Knaresborough.
Both York and Leeds are a 40-minute train journey away. Residents can then catch one of the regular services to London King’s Cross or Edinburgh Waverley, which take around two hours in either direction.
By car: Harrogate is a 30-minute drive north of Leeds via the A61 and 20 minutes west of the A1(M) London to Scotland road. It’s around 200 miles to London by road – a four-hour trip on a good run – and about the same distance and time to Edinburgh. Harrogate is also well-connected east to west by the A59.
By air: Leeds Bradford Airport lies 10 miles from central Harrogate. Services operate direct to Europe as well as to Heathrow and Glasgow.
Things to do in Harrogate
History: You’ll find the Royal Pump Room Museum on the site of Harrogate’s old Victorian Pump Room, a relic of Harrogate’s days as a spa town.
The museum showcases an extensive collection of ancient Egyptian artefacts, such as a mask and a mummy, as well some strange Victorian spa treatments and the oldest sulphur well in Europe.
Cultural: Harrogate has become known for its international festivals. Theakston’s ‘Old Peculier’ Crime Writing Festival is held annually in the town.
Authors and scriptwriters such as Lee Child, Val McDermid, Neil Cross, S.J. Parris and even Harry Potter author JK Rowling (appearing under her pseudonym Robert Galbraith) have taken part.
Harrogate’s springs were discovered in the 16th and 17th centuries and gained popularity for their supposed health benefits.
Today the Harrogate Spa and Turkish Baths in Parliament Street offer beauty and body treatments and therapies in Moorish-inspired surroundings of tiled walls, mosaic floors and decorative murals.
There’s a clutch of theatres and entertainment venues in Harrogate including The Royal Hall, Harrogate Theatre and Harrogate International Centre. Between them they host year-round plays and dance performances – amateur and professional – music and comedy.
Shopping: Harrogate is every shopper’s dream. Besides well-known high-street outlets such as M&S, TK Maxx, H&M and FatFace, the town has chic clothing shops including Jigsaw, LK Bennett and Hobbs, perfume outlets Jo Malone, Molton Brown and L’Occitane and exclusive stores such as OKA.
James Street is dominated by the stucco- and glass-fronted department store Hoopers, which in turn is surrounded by chic boutiques and jewellers. If you love independents, head for the Montpellier Quarter where the shops are interspersed with café-restaurants and bars.
Outdoors: Harrogate’s famed flower shows take place in spring and autumn at the Great Yorkshire Showground. The world’s top growers, landscapers and garden designers gather to build show gardens, display in the Floral Pavilion and offer horticultural advice.
The autumn show includes a giant vegetable competition and a chance to see top chefs prepare plot-to-pot dishes in the cookery theatre.
Plant lovers will also be attracted to Harlow Carr, which lies to the south west of Harrogate. Harrow Carr is one of only four designated Royal Horticultural Society gardens and is an inspiring and beautiful place all year round.
To the west and north west of Harrogate is Nidderdale, an area of outstanding natural beauty. It’s an ideal place to go for a walk, enjoy stargazing and get active, either by taking up a new outdoor pursuit or by joining like-minded enthusiasts. Besides horse riding, fishing and cycling, the area is popular for canoeing and kayaking, climbing and caving.
Residents aren’t limited to Nidderdale for natural beauty, however. The Forest of Bowland, the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the Peak District National Park are all within a 90-minute drive.
Food and drink: One of Harrogate’s biggest draws is Bettys Tea Rooms, which first opened nearly a century ago. The distinctive Parliament Street building, with its black and gold colonnade, is one of Harrogate’s landmarks. But be prepared to queue for a table if you haven’t pre-booked – afternoon tea at Bettys attracts coach-loads of tourists.
Is it really a trip to Yorkshire without a Yorkshire pudding? Yorkshire Tapas offers a modern twist with Yorkshire wraps and the delightfully named Tatties Bravas. International cuisine is also highly popular in the town centre with firm favourite Quantro offering high-quality food and a reasonably priced à la carte menu.
For craft beer, real ale and something a little bit different, head to Major Tom’s Social, which promotes itself as a youth club for grown-ups. Whether it be board games, a pub quiz or a night of funk and soul, there’s something for everyone - and you can even bring your dog.
Crime writer Agatha Christie hid incognito in the Old Swan Hotel after disappearing from her home in Surrey in 1926. The same hotel now plays annual host to Theakston’s ‘Old Peculier’ crime writing festival.
5 reasons to live in Harrogate
Easy commute to Leeds and York
Proximity to several national parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
Excellent choice of restaurants
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