Details of special Christmas events in Harrogate - including Christmas fair, Candy Cane Express and Victorian fair ground rides

A Christmas fair, Victorian fair rides, Candy Cane Express, markets and multiple Santa-sightings, are just a few of the things set to offer lots of festive cheer in Harrogate this year.

Friday, 3rd December 2021, 11:35 am
Updated Friday, 3rd December 2021, 11:36 am
Back Row: Father Christmas Experience Elf, Lord Mayor Trevor Chapman, HBC Council Leader Richard Cooper, Matthew Chapman, Harrogate BID, Sara Ferguson, Harrogate BID, Father Chrimstas Experience Elf, Front Row: Christina Harris (Cinderella) and Colin Kiyani (Prince Charming), Lady Mayoress, Janet Chapman

Following 18-months of drastically reduced revenue and visitor numbers, Harrogate Borough Council and Visit Harrogate are working with partners and stakeholders to create Destination Christmas, to encourage friends and families back into town centres.

Gemma Rio, head of destination management at Harrogate Borough Council, said: "We have been working hard to ensure festivities return with a bang this year in order to drive visitors to our district’s shops, restaurants, visitor attractions, hotels and B&Bs.

"There is so much for friends and families to see and do with our enhanced offering. We have a vast array of festive events and activities right across the district, creating an unmissable Destination Christmas for a festive day trip or weekend away across the Harrogate Borough this year.”

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The festivities include a number of Christmas and artisan fayres, Santa stops, light shows and beautiful outdoor displays across the Harrogate Borough district.

A magical window trail, which runs from December 6 to 24 featuring Percy the Penguin’s quest to find a play pal, has been created to encourage footfall into Boroughbridge, Harrogate, Knaresborough, Masham, Pateley Bridge and Ripon town centres.

Funded by the government’s Welcome Back Fund, the window trail features six festive images designed by local people and promotions and exclusive discounts from local businesses.

A borough-wide celebration requires a joined-up effort and support from multiple partners, Matthew Chapman, Harrogate Business Improvement District manager, said: “We are incredibly excited to be playing our part in delivering one of the best festive offerings Harrogate has seen in many years, and will encourage families, shoppers and revellers into the town centre.

"In addition to supporting the Harrogate Christmas Fayre and co-funding the Ferris wheel, Victorian carousel, and helter-skelter, we’re proud to partner with the Rotary Club of Harrogate for the annual Christmas Shop Window competition and Harrogate International Festivals for their North Pole post office. Young families are delighted by our Father Christmas Experience in association with the Crown Hotel, and we’re working with Harrogate Borough Council to offer free parking in the Victoria car park at set times during December to encourage shoppers into the town centre."

The Harrogate Christmas fair, delivered by Market Place Europe, the UK’s leading and award-winning Christmas market operator, has opened and will run until Sunday December 12. It is open from 10am to 7pm from Monday to Wednesday, 10am to 9pm from Thursday to Saturday, and from 10am to d 4.30pm on Sunday.

Taking place in the heart of the existing retail quarter, the free-to-ride Candy Cane Express Road Train is shuttling passengers between Cambridge Street, Market Place, Station Square and Cambridge Crescent, so passengers can capture the fairground rides and the fair where they will find a smorgasbord of unique gifts along with mouth-watering treats for people to enjoy as they wander taking in the sights and sounds.

Highlights of Christmas events are:

Festive Fairground and Christmas Rides

Harrogate Town Centre

until SundayJanuary 2

Mon – Weds, 10am - 7pm; Thurs – Sat, 10am - 9pm and Sundays 10 am - 5pm

In addition to a truly festive Harrogate Christmas shopping experience, there will be traditional fairground rides including a Ferris wheel, Victorian carousel, helter skelter, entertainments and a performance area to captivate young and old alike.

Harrogate Christmas Fair

Harrogate Town Centre

Friday December 3 – Sunday December 12

Mon – Weds, 10am - 7pm; Thurs – Sat, 10am - 9pm and Sundays 10 am - 5pm

Experience the joy of Christmas in the heart of Harrogate this December when the town centre will host a delightful festive market featuring an eclectic mix of favourite local traders and traditional European Christmas stalls.

Among the charming stalls and entertainment will be arts and crafts from artisan creators, mouth-watering treats, festive decorations and unique gift ideas, for friends, for family, or maybe just for you, as a little treat amid the busy Christmas preparations.

There’ll be plenty to see and do to entertain the little ones too, with fair rides, sweet-treat stalls, entertainment and Christmas music to set the Yuletide mood. Climb aboard the Candy Cane Express, supported by Harrogate BID, a free-to-ride road train to travel around the town centre and take in all of the seasonal sights and sounds. Shuttling between the three main areas of the Christmas Fayre, traditional fairground rides and stalls, via Cambridge Street, Market Place, Station Square and Cambridge Crescent, making sure you don’t miss a thing during your visit.

Harrogate Christmas Artisan Market

Valley Gardens, Harrogate

Saturday Decemver 4 to Sunday December 5

10 am – 3pm

The perfect complement to the Christmas Fayre is the Little Bird Made Harrogate Christmas Artisan Market at Valley Gardens. Over 60 local traders, crafters and producers will provide a wide choice of wonderful festive arts and crafts, clothing, homeware and jewellery as well as mouth-wateringly delicious, locally produced food and drink, Mmmm!

It’s a great way to showcase Yorkshire’s finest and as well as finding lots of truly exquisite and unique hand-made gifts, homeware, soft furnishings and wonderful food and beverages, the Christmas Artisan Market is a wonderful way to support local traders, crafters and small businesses just in time for the holidays.

LNER Harrogate Christmas Experience Event

Friday December 10

09:33 to 12:23 From London Kings Cross to Harrogate

Climb aboard the exclusive event on Friday 10th December 2021, in conjunction Visit Harrogate, which offers customers the chance to experience LNER’s legendary hospitality onboard its new high-speed Azuma fleet as they travel from London King’s Cross direct to the famous Yorkshire spa town of Harrogate, renowned for its festive markets, boutique shops and restaurants.

The LNER Harrogate Christmas Experience service will depart from London King’s Cross at 09:33 on Friday 10 December 2021, arriving in the heart of the North Yorkshire town centre less three hours later. Customers will enjoy First Class travel, complimentary refreshments and receive an exclusive goodie bag as they journey north along the East Coast route.

The train will arrive in Harrogate, where visitors will receive a warm welcome before exploring its festive sights and sounds. Christmas markets offering delicious treats and distinctive gifts, a Ferris wheel and Victorian carousel are among the attractions adding sparkle this year to the town renowned for its eateries, Turkish Baths, independent shops and arts venues.

There’s something for everyone to enjoy here - from Betty’s world-famous traditional afternoon tea, to shopping at the thriving high street, or enjoying the splendour of the Turkish Baths, perhaps even take in a pamper spa treat – there’s plenty to see and do all within easy walking distance.

Book early to avoid disappointment and enjoy a first-class start to your Christmas plans. Booking details can be found here: https://www.lner.co.uk/harrogatefayre