New open-top bus experience is to be launched in Harrogate as part of biggest-ever Christmas events programme
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The exciting new open-top sightseeing bus experience is being launched at the start of December as part of the fayre which is being extended this year to help draw in more visitors after the success of previous years.
Delivered by Transdev and part of the York City Sightseeing tour fleet, the open-top bus experience will run during the weekends that Harrogate Christmas Fayre takes place from December 1 to 17. to transport visitors on a 15-minute route around the town.
Passengers will be given a unique view of Harrogate from above on the 15-minute route, alongside an on-board guide pointing out landmarks along the way.
The bus service will be available from December 1 to 3, then December 8 to 10 and, finally, from December 15 to 17.
North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for the visitor economy, Coun Derek Bastiman, said: “The programme of festive events in Harrogate will see people from across the region and beyond travel to the town to enjoy what is on offer which is a big driver for the local economy.
“The addition of the new open-top sightseeing bus will give visitors the chance to experience Harrogate in a new way.”
The open-top sightseeing bus will leave approximately every 20 minutes from Montpellier Hill, Crescent Gardens, Cheltenham Parade, the Bus Station and West Park.
Tickets cost £1 for adults, while up to three children aged under 16 can travel for free with each paying adult.
Transdev commercial manager Matt Burley said: "We're delighted to be chosen as Harrogate's leading bus operator to deliver this exciting open top bus tour of Harrogate as part of this year's bigger and even better Harrogate Christmas Fayre."
In April, it was announced that the Christmas Fayre had been extended to run for 17 days this year – a week longer - in response to calls from town centre businesses who reported increased footfall in December during the market’s run.
The event, which launched in 2021 and is delivered by Market Place Europe alongside Destination Harrogate, supported by Harrogate BID, has grown year-on-year and now offers an eclectic mix of up to 50 stalls selling Christmas gifts, decorations and seasonal foodie treats, which complement Harrogate’s independent retailers, restaurants, bars and boutique stores.
Also confirmed for the first three weekends in December, Little Bird Made artisan market will take up residence in Harrogate’s Valley Gardens.
The Harrogate Ice Rink, which made its debut in 2022, is set to return from December 1 with booking via the icerinkharrogate.com website.
Crescent Gardens will also feature a carousel and a selection of small fairground rides.
The free Candy Cane Express road train is returning, and there will be an illuminated lights trail Glow at RHS Garden Harlow Carr.
Meanwhile, the Country Living Christmas Fair is coming to Harrogate Convention Centre from November 30 and December 3
Other festive events across the district include Ripon Cathedral’s annual Christmas Gift and Food Fair on November 24 and 25 and the Knaresborough Christmas Market weekend on December 2 and 3.
Other events in the Harrogate area include Music and Lights and Carols by Candlelight at Fountains Abbey and the Christmas Adventure event at Stockeld Park.