Harrogate tops the City of Love

A woman walks her dog under the cherry blossom on the Stray,  Harrogate.18th April 2007.
A woman walks her dog under the cherry blossom on the Stray, Harrogate.18th April 2007.

Harrogate has beaten some of the world’s most romantic cities, being named as the third most popular destination for a Valentine’s Day break.

The traditional romantic hotspots of Paris and Venice are nowhere to be seen in the list of top ten Valentine break destinations according to research by holiday website secretescapes.co.uk.

London is named as the most popular destination, followed by Reykjavik in Iceland and Harrogate which has seen twice as many bookings as Paris, ‘the most romantic city in the world.’

Harrogate also staved off competition from local rival York, securing 11 times as many bookings according to the survey of over four million bookings.

Last year Harrogate was named as one of the happiest place to live in the UK and revealed as offering the best night’s sleep.

Rob Day, editor at Secret Escapes said: “You’d expect to see a surge of bookings for cities like Paris, Venice for Valentine’s Day and that’s certainly been the case traditionally. But this year, London took top spot, but Harrogate has also steamed into our top three, beating Paris and Rome.

“Harrogate is a northern gem,with great spas, restaurants and proximity to beautiful Yorkshire Dales, making it ideal for a romantic getaway.”

Angela Harris, director of Visit Harrogate said: “We are delighted to hear that Harrogate has been recognised by the world’s romantics.

“But when you think about the range of top quality restaurants, intimate little hotels, stylish independent shops and beautiful places to walk, we shouldn’t be surprised.”

A spokesperson from sectre escapes added that this is perhaps an early example of the ‘Tour de France effect’ with increased media attention on the town leading to a surge in bookings.