Harrogate at Christmas: Here’s 19 reasons to make it the perfect magical destination!
Brilliant events include Christmas markets, a Candy Cane Express driven by Santa’s helpers, and an ultimate shopping weekend and some magical illuminations.
What are you waiting for? Plan your visit now!
Here’s SIX ways to enjoy the best in festive shopping
1 … Tasty treats and unique gifts: Harrogate Christmas Fayre runs from December 1 to 17.
It’s a traditional Christmas market in the heart of Harrogate town centre with around 50 local and European traders selling everything from unique handmade gifts to tasty treats.
There will be live entertainment throughout the market including local community choirs singing everyone’s favourite Christmas carols.
It runs on Monday-Saturday from 10am-7pm, and on Sundays from 11-4pm.
2 … Special crafts: Harrogate Festive Artisan Market with Little Bird Markets will take place every Saturday and Sunday in December, up to and including December 16 and 17.
The artisan market is just a short walk away from the Harrogate Christmas Fayre in Harrogate’s Valley Gardens. A must-visit, this charming market has specialist stalls from handmade jewellery to Christmas decorations and lovely treats to eat.
3 … A firework finale: Save the date for Knaresborough Christmas Market, which takes place on Saturday and Sunday, December 2 and 3. Just 10 minutes on the train from Harrogate, the picturesque market town of Knaresborough is a must-visit during the Christmas Market which ends with an exciting firework finale on the Sunday.
4 … A fair in a stunning historic setting: A Christmas Food and Gift Fair at Ripon Cathedral on Friday and Saturday (November 24 and 25) is bound to be a delight. Soak up the atmosphere of the season under the roof of this glorious 12th century wonder
5 and 6 … Don’t miss the ultimate Christmas Shopping Weekend! Head to Harrogate on the first weekend of December, and you are sure to tick off your Christmas list with a variety of festive markets. Alongside the Harrogate Christmas Fayre, and the artisan Little Bird Market in Valley Gardens, events include the Country Living Christmas Fair at Harrogate Convention Centre (November 30 to December 3) and The Great Yorkshire Christmas Fair 2023 at the Yorkshire Event Centre on the same dates.
Here’s THREE ways to move around with Christmas vibes in mind!
1 … Get your skates on and head to Crescent Gardens to immerse yourself in a winter wonderland from December 1 until January 7. There you will find Harrogate ice rink, a traditional carousel and many more family attractions and activities to enjoy. Crescent Gardens is just a short stroll from Harrogate Christmas Fayre.Book your fun on the ice via icerinkharrogate.com
2 ... To Travel in festive style take a ride on the Candy Cane Express, Harrogate’s free Christmas Road Train!
Santa’s helpers will drive you between the Harrogate Christmas Fayre and the Christmas attractions at Crescent Gardens. The Candy Cane Express is free and will run from Monday to Saturdays between 10am-7pm (excluding 5-6pm), and on Sundays, 11am-4pm.
3 … New for 2023 ... the Festive Open Top Bus Experience will see visitors enjoy a guided tour around Harrogate, as you enjoy a captivating view from above! Hop on and off to enjoy shopping and attractions across Harrogate at this special time of year.
The Open Top Bus Experience is available from Friday to Sunday over weekends in December up to December 17. It will run every 20 minutes from11:30am-6:30pm (4:30pm on Sundays). The fare is £1 for adults, with under 16s free (limited to three under 16s per paying adult).
And if that’s not enough here’s FOUR more festive fun things PLUS a panto!
- GLOW winter illuminations at RHS Garden Harlow Carr. Details at Visit Harrogate
- Music and Lights at Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal Water. Details at Visit Harrogate
- Stockeld Park Christmas Adventure Winter Illuminations and Christmas Adventure. Details at Visit Harrogate
- Dick Whittington Panto at the Harrogate Theatre (oh yes he is!). Details at Visit Harrogate
- Harrogate Father Christmas Experience see Santa and this magical interactive elf-training experience! Details at Visit Harrogate
For a Christmas stay to remember here’s FOUR ideas
- The Majestic DoubleTree by Hilton Harrogate Majestic Hotel & Spa. Details at Visit Harrogate
- The Crown Hotel, Harrogate. Details at Visit Harrogate
- West Park Hotel West Park Hotel. Details at Visit Harrogate
- Goldsborough Hall Goldsborough Hall. Details at Visit Harrogate
And ONE thing to round off your Christmas experience
If you are staying a little longer in Harrogate, make time for a visit to the Turkish Baths, Harrogate. It’s the perfect warming escape on a winter’s day.
Details at Visit Harrogate
Whatever you’re planning to do this Christmas, make sure that a visit to Harrogate is part of your plans! To find out more, go to www.visitharrogate.co.uk/christmas