I’ve realised that I go to a lot of places that take quite a bit of time to get to, and just don’t spend a lot of time there. Last weekend I went to a place I’ve wanted to visit for years and I really didn’t explore that much. Never mind, eh? If I’ve learnt anything in the past three months is that I have a very predictable travelling style which followed me through my trip to Harrogate for mine and Jack’s third anniversary.
I’ve wanted to go to Harrogate for a really long time, and despite living in Huddersfield – a mere hour away on the train – for three years, I never made a visit. I’m very much regretting not going sooner, but at the same time I’m glad I saved the trip for a time when I understand how to use my camera a little better.
I wasn’t bowled over when I got of the train on a very grey, very wintery, lunchtime. Everybody told me how beautiful the town was and I was pretty underwhelmed. The shopping centre, no matter how beautiful it looked from the outside, was pants. The high street had potential, but was definitely lacklustre.
However, Jack pointed to a park on one of the many maps dotted around the town centre (thank you towns and cities that give out information about where you are without me having to rely on my phone) so we headed there. These turned out to be the Valley Gardens which were beautiful to walk through. An arch of trees, beautiful flowers, activities for all the family and a pretty special oriental garden in the process of being built. I was pretty much in love with the Pagoda statue and want one for myself.
The walk back to the main town was where the beauty that I’d heard of really kicked it. You know those traditional London houses – white walls, black doors, railings – you know the ones that fashion bloggers spend their days in front of to get incredible outfit shots? They’re not my favourite houses. In terms of city centre housing I’m more of a Yorkshire town house. They cost more than I will ever earn, but my goodness are they beautiful. I just wanted to walk up and down that road all day and pretend I own one of them.
A trip to Harrogate wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Bettys Cafe Tea Rooms, the original Bettys. I’ve wanted to visit Bettys for a very long time, since way before I moved to Yorkshire four years ago, but the queues were always horrendous. Jack and I went to York on our first Valentine’s together and the queue practically circled the entire building! With the queue being relatively short, we decided to chance it and within 20 minutes we had a table.
Two pots of tea and four scones later, we left with very full bellies and I’m so chuffed to be able to say I’ve visited Bettys. I still think the cost of a full afternoon tea is absurd, but it was worth it. I was actually planning on putting together a post all about my trip to Bettys, but unfortunately the lighting was pants in the main dining area and none of my photos are blog worthy! If I could be more choosy with a seat, I might chance a trip again in the future and sit by the window and give you my full review…perhaps with a glass of fizz in hand too!
We really didn’t do much in our 4 hours in Harrogate, but it was a lovely afternoon just the same. Jack got a bit wound up because I wanted to take photographs of everything I saw (note to self: don’t go travelling with him), but I had a whale of a time. In fact, I’m tempted to return at some point in the new year to get a few more photos as they look great on my instagram!
I just love Yorkshire, and would move back in a heartbeat. But for now I have to make the most of the fact Jack still lives in Huddersfield and I can visit as much as I want and still get free accommodation!