Beautiful stained glass in the hotel windows! The cross of St George and the initial G with the roses of England.
Off to the right we turned to get a view back to the hotel, before continuing up the road to the Pump Rooms. The original well was first advertised in the 1660s, and as its restorative properties became more widely known a canopy was built over the well. The evil-smelling sulphur liquid was dispensed to visitors and eventually a building was commissioned to be built over the well to offer better shelter to the ladies and gents who frequented the place. This is the entrance, to the pump room where you can still see the original well, look round the museum and taste the foul water! They say that Harrogate toffee was invented to take away the taste of the water! I can believe it! It really is revolting, yet it was the fashion in the 19th century to take the waters and people flocked to Harrogate to do so. The town became so popular that many attractions were set out to encourage visitors who would stay for “the season”, attending the assembly room balls; walking in the various gardens…the Crown Hotel Gardens for instance - for which this was once the ticket office (right) – the Winter Gardens under its glass domed roof, and the still existent Valley Gardens; taking tea in the pavilions, and bathing in the Royal Baths. Beautiful new buildings shot up, some of which are the buildings you see today, and some which were demolished to make way for a carpark for example, in the 1950s. Another few years and “Conservation” would become the buzz word, but too late for some.
There are lots of interesting shops in town, including this lovely antique shop and those in the Westminster Arcade which I had photographed the evening before. Upstairs there was a beautiful gallery with little shops arranged round it. Little nooks and crannies that house interesting little businesses and restaurants or tearooms abound, but we had one place in mind for a cuppie and a bite to eat – Betty’s!
We had to queue (wait in line) outside, such is its popularity, but it wasn’t long till we were ushered to a table by the window where we could watch the passers-by under the arcaded canopy, looking towards the cenotaph.
Linda went to the counter to look at what was on offer…. cakes laid out on silver trays, of which these are only a small sample, open sandwiches with rather lovely toppings… We made our choice and the waitress – or should I say server, these days? – brought our plates to the table. Eating at Betty’s is probably not the place to go every day…. but you have to go once!
Walking down to the crossroads again, I took another photo of the modern, though not out-of-place Royal Hall, with the theatre beyond. In fact I rather like this modern take on a Greek-style facade.
In the afternoon we split up and did our own thing, mine being to turn left past the front of the Royal Baths again to take a walk in the Valley Gardens. It was a beautiful sunny autumn day – couldn’t have been better - so I detoured a little, past the council offices that once housed the Royal baths; up steps beside the old town hall (left) where there was an art exhibition on show; across the road to take a picture of the pump room – the public well is situated under the window of the stone building, pretty much behind the lamp post! The smell around there is what we would call bowffing!!!
tree-ed paths and avenues,
We had had a great day and the next day we were heading for home again but with a rather special stop off on the way.
Talk again soon.