Weekend Harrogate – what is there to do with a reluctant teen? I was sorely tempted to batten down the hatches, curl up on the sofa with a packet of chocolate digestives and watch a pile of DVDs, but I definitely needed some fresh air and so did the boy. I’m a firm believer that children are like dogs and that they need a good walk every day! I just needed to convince the reluctant teen …
Our Chilly Weekend Harrogate Walk
I wrapped up well with woollies, wellies and coat, but the teen informed me that it was ‘deeply uncool’ for him to wear wellies…or a coat. We compromised. He wore his trainers but I insisted on a coat with a hood. I know this makes me evil and I can live with that!
After the initial grumping every 10 paces along the lines of ‘how far are we going’ and ‘how long are we going to be out for’, he started to cheer up.
We’re lucky enough to live just 10 minutes walk from Harrogate’s famous Stray – 200 acres of open grassland and verges wrapped around the main urban “old town” of Harrogate. The Stray is a popular spot for picnicking, kite-flying, outdoor games, local football matches and runners (me included). It’s a beautiful open space, whatever the weather.
While the beautiful old deciduous trees are still bare-branched, the carpets of crocus poking their heads above ground in a riot of purples and whites was a glorious sight to behold. The teen enjoyed the responsibility of getting just the right angle with the camera to capture their beauty.
A little further into our walk we discovered the Tewit Well. It’s a reminder of why Harrogate flourished and became known as ‘The English Spa’ in the Georgian era after its mineral rich spring waters were discovered in the 16th century. ‘Taking the waters’ became a popular health treatment and the springs attracted wealthy but sickly visitors who contributed significantly to the wealth of the town. Nowadays Harrogate is regularly rated as the happiest place to live in Britain and we have to agee!
The Tewit Well was the earliest of the Harrogate springs. Mr William Slingsby discovered the spring in 1571 and it was described by Edmund Deane in “Spadacrene Anglica” in 1626.
The original well-cover was replaced by the current pavilion around 1807-8. This was transferred from the site of the Old Sulphur Well in 1842 when the Royal Pump Room was built. It’s a circular pavilion with a modern fibreglass dome resting on a stone colonnade with 12 columns.
Once we were out and about, even the teen enjoyed our weekend Harrogate walk.
He hoovered down vast quantities of hot chocolate and homemade butter cookies as soon as we got home. He’d built up a healthy appetite with the walk! I feel incredibly blessed to live in beautiful Harrogate, with its abundant historical sites on our doorstep to explore so I’ve planned more outings. I just haven’t told the teen yet!