The View National Express Autumn 2017 - 65

O N TX
H XE X TXOX W
XN
X ◆
The home
of literary
festivals

5

ITS DIFFERENT
APPROACH...
Harrogate likes to do things a
little differently and that's part
of its charm. I love that the
fairy lights in the trees on The
Stray are lit up from the day
the clocks go back in autumn
until the day they go forward
in spring. Throughout the dull
winter evenings, The Stray
sparkles with multi-coloured
lights to lift your mood.

6

IMAGES: xxxxxxxx

BRIMHAM
ROCKS...
I have a sentimental place
in my heart for Brimham
Rocks, on Brimham Moor. It's
a huge expanse of unusual
rock formations and my sister
(who's no longer alive) and I
spent many hours clambering
on these rocks together.
Part of the Nidderdale
Area of Outstanding Natural
Beauty, it's a great day out
- climbing on the rocks
affords great views and
brings out the kid in you.

7

THE FUN
F E S T I VA L F E V E R ...
Every year, Harrogate hosts
the Theakston Old Peculier
Crime Writing Festival in
the Old Swan Hotel (where
Agatha Christie was found
following her mysterious
disappearance). This year
16,500 tickets were sold over
the four-day period.
Other festivals include
Raworths Harrogate
Literature Festival and, for
a musical lover like me, the
wonderful Gilbert & Sullivan
festival, which celebrates its
quarter century next year.

8

M AG I C AT
CHRISTMAS...
The Christmas market, held
in the cobbled Montpellier
Quarter, lights up this
bustling area for four days
in November. But I love
escaping the crowds
and heading to RHS
Garden Harlow Carr. This
season, the 'Glow' Winter
Illuminations will see the
lake, trees and shrubs
beautifully lit.

THE WEIRD AND
WONDERFUL
BALANCING ROCK
FORMATIONS ON
BRIMHAM MOOR

HALES BAR IS
REPUTED TO
BE HAUNTED

9

THE PUBS...
Harrogate has some
great ale houses full of
character and history. I
like The Old Bell in the
Montpellier Quarter, which
dates back to the 1800s and
serves a great selection of
craft and cask ales, as well
as boutique spirits.
Hales Bar, the oldest pub
in town, has a gas-lit saloon
bar and numerous interesting
features and fittings from
the Victorian era, including
mirrors and cigar lighters.
It holds entertaining
party and karaoke nights,
attracting an eclectic mix
of people, which reminds
me of Dickens' description
of Harrogate and its people:
'Harrogate is the queerest
place with the strangest
people in it, leading the
oddest lives of dancing,
newspaper reading and
dining.' Sounds perfect.

1O

SURROUNDING
AREA...
Just over three miles from
Harrogate is delightful
Knaresborough, with its
castle set high above the
River Nidd. The lovely market
town of Wetherby, on the
River Wharfe, is also near.
For real escapsim, I head
to Linton. The Fountaine Inn,
a pub overlooking the village
green, is worth the trip alone
for its delicious Yorkshire pud
dippers with proper gravy!
I don't need to feel guilty,
because afterwards I enjoy
walking to Linton Falls.

For regular services to Harrogate from across
the UK, visit nationalexpress.com

65



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