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Harrogate & Ilkley

Explore two Victorian Spa Towns

Today we will visit two Spa Towns in a day - Ilkley on the edge of the Moors and on the doorstep of the Dales, as well as the North Yorkshire town of Harrogate. Both these towns owe their growth to the springs which appear and have always been thought to have healing and medicinal properties.

We will visit Ilkley, where we will hear about its bronze age, roman and saxon roots, seeing parts of the old roman fort and the 3 saxon crosses which still remain from these eras. We will take a tour of the town hearing about and seeing the Victorian acrhitecture and reminders of Ilkey's previous life as a bustling spa town.

Ilkley is a beautiful town with many independent shops and places for refreshement. Depending on how active you are feeling, there are a range of different walks we can take including short climbs up to White Wells, a Darwin Trail in memory of his time staying in Ilkley or just a town tour inluding a walk along the River Wharfe.

We will continue our spa town theme by heading to Harrogate. Now a thriving conference town but once one of the biggest Spa towns where the rich and famous would come to take the waters, receive hydrotherapy treatments and promenade!

We can visit the old pump room, see the Old Swan Hotel where Agatha Christie famously went missing, see the old Kursaal or Royal hall, walk on the Stray, see the Old Royal baths and generally get a feel for the town. Depending on what you fancy doing we could maybe arrange a tour of the Turkish Baths or even stop to use them ourselves or tie in the day with a visit to RHS Harlow Carr - a wonderful Royal Horticultural Society garden.

Both towns have Betty's tea rooms if you fancy a traditional Yorkshire afternoon tea or lunch, but there are also plenty of other options.

As with all our tours, the days are flexible and can be tailored to your mobility, energy levels and interests.

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