The Harrogate Christmas Market (now in its 8th year) was launched to encourage visitors into our wonderful town to help businesses during an otherwise quiet time. And as much as we’re proud that an estimated 70,000 people came to HCM in 2018, we’re even prouder that many of those visitors enjoyed Harrogate’s hospitality and retail businesses. While there is a lot to experience within the market’s confines, we’d like to highlight a few areas in our town that you might not know about that offer visitors a wealth of independent enterprises that will add to the enjoyment of your visit.
Adjacent to the Harrogate Christmas Market, the Montpellier Quarter is brimming with independent shops, as well as popular places to eat and drink. Check out the link above for the full list of what’s on offer. Here are a few examples to whet your appetite.
- Rose Velvet – elegant clothing paying homage to an earlier era, but with its own contemporary individuality.
- Montpellier Jewellers – the perfect shop for those looking to buy a diamond or vintage watch for that special someone.
- Blues Café Bar – a must for anyone who appreciates live music, as this iconic bar has live acts downstairs every night, as well as Sunday afternoons. Upstairs is a cocktail bar with a wide range of gins and other spirits.
- Fisk – critically acclaimed restaurant, specialising in fish and seafood dishes.
- Isles of Wonder – gift shop selling expertly curated, top quality goods from British artisans.
- Bettys Café and Tearooms – starting in 1919, Bettys is literally world-renowned for its sumptuous afternoon teas. They also have a shop selling bakery items, chocolates, teas and coffees.
- Crown Hotel – with a 300-year history and a £6million refurb, this hotel has a lot to offer. And it’s convenient location makes it ideal for visitors to the market.
- Toast – this womenswear brand has a “commitment to supporting and sustaining traditional textile techniques and craftsmanship. We collaborate with artisans from around the world…”
- Farrah’s Food Hall – purveyor of fine chocolates and toffee since 2016, Farrah’s also have a wide selection of old fashioned sweets and 12 varieties of butter fudge, which they make on the premises.
Cold Bath Road
Also bordering the market, Cold Bath Road is an interesting mix of residential properties and independent businesses. Follow their Twitter feed for the latest news.
- The Last Post – small but perfectly formed, this welcoming pub has an open fire to keep you cosy, as well as an extensive range of craft ales and cocktails.
- Tilly Peppers – a family-run café that is both friendly and accommodating for all dietary requirements. They do a mean paleo breakfast salad.
- Illingworth’s Hardware – while not quite like the famous ‘Four Candles/Fork Handles’ sketch by the Two Ronnies, this traditional hardware store is a treat for anyone who takes their DIY seriously. It’s amazing what you can find.
- Little Alligators – with a tagline of ‘EAT, SLEEP, DRESS, PLAY’, you won’t be surprised to learn that this shop sells a huge range of items for the little ones, from partywear to unicorns.
- Catherine Smith Vintage – whether you’re a fan of the 80s or need a genuine Victorian outfit for your Steampunk obsession, Catherine Smith Vintage will have it, including all the accessories like hats and jewellery. She also sells vintage bridalwear.
This sometimes overlooked street in Harrogate is a must if you’re seeking independent cafes, gift shops, jewellers, and other independent retailers selling everything from second-hand books to 100% vegan products. Follow the link above to find out more.
- Miss Claire Rose – this shop is the only one in the area that specialises in vegan food and gifts. They also sell a unique range of hand-made lingerie in soft lace.
- The Remnant House – selling both remnants and fabric off the bolt, this shop is perfect for crafters, and anyone addicted to textiles. They also have a great haberdashery and supply of sewing patterns.
- Bean and Bud – an award-winning café selling a changing range of coffee beans from boutique roasters, as well as uncommon teas. The mouth-watering cakes and friendly staff are the final ingredients which make this a popular spot.
- Crown Jewellers – this established, family-run jewellery shop has an excellent reputation, due to the proprietor’s qualifications and expertise in diamonds and gemstones, as well as the exquisite merchandise they sell. They sell a range of items to suit all budgets and tastes.
- The Cheeseboard of Harrogate – the smell alone is worth a visit to the fabulous cheese shop. You’ll never want to buy your plastic-wrapped cheddar from the supermarket again. Their extensive selection of rare and unusual cheeses from smaller dairies is a revelation to your taste buds. And they’ll let you try before you buy! They also stock a small selection of vegan cheese.
Just along Parliament Street from Bettys is Westminster Arcade. This stunning Victorian arcade houses some fantastic independent businesses.
Imagined Things – this small, but perfectly formed bookshop should definitely be on your itinerary! It sells books to suit all ages, plus a lovely selection of wooden toys, gifts, and cards. And the staff are very knowledgeable, so are happy to recommend something to read.
Harrogate Tea Rooms – charming cafe selling the most delectable range of home made cakes, including vegan and gluten-free items. They offer a fantastic selection of teas, as well as coffee. You can also buy loose tea to take home.
Cordings – when Stanley went to find Livingstone, he was wearing Cordings. With a shop in Piccadilly and Harrogate, this upmarket clothing brand sells exceptional men and women’s fashion for the discerning buyer. And Eric Clapton is a joint MD, no less!
Inger & Rae – located upstairs is this appealing gift shop selling an “innovative collection of designer-maker jewellery, ceramics, glass, art and design.”
If you’re staying for a day or two, Harrogate is very fortunate to have several theatres and museums. Harrogate Theatre, Royal Hall, and the Convention Centre Auditorium have a full programme of events covering drama, dance, comedy, and more. To find out more and to book tickets, visit the Harrogate Theatres website. The Mercer Gallery is very near the market and well worth a free visit to see the collection of 19th and 20th century works of art, as well as temporary exhibitions. Also close by is the Pump Room Museum, which houses Europe’s strongest sulphur well.
There are so many wonderful things to do and see in Harrogate, we just can’t write about them all. In addition to the areas mentioned above and to those in the very hub of the town centre, there are wonderful retail and hospitality businesses on West Park, Station Parade, and Kings Road. Do try and extend your stay to experience not only Harrogate Christmas Market, but everything our beautiful town has to offer. While we hope you’ll have a wonderful time visiting the Harrogate Christmas Market, don’t miss out on everything else the town offers. Why not stay for a few days?