RHS Garden Harlow Carr is one of five public gardens currently run by the Royal Horticultural Society (providing the RHS in its name), and is located on the western outskirts of Harrogate. Harlow Carr was obtained by the RHS via its merger with the Northern Horticultural Society in 2001. It had been the trial ground and display garden for the NHS since they had first bought it in 1946.
In the 18th century, springs of sulphur water were discovered at Harlow Carr but development of the site as a spa did not take place for over a century. Henry Wright, the owner of the estate, cleaned out and protected one of the wells in 1840 and four years later built a hotel and a bath house for those wishing to make use of the spring.
One of England’s most relaxing and innovative gardens, Harlow Carr shows off an array of horticultural excellence nestled in the beautiful landscape of Yorkshire. There are contemporary designs in the borders; an active Kitchen Garden and a tranquil Streamside garden, the largest of its kind in the country.
Look out for signs of early summer with brightly coloured dolly-mixture candelabra primulas planted near the riverside, and in the Scented Garden, visitors can find a range of scents from roses, lilies, wisteria and jasmine. Unearth the hidden treasures in the woodland and take in the rejuvenated Scented Garden.
Find year-round inspiration with a broad variety of flowering, annual and seasonal plants to inspire the soul. There is also a range of features to gain the attention of children. The Log Ness Monster can be found lurking in the gardens, and more adventurous little ones can scale the Craggle Top Treehouse.
Year-round events include the Harlow Carr Flower Show, and activities for all the family too. From outdoor theatre, guided walks, discovery trails, planting and wildlife workshops, to displays and demonstrations. When people have run out of energy, they can head down to the garden’s bird hide and spy on a variety of resident and migrating species.
The extensive Plant Centre and Shop is home to a generous array of books, home wares and gifts, as well as a large plant selection with knowledgeable staff on hand. No visit would be complete without a trip to Bettys Café Tea Rooms all with ample free parking on the edge of Harrogate, which comes strictly recommended by nearly all visitors who list RHS Garden Harlow Carr on Tripadvisor.