Europe’s Must See Gardens
By Sukie Chapman
25 September 2015
Great Rail Journeys has a wonderful selection of garden themed tours that will appeal to both the budding landscaper and seasoned veteran alike.Read more
Just outside the city of Harrogate on the edge of northern England's legendary Yorkshire Dales, the Royal Horticultural Society's Harlow Carr Garden has been delighting visitors since 1950.
Suitable for all ages, a visit to Harlow Carr Garden rewards plant and flower enthusiasts with colourful natural beauty throughout the year. This innovatively designed and immaculately cared-for garden is divided into themed sections, each with its own charm. From the multi-hued candelabra primulas that grow alongside the garden's stream to the wildflower meadow with its wildlife observation hide, a visit to Harlow Carr offers endless variety and enjoyment.
The garden occupies an area of the former ancient Forest of Knaresborough; once a royal hunting ground. In the early eighteenth century sulphurous natural springs were discovered on the estate and a century later the owner built a spa bath house and hotel. The wells beneath the bath house are now closed off and today the building houses Harlow Carr's study centre, but the hotel is still in business.
The garden has continually evolved since the original 'Harlow Carr Botanical Gardens' opened in 1950, including the addition of rose borders, the regeneration of the woodlands including the addition of a Rhododendron Glade and, most recently, the opening of a new Alpine Zone in 2010, ensuring that Harlow Carr will continue to enchant future generations of visitors.
Harlow Carr enjoys a location on the doorstep of the Yorkshire Dales; an area of northern England renowned for its outstanding and unspoilt natural beauty. The garden is also on the western edge of the historic spa town of Harrogate which is itself known for its floral displays. Betty's Tea Room, a Harrogate institution since 1919 and preferred refreshment-stop for Her Majesty the Queen now has a tea-room at Harlow Carr Garden, joining other facilities such as a well-stocked library of the best gardening books and periodicals and a gift shop and plant centre from which a wide range of seeds and bulbs can be bought. A trip to Harlow Carr Garden offers visitors the chance not only to enjoy the beauty and serenity of this splendid and traditional English garden but also to admire the breath-taking Yorkshire Dales and to explore one of Britain's most historic spa towns.