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A celebration of Harrogate past, present and future

April 17, 2020

The Stray in Harrogate this week. The blossoms are GO!

The creation of the Harrogate Nightingale Hospital, transforming the Harrogate Convention Centre into one of the first NHS Coronavirus treatment hubs, marks a moment in history for the town. Our great-grandchildren will look at the old photos with little understanding of what it was really like, much as many of us now look at photos of TB convalescence homes and World War II air raid shelters.
I live in Harrogate, close by the Nightingale Hospital (it’s Stephanie writing, by the way) and as I write I can hear siren after siren. It’s strange and unsettling and I wonder what’s happening to my town. This is Harrogate now.
My daily exercise isolation walks have be taking me past all the construction works and those striking oxygen tanks positioned at the front of Harrogate Royal Hall and the Convention Centre pillars. And today the sirens.

The oxygen towers at Harrogate’s Nightingale Hospital.

My walks have also taken me into the town centre, which is still and empty, save for a few walkers like me. It’s a sleeping beauty, and the absence of cars and people has made me realise how lucky we are to have such a lovely place to shop and dine and meet and find entertainment.

The view from Betty’s – can you spot SpaceNK and L’Occitane?

So here, in this post, I am celebrating the wonderful shopping that Harrogate has to offer. I hope to see all these shops open again after lockdown. Much of the time at Gorgeous Yorkshire, we celebrate small independents, rightly so and we love them, but I think it’s important to remember also that national high street shops employ local people and are the backbone of town centre life. Much as I would love to see more indies everywhere, I don’t want our brilliant high street names to leave the town. So here’s a little gallery of the shops I love and shop at.

Cordings at Westminster Arcade always has lovely shop window displays. Part owned by Eric Clapton, it has gorgeous country fashion for men and women. There are only 2 Cordings stores in the country, here and at Piccadilly London. We are blessed.

I’m also thinking of doing more posts celebrating Harrogate’s bars and restaurants and cinemas, The Everyman and The Odeon, plus of course Harrogate Theatre, and sharing memories of time spent there.
But Yorkshire has many beautiful towns, cities and villages with fabulous high streets and indies, places to visit, eat and so on. We can’t get to them at the moment, but you can, dear readers, so if you want to send us your photos and musings and recommendations, please do, so we can celebrate where you live and your favourite places. Please email gorgeousyorkshire@gmail.com marked Celebrating Yorkshire. We will of course credit you and social.
Much love and #staysafe

Jo Malone

Sweaty Betty and Rohan

Mint Velvet

Joules, Hobbs, Hotel Chocolat, Jones Bootmaker and Kuoni

River Island


The White Company

LK Bennett

Jigsaw and Paperchase



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