How to Walk to Harlow Carr from Harrogate

Planning a visit to Harrogate and Harlow Carr? This guide introduces a pretty walking route that connects Harrogate town centre with the beautiful RHS Harlow Carr gardens.

Along the one and a half mile route you will experience the impressive architecture of Harrogate, the charming Valley Gardens, before arriving to explore the beauty of Harlow Carr gardens. It is a brilliant way to experience the diverse beauty of the area.

Ideal for casual walkers who want to explore the Harrogate area on foot, this post includes a quick guide for on the go or for people familiar with the area. Plus, there is a comprehensive route description with photographs if you are looking for a little more instruction.

You’ll also find, practical advice for planning your visit, plus my personal highlights of a visit to Harlow Carr so you know what not to miss.

Ready to lace up your walking boots and discover the charm that lies between Harrogate town centre and Harlow Carr? Let’s set off on this walk together!

How to walk to Harlow Carr from Harrogate

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How to Walk from Harrogate to Harlow Carr: Quick Guide

Here’s a breakdown of the steps for how to walk to Harlow Carr from Harrogate. If you are on the go or familiar with the area, these steps will guide you to Harlow Carr from Harrogate town centre.

If you are looking for more in depth instructions, keep reading for a detailed walking guide and images.

  • Recommended parking: Victoria Shopping Centre Car Park (HG1 5LQ)
  • Cross the railway line via the town link bridge from the car park and into the shopping centre.
  • Take the escalators down to the ground floor and exit the shopping centre.
  • Walk across the marketplace and turn right onto James Street.
  • At the end of James Street cross Parliament Street and walk down Montpellier Parade with Betty’s Tearoom on your right.
  • Follow the footpath as it curves to the right, then at the roundabout continue to follow it around to the right, walking past the front of The Crown Hotel.
  • Continue to follow the road until you reach the Pump House Museum.
  • Cross the road and enter Valley Gardens.
  • As the path divides into three, take the middle route through the centre of the garden.
  • Follow the route through the park until it curves to the left and meets with the lower footpath. When you are stood next to the metal cylinder marking one of the wells, you will see three paths ahead of you again. Once again, take the middle path, then choose the left fork when it splits again in a few metres.
  • Continue on this path with a wall and the bowling club on your right, and the tennis courts on your left.
  • As you reach a fork, take the woodland path on your right which is signposted to RHS Harlow Carr.
  • After a short walk through woodland, you will emerge onto a road. Cross the road with care and continue on the path straight ahead via a small open grassland.
  • Continue following the paved footpath until you reach a signpost indicating the garden entrance. Here, follow the path as it curves to the left, then cross the road to join the queue to enter the garden.
The Arboretum RHS Harlow Carr Harrogate

How to Walk to Harlow Carr from Harrogate: Detailed Guide With Photos

If you’re looking for more detailed instruction on how to walk to Harlow Carr from Harrogate, this section breaks it down into steps with photos to help guide the way.

Plus, keep reading for tips on the best things to do at Harlow Carr and everything you need to know before you visit.

Summer House at RHS Harlow Carr Harrogate

The Best Car Parks in Harrogate

Whenever I’m planning a visit to Harrogate, I always factor in parking at Victoria Shopping Centre. This car park has almost 800 spaces available, including 27 disabled spaces. So, we can fairly confidently assume we will be able to get parked.

The car park does have a handful of electric car charging spaces. However, from experience, the chargers haven’t worked reliably every time we have been. There is also dedicated motorcycle and bike parking available.

There are also free to use public toilets in the car park. They are located just before you cross the town link bridge into the shopping centre.

Opening times: 7am – 7.30pm Monday – Saturday. 10am – 7pm on Sundays and bank holidays excluding Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Easter when it is closed.

Address: East Parade, Harrogate HG1 5LQ

The car park is a pay and display car park and has the following charges*:

1 hour – £1.30
2 hours – £2.60
3 hours – £3.90
4 hours – £5.20
5 hours – £6.50
6 hours – £7.80
7 hours – £9.10
8 hours – £10.40
9 hours – £11.70
24 hours – £13.00

*accurate at time of publication, check the website for the most up to date information ahead of travelling.

How far is it to Harlow Carr from Victoria Shopping Centre Car Park?

Victoria Shopping Centre car park is just under 2 miles from Harlow Carr. The walk will take around 45 minutes.

Other car parks in Harrogate

If you would prefer to use a different car park in Harrogate, here are some alternatives:

  • West Park Multi Storey Car Park (HG1 1HS) – 343 spaces, 35 minute walk to Harlow Carr (via the road, not Valley Gardens)
  • Jubilee Multi Storey Car Park (HG1 1DJ) – 444 spaces, 39 minute walk to Harlow Carr via Valley Gardens

How to Walk to Valley Gardens from Victoria Shopping Centre

The first stage of the walk will direct you from Victoria Shopping Centre to Valley Gardens. If you have parked elsewhere in Harrogate, or travelled via public transport, simply navigate to Valley Gardens then pick up the walk instructions from the next section below.

Firstly, you will need to exit the car park via the town link bridge. This bridge is located on level 10 of the car park and will take you over the railway lines and into Victoria Shopping Centre.

How to Walk to Harlow Carr from Harrogate - Where To Park in Harrogate - Victoria Shopping Centre Car Park

Once you are inside the shopping centre, take the escalators down to the ground level. Here, exit the shopping centre via the doors straight ahead of you.

As you leave the shopping centre, walk across the marketplace with the bandstand on your left and the shops on the right.

Turn right down James Street once you reach the corner. Follow James Street all the way down to the end. Follow the curve of the corner slightly to the right, then cross the road via the zebra crossing.

Continue straight ahead with the war memorial on your left, then cross the next road. Continue straight ahead again, this time with Betty’s Tearoom on your right-hand side.

Follow Montpellier Parade downhill, then continue along the footpath as it turns right. Remain on the same footpath as you follow it anti-clockwise around the roundabout, crossing Montpellier Gardens then Montpellier Road at the zebra crossing. From here, walk along the front of The Crown Hotel.

Continue to follow the footpath around the hotel as the road becomes Royal Parade. This path will lead you to the Royal Pump House Museum. At the museum, cross the road via the zebra crossing and enter Valley Gardens.

How to Walk to Harlow Carr from Harrogate via Valley Gardens

How to Walk to Harlow Carr from Valley Gardens

Once you reach Valley Gardens, you can enjoy a scenic walk through the gardens to Harlow Carr.

Inside the garden gates on Valley Drive the footpath immediately splits into three different routes. Follow the middle path through the centre of the gardens, along a pretty tree-lined route.

This route will eventually curve left to meet with the lower path. You will pass a metal tower marking one of the famous wells on your left. When you are stood next to the tower, you will see three paths ahead of you again. Once again, take the middle path, then choose the left fork when it splits again in a few metres.

As you are walking along this path, you will be able to see the Old Magnesia Well Pump Room to your right through the trees. Further up the path, you will pass the tennis courts on your left hand side, and the bowling club on your right.

How to Walk to Harlow Carr from Harrogate - Old Magnesia Well Pump Room

The path is paved and well defined here. Continue to follow it for several minutes, until it eventually forks again to the right-hand side. Here, you will find a woodland path that branches off.

This path is still clear to follow but not paved. Look out for the signpost at the fork which points to the woodland track for Harlow Carr.

How to Walk to Harlow Carr from Harrogate - Woodland Path

Follow this woodland track until you reach the road. Cross the road and continue on the woodland path immediately opposite.

After another woodland section the path will briefly pass along the right-hand side of a small open parkland.

Continue to follow the path as it returns back into the woodland. Along this route you will pass the Pinewoods Panorama. This pretty viewing point has binoculars to observe the picturesque views. It is worth pausing here to take a look if you have time.

Pinewoods Panorama Harrogate

Continue to follow the path straight ahead. Eventually the route will converge with another path leading from the Harlow Carr car park. At this point there is a signpost directing you to follow the route to the left to reach the garden entrance.

Follow this path toward the gardens until you emerge into car park two. Once you are here, cross the road on your right and you will see the queue to enter the garden straight ahead of you.

Arriving at Harlow Carr

Once you arrive at Harlow Carr you will see the queue to enter the gardens. Tickets can either be purchased in advance or on the day. Both options use the same queue to enter.

There are also toilets here, plus entry to the Harlow Carr shop and garden centre, and Betty’s Cafe Tea Rooms and shop. Toilets and refreshments are also available once you enter the gardens.

Things to do at Harlow Carr

Now you’ve made your way to Harlow Carr, here are some of the best things to do there, to help make the most of your visit.

Explore the Garden

After walking to Harlow Carr, the highlight of the trip is obviously spending time admiring the stunning gardens. There are five main gardens in the RHS portfolio, plus over 200 partner gardens throughout the UK.

Harlow Carr offers an impressive array of plant and landscape varieties throughout the 68 acre garden. Because of this, the gardens look magnificent, no matter what time of year you visit.

From woodland to wildflower meadows, Alpine gardens to blooming borders, Harlow Carr is always alive with colour. You can easily pass two to three hours strolling through the gardens in their entirety and admiring all the displays.

RHS Harlow Carr Gardens in Harrogate

Lunch at Betty’s Tearoom

If you want a spot of lunch or some refreshments during your visit, Betty’s Tea Rooms is located before the entrance to the gardens. Alternatively, you can pick up snacks, sweet treats and drinks from Betty’s Tea House in the grounds.

Betty’s are renowned for their enchanting tea rooms in Harrogate, York, Northallerton and Ilkley. These tea rooms transform visitors back to an age of glamourous high tea and indulgent treats.

Although the experience of enjoying Betty’s in the gardens is different to that of the tea rooms, you can still guarantee the high quality, great taste and memorable setting that Betty’s is known for.

It is well worth pausing here for a cup of tea and an infamous Betty’s Fat Rascal while you are visiting Harlow Carr!


If you are feeling strong enough to carry it on your return journey, you can also pick up some goodies from the Harlow Carr shop and garden centre.

The garden centre is filled with varieties of plants, gardening tools and accessories for any garden enthusiast. Plus, the team are on hand with expert tips to help you make the most of your purchases.

Alternatively, if you prefer to leave the gardening to the experts, there is an amazing selection of gifts, books and food items in the shop.

Harlow Carr is an excellent place to pick up a selection of homewares or gifts during your visit. Just remember you’ll have to carry your purchases back with you on your return journey!

Planning Your Visit To Harlow Carr

If you are planning your visit to Harlow Carr Gardens, here is some important information and frequently asked questions for you to consider.

How long does it take to walk to Harlow Carr from Harrogate?

The walk to Harlow Carr from Harrogate takes about 30-35 minutes from the point you reach the entrance of Valley Gardens, opposite the Royal Pump House Museum. This is a distance of 1.5 miles.

If you are walking from Victoria Shopping Centre car park, it is a distance of two miles, and will take about 45 minutes.

How long do I need to spend at Harlow Carr?

There is a lot to see at Harlow Carr, so some visitors can spend an entire day there, soaking it all in! On average, most visitors will want to stay for about two to three hours.

We spent about two and a half hours walking around the gardens. Plus, our visit included a stop for lunch at Betty’s Tea House. However, we didn’t spend very long browsing the garden centre and gift shop. Overall, three hours would be enough time to walk around the gardens, grab some lunch and browse the shop.

Harlow Carr Gardens Harrogate

How much does it cost to get into Harlow Carr?

Here are the entry prices for Harlow Carr:*

Adults: £15.85/£17.45 including gift aid

Children 5-16 years: £7.95/£8.75 including gift aid

Family Ticket: £38.10/£41.95 including gift aid

Universal Credit, Pension Credit and ESA: £1 (see website for full eligibility criteria)

*accurate at time of publication, check the website for the most up to date information ahead of travelling.

I like to book my tickets via Get Your Guide. Their pay later approach means I can pay the day before my visit, or cancel or reschedule at no extra cost up to 24 hours before my visit. Perfect for keeping an eye on the weather forecast!

Harlow Carr Membership

If you plan to visit Harlow Carr several times throughout the year, or want to visit several of the RHS gardens over the next 12 months, you may find that a membership provides the best value for you.

Members get free entry to the gardens on each visit. Individual membership starts at £55.50 and joint memberships start from £82.50. So, if you are planning to visit the gardens during each season, a membership is a great investment.

Please note that memberships do not include free entry to ticketed events such as Glow. Check the website for full membership terms.

Are dogs allowed in Harlow Carr Gardens?

Dogs are not allowed in Harlow Carr Gardens. Only registered assistance dogs will be admitted to the gardens to ensure the safety of all guests.

Harlow Carr At Christmas

If you would like to see a different side of Harlow Carr, I highly recommend planning a visit at Christmas. Although a visit to an English garden in December may not be at the top of your list, each year, Harlow Carr hosts their annual Glow event.

This charming event sees the garden illuminated by hundreds of colourful lights along an illuminated trail. It is a magical event and a unique opportunity to explore the gardens by twilight. And, although the event takes place every December, it is more of a general winter event, rather than a Christmas one. So, if you’re ready for a break from Christmas songs and flashing lights, this pared down event is the place to be!

You can read my full review of Glow at Harlow Carr here if you are considering a winter visit.

Glow Harlow Carr Christmas

How to walk to Harrogate from Harlow Carr

Once you have thoroughly explored Harlow Carr and admired the garden fully, all there is left to do is to make your way back into Harrogate town centre!

To return to Harrogate, simply retrace your steps along the same route. This will bring you back to Valley Gardens, where you can continue on your adventure. If you’re looking for other things to do in the town while you are here, check out my recommended one day in Harrogate itinerary for inspiration!

How to walk to Harrogate from Harlow Carr

Or, if you are in need of refuelling after your walk, I highly recommend a stop at Clementine Cafe Bistro. Located at 2B Albert Street (HG1 1JG), it is just around the corner from Victoria Shopping Centre.

Clementine serve an impressive menu of small dishes, open sandwiches at lunchtime and evening dishes. Plus, a fantastic selection of cakes, coffees and deserts.

I devoured their halloumi and Turkish sausage sandwich which was absolutely delicious! The portion size was generous and everything I needed to fill me up after our walk. And although I was pretty stuffed, I did manage to sample their tiramisu before I left. It is a personal favourite of mine and it didn’t disappoint!

So, if you’re looking for one final stop in Harrogate before you head home, make sure you pop into Clementine!

Clementine Cafe and Bistro Harrogate

How to Walk to Harlow Carr from Harrogate: Final Thoughts

So, here’s everything you need to know about how to walk to Harlow Carr from Harrogate via Valley Gardens. Will you be walking to Harlow Carr on your next visit to Harrogate? I’d love to know what you think about the walk via Valley Gardens.

And if you want more Yorkshire gardens inspiration, download your free Yorkshire Gardens Checklist for a list of the top 20 must-visit gardens in the region! How many have you visited?

Until our next adventure,

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12 thoughts on “How to Walk to Harlow Carr from Harrogate”

  1. I love the idea of following a walking route from Harrogate town centre to Harlow Carr gardens. It is just the right length of walk to still allow lots of energy to explore the gardens when we arrive. Good to know the gardens look good at any time of year. Your instructions are very clear on the things to look as go. I certainly might want to time it to see the Glow of Harlow Carr.

    • Hi Linda! I’m so glad you found the instructions clear to follow. Arriving at Harlow Carr on foot from Harrogate is great, especially if you are staying in the area. It is a brilliant excuse to explore Valley Gardens along the way! Glow is a lovely experience each winter. It is a fantastic way to encourage visitors to the gardens, even in winter! I hope you have an opportunity to visit!

    • Thank you! Both Valley Gardens and Harlow Carr are beautiful places to explore. It is wonderful that you can follow the walk and explore them both in one day!

  2. I love taking a stroll through gardens. I feel like it’s so relaxing and a great way to feel refreshed and enjoy a sunny day. This looks like a great way to get from Harlow Carr to Harrogate.

    • Me too! Gardens are such calming places, aren’t they? Walking to Harlow Carr from Harrogate is a great way to appreciate both Harlow Carr and Valley Gardens. It was a lovely day out!

  3. Love both Harlow Carr and and Harrogate but haven’t done the walk. Both are really great destinations! Also… I have very fond memories of Betty’s Tea Shop.

    • They’re such lovely places, aren’t they? It is wonderful that you can take the walk from the town centre to Harlow Carr when visiting! We had a brilliant day out!

  4. nothing better than casual strolls, admiring the streets, architecture, gardens and locals out and about on their daily routine. its one of my favorite parts of travel!

    • Ah this is so true! Taking the walk from Harrogate to Harlow Carr is a great way to slow down and appreciate so much more of the area than if you drive straight to the gardens!


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