I’m pretty new to Harrogate – I moved up here from east London with my husband and daughter a few months ago. So far so good, Harrogate has certainly lived up to the hype. It’s breathtakingly beautiful, clean and from what I can gather has the ratio of fried chicken shops to people just right, something east London definitely doesn’t! But by far my favourite area to hang out in with my little one in tow is the super child friendly Cold Bath Road area.
So here you go Mumblers, my top 5 baby and toddler friendly things to do in the area:
It’s one of the things that makes Harrogate unique – the amount of small independent shops. And there are plenty of them on CBR – especially children’s shops. Hopscotch for shoes, Still Gorgeous for clothes and Little Alligators for toys -to name just a few. If your little one allows it, there are plenty of shops for us parents too, Illingworths Hardware are an Aladin’s cave of household & hardware bits and bobs; they seem to specialise in having every single thingumy-jig that you could possibly need! – my personal favourite shop is The Lighthouse.
Believe me, I’ve done my research for this article. There’s so much good food to eat, and places to eat it on the CBR! Tilly Peppers and Cold Bath Deli get a special shout out for being so kiddy friendly (and of course serving delicious food). Manna Bakery and Mama Doreen’s for your cake fix and on a sunny day the kids are lining up outside Vanilli’s ice cream parlour. For most of my adult life I’ve been on the search for the perfect fish and chips – and last week I found them! Oliver’s fish and chips are delicious, and they do a fab children’s menu too.
The Pinewoods are located at the back of Valley Gardens. Great if you want to go on a long walk – and a good one for dog walkers too. If I’m having trouble getting my daughter to take her nap, I’ll put her in the buggy and go for a walk in the Pinewoods. You can walk all the way to Harlow Carr through here – with the most amazing views over the Yorkshire countryside at the Pinewoods Panorama vantage point.
There are two baby and toddler groups in the area. We are regular visitors to both. A great place to socialise, and not just for the children! I’ve met some lovely parents and carers at both groups. On Tuesday you have Westcliffe Toddler group at Westcliffe Hall 10am-11.30am. On Wednesday and Friday Western Primary school hold a stay and play session from 9.30am-10.45am. Both cost £2 per family and include a snack for the children and refreshments for the adults.
5. Valley Gardens
Last, but my no means least, the Valley Gardens. I love this place! Literally a place to go whatever the weather! In the short time we’ve been here we’ve gone sledging, sun bathed, and spent many a rainy day jumping in the glorious Valley Gardens muddy puddles. The (Mumbler Awards winning!) children’s play area is huge – and so much to do for all ages, including a skate park and crazy golf! A lovely little café for hot chocolates on the cold days, and THE best ice creams for the warmer days! Really looking forward to spending most of our summer here – there seems to be lots of family friendly events on during the next few months.
Guest blog by Kayti Mewis
I can’t help but add in a footnote here as whilst the whole Cold Bath Road community is AMAZING for families (my own children attend Western School and we love it!) it is also a really fantastic place for couples without kids and for date nights! Therefore I am going to add in a cheeky number 6. Places to go out on an evening… Sally x
6. After dark…
My own personal favourites are as follows:
The Last Post. This is a small but perfectly formed pub. They don’t do food (other than crisps!) but have a fantastic selection of gins, beers etc. They quite often have sports on in there so either avoid/ go along when the match is on depending on your preferences.
La Feria, this is an amazing andalucian style restaurant offering a delicious selection of tapas, chicken and daily specials. The churros are Mumblers favourite dessert in the whole of Harrogate; no lie! There is a wonderful terrace (if the weather is good) although they do have a good stock of patio heaters and blankets if mid-winter “al fresco” is your thing.
Finally, “Hoxton North” not strictly speaking Cold Bath Road, but close enough for us. It’s a cafe/brunch place by day and turns into a cool bar in the evening. It’s also available for private hire for christenings, 40th birthdays parties etc. They offer an immense selection of gorgeous brunch/ lunch items by day, but if you’re just going for a drink later on, the view from the massive windows over Montpellier hill is just lovely.