*This is a collaborative post
Harrogate is a place we love but don't visit nearly enough. When heading to North Yorkshire we nearly always favour Harrogate's big sister York for some reason which is a real shame. We last visited Harrogate in 2014 where we enjoyed treats at Betty's Tearoom and a delicious evening meal at the Yorkshire Meatball Co. (both recommended - you can read more here). After staying with Harrogate Serviced Apartments in Richmond last year, we were delighted to be invited back to stay in one of their Harrogate properties last weekend and couldn't wait to explore more of this beautiful town with the kids.
January's a tricky month - you are usually counting the days to payday, may feel a bit of the January blues and summer still seems so long away. I honestly think it's the perfect month to plan a mini break and chase those blues away. Our home for the weekend was St George's Five which is one of four apartments available to hire in this building and one of 18 properties available to rent in Harrogate through Harrogate Serviced Apartments.
The apartments on St George's Terrace are perfectly located for exploring Harrogate on foot. Some of the apartments have their own allocated parking space (like ours did) and others can park on the road with no restrictions. Harrogate town centre is only a 12 minute easy walk (along one straight path - it's almost impossible to get lost) from the apartments, there are a few nice independent stores at the end of the street (including a fab little wine shop) and West Park Stray where you can enjoy coffee and pick up a few treats from Weeton's Deli before a nice walk in the park is around a 5 minute stroll from the apartment. Perfect! I honestly cannot think of a better location. So.......what did we get up to during our stay?
We arrived in Harrogate at around 5:30pm on Friday night after travelling straight from school. The apartment was nice and easy to find thanks to comprehensive instructions sent prior to our stay. We unpacked the car Steve got to work in the kitchern cooking the kids pizza (for quickness) and us a lovely steak baguette with wedges.
One thing we LOVED about St George's Five was just how well-equipped the kitchen was. It has been furnished to a very high standard and was much nicer than our kitchen at home! Expect a top of the range cooker with touch screen controls, a wine fridge, dishwasher, built-in waste disposal and a coffee machine amongst other things. We are trying to save as much money as possible in 2017 so planned to eat in our apartment for the whole weekend but this kitchen actually made this a joy rather than a chore.
We settled down to watch a movie together (thanks to the two 50" SMART TV's) before climbing into our beautiful beds for an early night and what turned out to be a wonderful night's sleep.
Last year I made a promise to myself (and my family) to try and live life a little slower. I used to be guilty of packing so much into our weekend that we didn't have any down time and that wasn't good for anyone. So although we were away, Saturday morning in Harrogate was a lazy affair for us. We popped a movie on the TV, drank several cups of coffee (the coffee machine made this all too easy) and shared brunch on the breakfast bar. We made use of the apartment's free WiFi too which easily managed all five of our devices surfing the web. It was the perfect start to our Saturday.
When we finally decided to get dressed we realised it was lunchtime so I prepared us a nice batch of tomato soup and made some of my legendary homemade sausages rolls which went down a treat and were again, super easy to prepare in the well-equipped kitchen. I love the flexibility that staying in an apartment lets you have - you couldn't do this in a hotel room.
Valley Gardens is a beautiful place to spend an afternoon and obviously very popular with locals. There are stunning gardens to walk through, a skate park, a mini golf course, a lake specifically designed for toy boats, a paddling pool (in the summer months), a cafe and more. I bet it's a fab spot to bring a picnic and spend the full day in the warmer months. We spent a couple of hours here walking around the grounds and playing games in the park - such a good way to spend a Saturday afternoon with the family. Next time we will definitely bring our scooters.
As the sun started to set we couldn't resist a walk through the town centre before heading home. At night, Harrogate is lit up with thousands of twinkling lights and when combined with the town's stunning architecture, it feels very magical. The town centre is packed with gorgeous boutique shops and I've already pledged to re-visit later this year (without the kids) for a girly shopping trip with my mum.
As we walked back to our apartment in the dark along a twinkling tree-lined street, it almost felt as if the magic of Christmas had been extended.
Back at St George's Five, we made our own fajitas and settled down to watch Saturday night TV. We'd brought along some of our board games and enjoyed playing Beat the Parents, Chess and Snakes and Ladders.
When Harry decided we should start work on his 500 piece Maraunder's Map jigsaw I knew it was time to make a quick escape. I managed to hide in our en-suite bathroom (there are three bathrooms in total in the apartment) and enjoy a mega hot bath with my book and a glass of wine completely undisturbed - a much needed rare treat for me and I loved every second.
Once the kids were tucked up in bed, Steve and I weren't far behind them. All of that fresh air had left us exhausted! We enjoyed another restful night's sleep before one last family breakfast in the kitchen and a departure at 10:30am on Sunday morning.
|Credit | Harrogate Serviced Apartments|
|Credit | Harrogate Serviced Apartments|
We were really impressed with both Harrogate Serviced Apartments and Harrogate as a destination to visit with your family. The apartments are furnished to a very high standard, well-equipped and feel like a real home from home with a few added luxuries. Harrogate is a compact town with lots of green open spaces, street-side cafes and points of interest. We are lucky to only live a few hour's drive away and will definitely make a point of visiting again soon.
If you'd like to see more, check out our Live Facebook Tour around the apartment below and visit www.harrogateservicedapartments.co.uk for more information and booking enquiries.
Disclosure : We received a complimentary stay in return for this post.