Harrogate

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Trips & Adventures – 26 September 2019

“Where is everybody?” I muttered to myself. Whilst the other members of Out In The City were at Victoria Train Station heading to Harrogate, I was at Piccadilly Train Station planning to travel to Hartlepool. I was having a senior moment!

However, we made contact by telephone and met up in Leeds, where we changed trains to Hartlepool … I mean, Harrogate.

Harrogate is a spa town in North Yorkshire, whose motto is Arx celebris fontibus, which means “a citadel famous for its springs”. Harrogate spa water contains iron, sulphur and common salt, and there is a sign on the Royal Pump House advising “Not fit for human consumption”. The smell was truly disgusting!

We had a very good meal at the Harrogate Arms before taking a walk through the Valley Gardens – a large park which included the Japanese Garden and 37 wells. We met a gentleman at one of the wells who explained about magnesia water. It was gravity fed to a sump close to the outside wall of the rear of the building below the window, then hand pumped inside and sold by the glass or bottle. Visitors would sit on benches inside to drink “the cure” whilst an outside tap provided a supply free of charge.

Magnesia water is a mild saline sulphur solution and was considered to have excellent diuretic properties. it was taken as a remedy for many ills, including rheumatism, gout, obesity and constipation.

The town was hosting the annual UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) Road World Championships for bicycle road racing. The Championships consist of events for road race, individual time trial and team time trials. This meant most of the roads were closed and there were a lot of young men in lycra!

We also found an old fashioned sweet shop and purchased some sherbet lemons. Much to our disgust the sweets contained very little sherbet.

More excellent photos can be seen here

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