The Visit Harrogate column with Richard Spencer

Pateley Bridge will be putting on the popular 1940s weekend at the end of the month. Picture: Visit Harrogate.
Pateley Bridge will be putting on the popular 1940s weekend at the end of the month. Picture: Visit Harrogate.

By the time you read this column we will be on our last day of the Great Yorkshire Show – what a great way to celebrate all things Yorkshire.

Hosting this marvellous event in Harrogate is important to the town not just because of the thousands of people who visit and stay for the party, but also because I see how closely the Harrogate brand represents the emotional and functional values of the Yorkshire brand.

Harrogate is Yorkshire in a nutshell! And it is those brand values that attract people from all over the world to experience this boutique Spa town.

Fresh eyes are always a good way to test how we are doing and some recent visitors from Barrie in Ontario were blown away by the welcome they received and by what they discovered both in Harrogate and Ripon.

Indeed, this compelling destination reputation was key in winning the prestigious UCI World Cycling Championships for 2019 when we will be the central hub for the whole event as riders and visitors explore our town and Yorkshire’s beautiful open countryside.

This also means that to maintain our premium position we must keep investing in our tourism products and services – which is why I am delighted to see so many Harrogate and District businesses in the finals of the White Rose Awards where we celebrate the creme de la creme working in the visitor economy.

The winners here will go into the national finals and we are represented by some twelve leading edge operators, so well done the following for being recognised as the best of the best:

l Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal

l Newby Hall and Gardens

l Stockeld Park

l Rudding Park

l Goldsborough Hall

l Harrogate Caravan Park

l Grassfield Hall in Pateley Bridge

l The Little Red Berry company

l The Bruce Arms in Ripon

l West Park Hotel

l Fodder

l The Yorkshire Heart Vineyard & Brewery

l The Great Yorkshire Show and Yorkshire Event Centre

lHarrogate Tourist Information Centre

The winners, who can then claim to be among the best in England, will be announced later this year. Fingers crossed.

On my travels recently, I have also had the privilege of meeting some real ambassadors for the area who are all doing some amazing work promoting their towns, their attractions and their accommodation.

A special mention should go to the businesses in Pateley Bridge working on the very popular 1940s-themed weekend coming up at the end of this month.

Take a trip out, wind back the clock and enjoy the show! Another tremendous example of what can be achieved when everyone pulls together.

Speaking of which, and following the nomination by the Royal Horticultural Society, we are all “Rooting for Harrogate” to become crowned the Champion of Champions floral town in the UK. Clearly, being a gold medal winner last year was not enough for the judges.

I will be pinning on my white rose on 1 August (Yorkshire Day!) when the judges come to town and I hope you will join me.

As always, for the latest news, events and ideas on what to see and do in Harrogate and District check out our number one Google ranked website