Rhs Garden Harlow Carr

Harrogate, England

Harlow Carr: A wander through a wonderland.

Harlow Carr 1
- Sue Taylor

Harlow Carr: A Garden for the North

Nestled in West Harrogate in North Yorkshire, Harlow Carr is one of five public gardens managed by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). Originally Harlow Carr was owned by the Northern Horticultural Society, which had been established in 1946 to promote and develop ‘the science, art and practice of horticulture with special reference to the conditions pertaining to the North of England'. This basically meant they were observing how different plants coped with the challenges presented by Northern English weather. With this in mind the Society leased 26 acres of land – a mixture of woodland, pasture, and arable terrain – from the Harrogate Corporation and opened the Harlow Carr Botanical Gardens in 1950.

Harlow Car 6
- Kevin Cooper

This land was once part of the Forest of Knaresborough. In 1734, springs of Sulphur water were discovered closeby. More than 100 years later the site was transformed into a spa and the land on which Harrow Carr lies became a spa hotel. To this day, you can still smell Sulphur in certain areas of the Garden.

For more information about the spring water and spa of Harrogate check out our article on The Valley Gardens. It is also possible to access Harlow Carr via a scenic walk through Valley Gardens.

Harlow Car 9
- Kevin Cooper

Developing Harlow Carr

The Gardens, filled with water features, sheltered seating areas, and wildflowers, were expanded over the years and now cover 58 acres. Since the merger with the RHS, which occurred in 2001, there have also been several new developments at Harlow Carr. These include the creation of themed gardens such as Gardens Through Time, the Montague-Burton Teaching Garden, and the Winter Walk. The Alpine House and £3.3m, environmentally-friendly Bramall Learning Centre, are the newest additions.

Harlow Car 8
- Kevin Cooper

Alongside the new developments other areas have been renovated. The Main Borders were stunningly redesigned and the Annuals Meadows now feature willow-woven sculptures. The Woodland has been rejuvenated and now includes a Rhododendron Glade full of spring-flowering bulbs. Complete with a Garden Centre and Tea Rooms, there is also an RHS Garden Harlow Carr Flower Show run annually. All proceeds are directed back into the garden to fund any future developments and renovations.

Harlow Car 5
- Kevin Cooper

Year-Round Beauty and Other Garden Highlights

Each section of the garden has been thoughtfully designed so that Harlow Carr continues to bloom and blossom throughout the seasons. Spring kicks up a riot of tulips and daffodils, while summer brings forth a kaleidoscope of roses and herbaceous borders. Autumn paints the landscape in warm hues, which carries over into December as the Winter Walk unfolds a wonderland of golden willow and bronze-tinged Japanese Cedar.

Harlow Car 4
- Kevin Cooper

Other delights include the Alpine House, perfect for wet and windy days, the meandering pathways of the Sandstone Rock Garden, and the Woodland Walk that opens out into a play area for children and an arboretum for adults.

Harlow Car 3
- Malcolm Jones

Tranquil Retreats and Hidden Gems

Harlow Carr is not just a visual spectacle; it's a place for quiet reflection. Winding trails lead visitors through secluded corners and hideaways adorned with quaint benches and contemplative spaces. The Streamside Garden, with its babbling brook and lush plantings, provides a peaceful retreat, while the enchanting Woodland Garden beckons with its shaded serenity.

For other hidden gems keep an eye out for the Log Ness Monster, a whimsical sculpture lurking in the Main Borders and a glimpse of Roald Dahl’s BFG through the trees.

Harlow Car 2
- Claire Openshaw

Culinary Delights and Shopping

Bettys Tea Rooms

A visit to Harlow Carr is not complete without indulging in the culinary delights on offer at Bettys Tea Rooms. This cafe is part of the up-market Yorkshire-based brand of the Bettys and Taylors Group, who brought us Taylors of Harrogate coffee and genuine Yorkshire Tea. Once inside there are lots of choices, from the tempting cakes at the counter, to the reasonably priced and broad-spectrum menu handed out.

Harlow Carr
- Steven Feather

Harlow Carr Garden Centre

The Harlow Carr Garden Centre offers a diverse selection of plants, gardening tools, outdoor living essentials, and gifts. It's the one-stop shop for all things gardening-related so whether you’re in need of a new trowel or a gift for your mother-in-law, you can find it all here among the well-stocked range of products.

Harlow Car 7
- Kevin Cooper

Our Thoughts…

A visit to the RHS Garden Harlow Carr provides visitors with the chance to wander through a natural wonderland that radiates in every season. Each step unveils a new facet of fragrant botanical splendour so whether you come for inspiration, relaxation, or simply for 'a little bit of fresh air' Harlow Carr has the answer all year round.

Discover More of Harrogate

Discover more about Harrogate the best way - by seeking out its hidden secrets, cultural curios and concealed nooks yourself!

By far the most fun and efficient way to learn about the spa town is by taking on CityDays’ original urban exploration game, A Peek Into The Past.

A Peek Into The Past, combines the fun of an outdoor treasure hunt with the historical facts and whimsical trivia of a walking tour. 

This route will have you solving riddles, untangling puzzles and learning more about Harrogate’s fascinating history in a new and interactive way.

Take the stress out of planning your visit to Harrogate and book your adventure today

Not visiting Harrogate this time? Don’t worry, you’ll find us all over the world.

Rhs Garden Harlow Carr Questions


What you need to know

Rhs Garden Harlow Carr
Crag Lane, Beckwithshaw, Harrogate HG3 1QB
53.981941, -1.572305
Tips before you visit