Posh Pretenders

By jingo we’ve seen some nice places in our travels. We’ve seen gorgeous scenery, beautiful towns and charming villages and today just added to the list. Harrogate is a lovely town, although I think it’s a bit of a posh town, so not somewhere we technically belong! You know you’re in a well-to-do place when there are ladies in designer jackets, wearing designer gumboots, walking designer dogs and there’s an Aga shop and not a Poundland to be seen! It’s been voted “The Happiest Place to Live” in the UK for the last three years, so not only is it lovely and  charming and historic but it’s happy too!

Harrogate is historically a spa town, where the wealthy would come to “take the waters” for their supposed health giving properties and to relax at the many spa facilities, to be cured of ills ranging from gout, to lumbago and arthritis. I think “relax” is debatable because some of the treatments didn’t sound too relaxing – being given jet sprays of cold water or soaking in baths of peat bog while an electrical current surged through it. Hmmm, relaxing? I think not. Curative? I seriously doubt! Still, the rich folks flocked to Harrogate for the “season” and the town’s gentrified heritage is still definitely here in the atmosphere, the cobbled mews, beautiful stone buildings and open spaces.

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We took a stroll through a small museum and read about the town’s history and I liked reading the schedule followed by those who came during the season, particularly how taking the waters and listening to the band, was clearly quite enough activity for one morning and it was advisable to drive home, lest one exert oneself unduly!

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We then took a leisurely stroll around the streets in the blustery wind and just enjoyed looking at the buildings and reading plaques about their history. I also earwigged in on the local conversations as people walked beside us, just soaking up the gorgeous Yorkshire dialect.

“Y’oright Sharen? Yer got soomet in yer eye?”

“Aye”

“An eyelash mebbee?”

“Aye.”

“It’s them loovly lashes ye’rve got, they’re so long. Ah’d loov to ‘ave yer lashes Sharen.”

The Royal Spa
The Royal Baths
The Royal Hall
The Royal Hall
The Royal Hall was originally called the Kursaal but had to change its name from the German during WWII
The Royal Hall was originally called the Kursaal but had to change its name from the German during WWII

Then we just spent some time relaxing ourselves, with Steve taking advantage of his luxury item “the comfy chair” a.k.a. the couch and took up the TV remote, to settle in for some horizontal, TV accompanied downtime, while I did some reading. The Big Fella has now recovered from his TV catastrophe, by discovering we are once again in the transmission area of Channel 61. The Waltons have returned! His enjoyment of spending time with this family has reached a new level though. This morning, The Waltons was on TV, while simultaneously Steve was on the computer doing “where are they now” searches to discover the latest news of the Waltons clan. He even watched video clips of interviews and performances, so now he not only visits Walton’s Mountain over breakfast, but he’s dipping into their real life activities too. What will he do when we return to Tassie, where The Waltons hasn’t been seen since 1979? I fear a DVD Box Set may be declared an essential purchase!

A nice day of no driving. An easy day in a lovely town. I just hope we didn’t lower the tine of the place too much. It’s nice to have days like today once in a while – no destination, no plans, just time to be. Nice.

By gum it were a grand day. Oh aye, a grand ‘en.

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