We made a special trip to Harrogate to visit this garden having visited the three other RHS gardens at Wisley, Rosemoor and Hyde Hall in the last year. It was worth the visit. If you compare anything with Wisley you will always be disappointed, but Harlow Carr is very beautiful and inspiring in its own right, and since the RHS only took this over in 2001 it is obviously a garden in a different stage of development (as is Hyde Hall).
We visited one day for about three hours, and again the following day for another three hours. Things I liked: the alpine house, identifying some very bee friendly flowers, the bird hide, lawns, borders and range of planting, arboretum, vegetable garden, wild flower meadows, just being able to sit quietly in the little huts dotted around and have a nap, Bettys tea rooms, plant shop with a fantastic amount of seeds from different companies. The weather was a bit wet one day, but there are plenty of places to shelter and still enjoy the garden.
The other great thing about RHS Harlow Carr is that you can get there easily without a car if you don't mind a short walk. We travelled to Harrogate by train from London, and then walked to the gardens via Valley gardens and then through the pine woods. It is advertised as being 1.5miles and is a lovely walk.
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