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“Beautiful inspiring garden”

RHS Garden Harlow Carr
Ranked #9 of 72 things to do in Harrogate
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 24 July 2011

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.

3  Thank Marjenta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"betty's tea room"
in 120 reviews
"alpine house"
in 102 reviews
"betty's cafe"
in 110 reviews
"bird hide"
in 56 reviews
"keen gardener"
in 29 reviews
"scented garden"
in 22 reviews
"vegetable garden"
in 31 reviews
"herbaceous borders"
in 30 reviews
"garden centre"
in 73 reviews
"beautiful garden"
in 36 reviews
"autumn colours"
in 26 reviews
"well worth a visit"
in 126 reviews
"gift shop"
in 75 reviews
"the kitchen"
in 37 reviews
"for sale"
in 30 reviews
"full bloom"
in 25 reviews
"different areas"
in 24 reviews
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2,140 - 2,144 of 2,152 reviews

Reviewed 25 June 2011

My daughter and I went on an organised tour this week to the garden and we were both disappointed in it considering it is an RHS garden. There are too many of the same plants. In the vegetable garden each raised bed had a variety of vegetables so how they achieve good crop rotation beats me! If you are an experienced gardener, I wouldn't bother going - you're not going to be inspired. The best bit was the scented garden.

1  Thank SilverBirches
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 March 2011

It was a lovely experience to visit these RHS gardens.
Friendly staff. Trained and very knowledgable.
As you expect some very thoughtfully designed ground features.
We loved the amusing metal sculptures.
Visually entertaining even in early spring. The rhodies are out and the irises etc...

It's educational, welcoming and with good catering. Betty's branch, but at a price.
This is not a theme park!
Large retail gardening specialist operation and a superior book and gifts area.

Ample parking or, if a Harrogate hotel guest we suggest you use the No 6 bus. From bus station to Gardens, £2.60 return and ask the driver for a heritage voucher for concessionary entry (at time of writing). Regular service and much more pleasant to have a chauffeur.

Garden entry for 2011 is £7.50 per adult.
Highly recommended even for non-gardening people like me.

2  Thank John W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 November 2009

We visited during the half term holiday,although childrens activities were laid on we had to ask. The gardens were more like a local council park,which you`d visit on a Sunday afternoon for half an hour.We had seen everything and gone everywhere in 2 hours, including having done the Pumpkin hunt.
If you've ever visited Wisley then you'll be sorely disappointed with H.C.
P.S. I am a professional gardener.

2  Thank gnuWestsussex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 18 June 2009

We were fortunate to visit Harlow Carr on a perfect summers day. The rhoddedendrons in the wooded area were mostly finished but enough still flowering to show you how beautiful it must be. There are some huge specimens. Having long admired Geoffry Smith it was so nice to see where he spent 20 years as superintendant, and this garden is a living memory of the man. There is much to admire but in particular we loved the natural flower meadow which was in full bloom and the boggy area on the hillside with mixed primulas. There is a very newly opened alpine house which gets you up close and personal to the exquisite blooms of these tiny wonders.
Another reason for our visit was to eat at Betty's. To be able to sit on the terrace overlooking such a wonderful garden was a real pleasure and the food never lets you down. A previous reviewer was obviously confused about the split and to be honest if you go to the restaurant part you can still have a sandwich and larger meals are there for someone who wants more. The coffee shop is more 'Continental' and the restaurant is more the traditional Betty's fare that they have always done. The brown bread ice cream is amazing.
We had to use the overflow car park and the only slight downside is that the surface of this is very dusty and your car gets covered in a film of dust - a small price to pay for such a pleasent day out.
We were able to get in two for one using the Gardeners World garden voucher, otherwise at £7 each it would seem expensive. It does mean that people who are there really want to be there and it is free for children. There are several things to interest children dotted about the grounds. A word of warning - no dogs allowed. I think there are maybe kennels but didn't need to check this out.
I am sorry it has taken me so long to get there and will return to see other seasons unfolding!

4  Thank ChrisB8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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