We spent a few hours in Harrogate recently and, although we didn't get far because of the heat, we did manage to find some dog friendly places that are worth barking about...
When the Yorkshire-born owners of this coffee shop/bar returned home after living in London for 11 years they wanted to bring the passion and culture of East London back with them. They established Hoxton North in October 2013 and specialise in showcasing London-based coffee roasters, traditional, vegan, dairy and gluten free food offerings, as well as serving organic, natural or biodynamic still and sparkling wines, craft beers and spirits.
We were told that Hoxton North was dog friendly by the lovely ladies at Posh Paws Harrogate, so we decided to head there for a light lunch with Elsa...
There were so many tempting things on the menu but, since it was so hot, I settled on an iced coffee and the most delicious avocado on toast creation that I've ever had in my life... Unfortunately I can't remember what it was called but the avocado and tomato had the tastiest dressing and combined perfectly with the soft cheese and toasted artisan bread. Thinking about it is actually making me feel hungry! Elsa really liked being able to people-watch from the window while we ate and, although there weren't any doggie treats to be found on the menu, she did get lots of attention so she was pretty happy to chill-out while we ate.
After lunch we walked Elsa to Valley Gardens to find somewhere to sit and enjoy the beautiful afternoon, and hopefully an ice-cream too... The gardens are English Heritage Grade II listed and they back onto 17 acres of woodland called The Pinewoods. A number of mineral springs can also be found in the area.
There is a lovely 'community hub' feel to these gardens because of the extensive list of facilities that can be found here including: tennis courts, pitch & putt golf, boating pool, children's play area and café.
We didn't venture as far as the woodland, but we did explore the New Zealand Garden, Japanese Garden and the areas around the Sun Pavilion and Bandstand. It's a very scenic area with contrasting spaces from open grassy areas to secluded benches where you could loose yourself in a good book.
There were lots of dogs out in the park, with plenty of shaded areas for them to keep cool. Although I noticed signs saying that dogs should be kept on leads, we saw quite a few that were enjoying a bit more 'freedom', so it seems like this is a fairly relaxed 'rule'.
Elsa was kept on her lead since this was our first time in this unfamiliar park, although she wouldn't have gone very far anyway because it was such a hot day.
Before Elsa got too hot we retreated to a shady spot and relaxed on the grass for a while...and yes, we had an ice-cream. Elsa loves to lick the tub out when I'm done, although by the time I'm finished there's never a lot left!
This was one of those summer days where you just want to relax and, thanks to being able to grab a quick and tasty lunch from Hoxton North and the lovely atmosphere and scenery of Valley Park, we were able to do just that!
I'd love to explore more of Harrogate on our next visit (and take Elsa to York too) so if anyone can recommend any dog friendly places in and around these areas, please let us know in the comments below...