A dog-friendly town with lots to explore. It’s well worth a visit for dog owners of all kinds!

One of our New Year’s resolutions here at K9 Nation is to explore more places with our dogs. Travelling with dogs can be challenging but there are plenty of fantastic dog-friendly places out there to welcome you and your dog!

Kicking off with somewhere local to the K9 Headquarters, Buddy and I started by visiting Harrogate to explore the town and nearby area. There’s plenty of parking right in the centre but there’s also a bus and train station only a few streets away.

Visiting Harrogate

By the time we arrived, Buddy and I were ready to get out of the car and stretch our legs. I’d had a look ahead of time for some walks in the centre where Buddy could get some exercise and we’d parked quite close to Valley Gardens.

Valley Gardens is one of the main parks in Harrogate and it shows! There’s a large pavilion at one side of the park and smaller buildings dotted throughout including a public toilet and a café/ice cream shop. It was a bit early, and a bit cold for an ice cream so we will have to come back in the summer!

After our walk, I needed to warm up, so we headed to Grön Kafé for a bite to eat. It was just around the corner and led us back into town, so we stopped by for a coffee and some pancakes! If you’re taking part in Veganuary or looking to try more vegan food generally then you’ll find a wide selection here. Buddy got a couple of treats since he’d eaten before we left.

Shops to visit in Harrogate

A couple of streets over, we started to get into the main part of town. There’s a wide variety of shops and many of them were quite happy for Buddy to accompany me inside. We stopped in at Waterstones, White Stuff, Joules and Sweaty Betty just to name a few. It seems like many of the high street shops (even some larger chains) have decided to open their doors to dogs! With so many people visiting with dogs, we think this is a great call!

As you head down one of the main roads in Harrogate, walking away from the centre, you will find Orvis. It’s a shop that makes it clear they love dogs with huge stickers in the window! I’ve popped in before to look at the range of dog products they have. I stopped by this time to pick up some more treats for Buddy. They’ve got loads of stuff for dog owners too, or anyone that likes to walk outdoors.

Orvis is perfectly situated just a hop, skip, and a jump from The Stray, a massive park just on the edge of town. You could walk around The Stray for quite a while and it’s perfect for dogs with wide open green space. There’s a couple of roads through the park to be careful of but it’s mostly open grass. We spent a little while running around on the grass before heading to a shop I’d seen on Nearby, on the K9 app.

There’s a great pet shop nearby The StrayPosh Paws stocks all sorts of different products, and it really is a dog owners dream! It’s worth the journey to find such a fantastic selection and I’ll definitely be back when I need something new for Buddy.

Lunch in Harrogate

On the way back up to the car, I had a look on the K9 app for somewhere to grab some lunch before driving to our next destination. Nearby to Valley Gardens, I found Starling Harrogate, an independent bar, café, and kitchen. Great food, friendly staff, and Buddy was more than happy with the relaxed environment. I’ll be coming here again!

Visiting Harrogate and nearby attractions

Refuelled and rested over lunch, Buddy and I were ready to set off again for our afternoon’s adventure! When looking at travelling to Harrogate, I’d seen Fountains Abbey on the K9 App. It’s a bit out of town so we had to get back in the car and drive over, but it’s well worth the extra time!

We spent the afternoon exploring the abbey and the surrounding area, though you could easily spend the day here. They were happy for Buddy to accompany me if he stayed on-lead. You’ll find a children’s area and plenty of wildlife wandering around. The nearby deer park was a fantastic walk and we managed to spot a few deer in the distance! There’s a café at Fountains Abbey so we nipped in for a cup of tea before heading home.

With one day to explore, we only just scratched the surface of Harrogate! There’s plenty more to do in the town, and in the surrounding area. If you’re planning on visiting Harrogate but wonder how you’ll fit everything in, you might consider staying over and you’re in luck because there are lots of different accommodation options nearby.

Staying in Harrogate

How Stean Gorge is a fantastic choice if you’re considering camping! It’s a short drive from the town centre and has great access to the Yorkshire Dales! Aside from camping, they also allow dogs in some of their permanent accommodation. The gorge is famous for it’s caves which you can explore with your dog. They’ve also got a café on site with some fantastic views. It’s the perfect spot for a relaxing drink.

An alternative accommodation option for dog owners is The Crown Hotel. With a range of rooms, you’re sure to find something that works for you! Close to Valley Gardens and the centre of town, you’ll be right where you need to be to explore Harrogate.

If you’re travelling as a larger group, then Acorn Lodge is another fantastic accommodation option. Just on the edge of the town centre, you can book the entire house which sleeps 15 people! Only a short walk away from Valley GardensThe Stray and all the fantastic dog-friendly cafés and restaurants, it’s in a prime location for dog owners.

You might think that after walking all day Buddy would want to cuddle up on the sofa for the evening and you’d be right, but not before a quick walk around the block before we settled in for the night!

Harrogate has such a great offering of walks, green high streets, dog-friendly venues, and it’s in a prime location next to the Yorkshire Dales. Visiting Harrogate is well worth it for dog owners of all kinds!

Happy Exploring

Becky and Buddy