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Arts and Culture in Harrogate and the Yorkshire Dales

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Harrogate and the Yorkshire Dales have a vibrant cultural scene. The region's landscapes, picturesque villages, and romantic ruins have inspired generations of painters. Over 2 centuries, benefactors have endowed Harrogate with theatres and galleries. In summer, you can enjoy open-air music and drama at castles, parks, and gardens in and around Harrogate.

Visual and performing arts in Harrogate


Harrogate is the region's cultural hub, with an array of art galleries and performing arts venues. The town hosts a busy calendar of cultural events; these include the Harrogate International Youth Festival of Music and Performing Arts, the Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival - billed as the world's biggest crime fiction fest - and festivals of history and literature. The Royal Hall is Harrogate's main performance venue, hosting concerts, drama, and opera. Other venues for the performing arts include the Harrogate International Centre.


Royal Hall


The grand 19th-century Royal Hall is home to Harrogate Theatre and Harrogate Studio Theatre. It also hosts visiting ensembles such as English Touring Opera.


Ripon Road, Harrogate HG1 2RDTel: +44 1423 500500


Royal Hall website


Harrogate International Centre


This modern conference centre is also a venue for exhibitions and a variety of live shows.


Kings Road, Harrogate HG1 5LA. Tel: +44 1423 500500


Harrogate International Centre website

Open-air concerts


Harrogate Borough Council sponsors open-air band concerts in the summer months in parks and gardens in Harrogate and other towns and villages around the region, including Ripon and Knaresborough. They're free, and are usually staged in picturesque 19th-century bandstands and pavilions.


Valley Gardens Bandstand


Brass-band music is a local tradition. Valley Gardens, in the centre of Harrogate, hosts band concerts. It's also a venue for choral performances, jazz, and even African drumming.


Valley Gardens, Royal Parade, Harrogate HG1 2SZ. Tel: +44 845 300 6091


Valley Gardens Bandstand website


Victorian Bandstand


The quaint and brightly-painted Victorian Bandstand in Ripon's Spa Gardens is surrounded by colourful flowerbeds. Band concerts take place every Sunday afternoon here, May through August.


Spa Gardens, Park Street, Ripon, Harrogate HG4 2AX. Tel: +44 845 300 6091


Victorian Bandstand website