But once you’ve visited you’ll start to understand why it was voted the Happiest Place to Live for three years in a row by Rightmove, and the best place to live in the North by The Sunday Times.
Located on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, you might expect the best sights to be seen when you leave town. But Harrogate’s centre has as much going for it as the stunning countryside that surrounds it.
The theatre at Royal Hall is hugely popular among locals and visitors, as is the balance of independent shops and high-end brands, from antiques to patisseries. Highlights of the foodie scene include Weatons, with its excellent locally-sourced produce, and Norse, which offers Scandi-inspired dining.
But you can’t come to Harrogate without a trip to Betty's Tea Room. With its traditional hand-baked specialties and chocolates, it’s the perfect place for a little Sunday afternoon indulgence.
People also come here to enjoy RHS Harlow Carr Gardens and the 200-acre Stray park land in the centre of town. And the residents’ pride in the gardens and the Stray means they are always in pristine condition throughout the year.
For those looking to indulge, the town has its own Turkish Baths. Or you could learn about its history as a spa town at the Royal Pump Museum.
Harrogate still has a contemporary feel and is well looked after and well-loved, successfully balancing old and new, young and old. This attracts lots of media savvy creative types who work in Leeds.
This is the town where entrepreneurs, graduates and professionals choose to live – whether commuting to Leeds, York or London.
Ideally situated within the Golden Triangle, Harrogate is becoming more popular than ever due to its excellent rail links and efficient motorway arteries serving most nearby cities.
The satellite villages to Harrogate have also become more viable for families as people are able to work from home, making the school run easier, especially for younger families.
All this comes at a price, and many of the areas in and around Harrogate have some of the most luxurious and expensive properties in the north.
The detached homes with large plots on Fulwith Mill Lane, and the surrounding Fulwith area, are highly prized, as are the streets in the Duchy Estate.
The Oval is full of highly desirable and handsome town houses that feel a bit like Notting Hill, with their own private garden and top schools just five minutes away. Houses here would cost between £1m and £2m.
Beach Grove is another popular street overlooking the Stray, with houses here costing between £1m and £2m. Park Drive and Park Avenue are very close to the centre and near the best schools.
Copis Drive and Springfield Avenue, meanwhile, offer something less expensive but still in a good position just off Kings Road.
Satellite towns like Hampsthwaite, Beckwithshaw, Pannal and Ripley mean you have easy access to the Yorkshire Dales, but still can reach the many boutiques and delightful restaurants and cafes of Harrogate within ten minutes.
A large number of buyers are swapping their townhouses and busy lifestyles in London and moving to Harrogate and its surrounding villages for a more peaceful setting, perhaps commuting to London two days a week. While there’s no direct line between Harrogate and London, with a good connection it can take just 2 hours 45 minutes.
Tundra House, on Swan Road, is part of a stunning bespoke development of three Grade II listed town houses with their own off street parking and gardens. These are for sale for offers over £950,000.
3 Kent Road, an impressive seven bedroom detached family home which occupies an elevated and set back position on the sought after Duchy Estate. Offers above £1,145,000