Enjoy mood-boosting activities around Harrogate

We all need a pick-me-up every now and then, and if life has left you feeling a little flat lately, a trip to the Harrogate district could be just what you need to get you firing on all cylinders again.

With an amazing variety of activities and experiences to boost your mood, balance your mind and restore your energy, it’s a perfect place to visit to feel more positive, proactive and ready to handle the hurdles of life.

Have a look at our ideas below:

Challenge yourself to something new

It’s well documented that exercise helps prevent and improve a number of health problems and that the psychological and physical benefits of exercise can also help improve mood and reduce anxiety.

At How Stean Gorge, in the heart of beautiful Nidderdale AONB, you can challenge yourself to a new physical activity and feel the joy of adventuring in the great outdoors – at one of the only places in the UK where you can take part in paddle sports and rock sports in one day.

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Guided by How Stean Gorge’s expert instructors, you can push your boundaries and experience an amazing sense of achievement as you conquer fears and learn new skills. No experience is necessary – so it could be just what you’ve been waiting for.

How Stean Gorge Activity Centre

Relax and unwind in a spa

Have you found that spending time at a spa can help you reduce stress and feel more relaxed? Treatments such as massage are known for helping to boost your mood with the release of serotonin, the happy hormone.

Content Rudding Spa infinity looking out

For centuries visitors have been flocking to the Harrogate district to feel the health benefits of the spa town’s ‘healing waters’. Today you can choose one of our amazing country spas to combine a rural setting with the restoration of balance to the body and mind. At Rudding Park Hotel you can unwind in the gorgeous garden surroundings of the amazing rooftop spa.

Rudding Park Spa
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Or you can relax in the luxurious environment of Three Graces Spa at Grantley Hall, wrapped in the tranquillity of the rolling hills of the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). What better place to enjoy contemporary spa treatments than just a short stroll from a Michelin Star Restaurant?

Three Graces Spa
Llama Selfie with Rosebud

Go trekking with llamas and alpacas

The breathtaking landscapes of the Nidderdale AONB offer you the perfect environment in which to switch off and unwind – but imagine exploring this fabulous countryside with a calm and gentle four-legged walking companion, who loves the company of humans and will even carry your walking kit? At Nidderdale Llamas and Alpacas, you can really escape from the every day and forget about the stresses and strains of life while creating memories of a unique and personalised experience.

Nidderdale Llamas

Enjoy a cultural escape

Various research has suggested that engaging with the arts can be good for your mental health and that people who take part in cultural activities can tend to have lower levels of anxiety and depression as well as a higher satisfaction with their overall quality of life.

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Whether you enjoy taking in a show at the theatre, visiting places of historical significance or wandering around an art gallery to help you feel relaxed, the Harrogate district offers you a cultural escape like no other. Discover the unique history of Knaresborough Castle and learn about the monarchs who’ve embraced the stronghold in its stunning setting above the River Nidd since medieval times.

Knaresborough Castle & Museum

Look to the stars

Have you noticed that pausing and taking in the vast expanse of the natural environment can help you feel more relaxed and positive? It’s a similar sensation to gazing up at a starry sky – and feeling pretty small in the world compared with the magnitude of the universe!

Dark sky

Nidderdale AONB in the Harrogate district has a number of Dark Sky Discovery Sites, free from light pollution, where you can look forward to an amazing stargazing experience (sadly, we can’t account for the weather, of course!) These unspoiled locations are nevertheless easily accessible, making them perfect to visit on a short break in the Harrogate district – and many host special events throughout the year, to enhance the experience.

Nidderdale Dark Skies

Take time out in a gorgeous garden

As well as gardening, the simple act of visiting and enjoying a garden can seem to offer excellent benefits for physical and mental health. There’s a world of enjoyment to discover in immersing yourself in the sensory delights of colourful and fragrant plants and trees and the natural creatures that are drawn to them.

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The Harrogate district is home to an incredible wealth and variety of gardens, from the bountiful borders and perfect planting of Newby Hall before exploring The Bear House – the special home of Gyles Brandreth’s collection of vintage teddy bears, lovingly collected over many years.

Newby Hall & Gardens
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Discover more than 80 contemporary sculptures at the Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park. This hidden world of Himalayan planting displays its own collection amongst the trees, shrubs and meconopsis poppies. This privately owned garden is the culmination of two passions and hobbies, with something around every corner to delight you.

The Himalayan Garden & Sculpture Park
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