Harrogate  means a whole lot of things, but especially Bettys Bakery and Agatha Christie.

My friends call me Miss Marple , so it’s no surprise that I went to Harrogate recently  on a pilgrimage to the Old Swan Hotel.  Agatha Christie sought refuge here during a  personal crisis  in  1926, thereby sparking  a nation- wide search …..and a good many headlines! Back then the hotel was called The Swan Hydropathic Hotel, as the town was a centre for hydrotherapy.

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Agatha could have hidden in this butler's chair!

Agatha could almost have hidden in this butler’s chair at the Old Swan


I know it’s a cliche, but Bettys  Tearooms and Bakery  is definitely an institution in Harrogate. People line up outside to sample their cream teas and Fat Rascal cakes.

Waiting for a table at Betty's!

Waiting for a table at Betty’s!

Inside, the bakery itself offers every Yorkshire delight known to man – or woman!

The full gory of Betty's!

The full glory of Bettys!

Clearly the whole of Harrogate  (including Bettys)  had entered into the spirit of the  2014  Tour de France and the Grand Depart;

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Outside Harrogate Library.

Outside Harrogate Library.







I became slightly obsessed with bicycles  myself;


Local dental surgery's banner - before British hope Mark Cavendish crashed out of the race.

Local dental surgery’s banner – before British hope Mark Cavendish crashed out of the race.





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We also stumbled upon what must surely be the smallest dress shop in the world. I wonder if there is a fitting room?

Outside the sweetest little dress shop.

Outside the sweetest little dress shop.

I loved Harrogate. One day I’m going back to attend the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival, held each July. Of course the prime spot to stay is the wonderful  Old Swan.

Have you been to Harrogate, and in particular the crime writing festival?










  1. Dates for the Harrogate Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival 2015 are 16th to the 19th of july – however we would strongly recommend early booking as it is between 2 of Harrogate’s busiest events, Great Yorkshire Show and Gift Fair so early booking is key! speak to the festival office for rover packages at excellent rates.

  2. Glad you enjoyed your visit – apart from getting stuck in the Great Yorkshire Show traffic! There are so many things that I love about Harrogate, Betty’s, the top notch shoe shops (I have a thing about footwear!) and the RHS gardens at Harlow Carr, being 3 things at the top of my list…

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