Harrogate has previously won “Happiest Place to Live in Britain” awards. Unfortunately it has dropped a few places on those rankings, mostly because surveys have shown that many, many people who live in Harrogate are really miserable gits. It also ranks highly for the most drunk driving convictions in Yorkshire and the most usage of online ****, but funnily enough that doesn’t get a mention in the Visit Harrogate brochures.
People do come to Harrogate to look at floral displays, have tea in Betty’s Tea Shop (where the staff are [allegedly] made to wear uniforms and pinafores like the good old days) and press their faces against the Jo Malone or White Company shop windows before picking up a few bargains from Fultons, the discount shop on the high street where Next used to be and CEX. These visitors then tend to get back on their coaches and hot foot it out of a town where there is patently nothing to do after 6pm unless you enjoy squatting on park benches sharing memories with a tramp over a can of cider and watching kids smash glass bottles stolen from recycling bins. The council are panicking as they’ve realised that the tourism market for bus tours, tea shoppes and begonias is probably going to die off soon, and people will be less likely to want to come to Harrogate to experience the reality of empty shop units and hotels where a “colour TV” in the room is seen as a novelty.
It’s so posh
Harrogate is well known for being posh. The town is actually divided between those who believe that having a Ferrari on the driveway, two kids in private school and a mortgage that you can only live with because you’re a massive coke head makes you posh, and those who believe that having a car, sending your kids to school and not actually living on the streets is posh. Either way they love to judge everyone else and feel superior to those living in Leeds, Knaresborough or (God forbid) Bradford.
The average house price in Harrogate is much higher than the UK average. This is because families move here to try and get their kids into the schools, most of which are rated “good” or “outstanding”. Upwardly mobile middle classes then spend years fretting about getting little Jemima or Tarquin into the right state schools, until eventually they realise that they don’t actually live on the school playground, they can’t be arsed to go to church every week and then resign themselves to being poor for the rest of their lives and send the kids to private school anyway. Property developers have spent the last 5 years merrily exploiting the lack of any local plan regarding housing and have built thousands of revolting executive homes on soulless estates with no facilities over what was once farmland. Everyone has to drive everywhere and the roads are still basically designed to cope with coach and fours so road rage is common.
Harrogate is very monocultural, with a massive Wetherspoons catering entirely for an intolerant white population who love to moan on social media about the fact that North Yorkshire county council has accepted 5 Syrian refugee families in the last 3 years. “What about our own” wail the ‘Spoons punters, conveniently ignoring the fact that they’ve never helped anyone, British or not.
Harrogate miserableness reached new heights recently when the UCI World Championships cycle race was hosted by the town. The council foolishly promised millions of visitors and loads of tourist dollars floating around town. What actually happened was that people were unable to drive to work or the supermarket for a week, as they have been accustomed to doing for CENTURIES, the Dutch and Belgian cycling nutter fans all camped traveller style in lay-bys rather than paying to stay in over-priced 1950s hotels with colour TVs, and visitors preferred to watch the cycling rather than shop in Fultons or the discount shop where Next used to be. Plus it rained for 5 days and messed up the parkland known as the Stray which is Holy Land. All hell broke loose and now the council have sworn never to try to attract any visitors to the town apart from coach tours of elderly people from the North East who like looking at begonias on traffic islands.