RHS Garden Harlow Carr For Families Review

In early 2023, we extended our outdoor membership options beyond the National Trust by introducing the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) membership. This provides access to multiple sites across the UK and discounts on similar spaces and gardens.

A beautiful and relaxing garden space always brings joy to our hearts. Our kids love the great outdoors, and what better way to experience this than via beautifully well-put-together gardens? It’s also a test of restraint in preventing a 2-year-old from grabbing every flower they come across!

We visited in winter, so we may not have gotten the space in its full glory. However, RHS Harlow Carr is an exhibition of horticultural beauty all year round. A 68-acre garden is enough to wander around or relax with your family and enjoy the majestic view of mother nature.

You can visit the Alpine house, enjoy the beautiful exotic flowers and plants, and connect with nature in the Arboretum. Take a long, relaxing walk along the streamline and explore the hidden paths through Woodland. 

It is the best place for the kids to explore and play around with its very own tree house. They can participate in plenty of different activities and learn something new in the Kitchen garden.

Where is RHS Garden Harlow Carr located?

RHS Garden Harlow Carr is located in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England. The address is Crag Lane, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG3 1QB.

If you plan to visit the RHS Garden Harlow Carr, this is the best place to plan a short trip with your family and friends. You can easily reach there via car or public transportation, with a bus stop nearby and ample parking for visitors.

If you are coming from very far, you can also visit there via train to the nearest train station Harrogate which is 1.5 miles away from the garden.

History of RHS Garden Harlow Carr

Established in 1946, RHS Garden Harlow Carr is one of the four public gardens run by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) in the United Kingdom.

The garden spans over 68 acres, offering diverse landscapes and horticultural styles. Originally the garden was created to showcase and develop the skills of horticulturists in the North of England; the garden has since evolved into a popular destination for families and garden enthusiasts alike.

Harlow Carr’s history, on the other hand, dates back considerably deeper to the mediaeval period, when the region was part of the Forest of Knaresborough, a royal hunting site.

The Sulfur springs were discovered here in 1734. However, it took another century for it to become a fashionable spa. Since 1840, one of the four springs has served as the foundation for a health spa, including a hotel and bath house.

Later, the NHS turned the bathhouse into a library and study centre, which is still in use. The garden includes a series of model gardens with different styles that represent the different styles in the garden history.

What is there to do?

There’s a wide range of activities suitable for children and families at RHS Garden Harlow Carr:

  1. Play Area: The garden includes an exciting Craggle Top Treehouse, a major source attraction for kids. The natural play area encourages children to explore and use their imagination. The treehouse is built with sustainable materials. It offers a safe and secure space for kids to climb, slide, and swing while parents can relax nearby.
  2. Family Trails: you can explore the gardens on a themed family trail, which offers an engaging way for children to learn about plants, wildlife, and the environment. The trails change seasonally, ensuring a fresh experience on each visit.
  3. Children’s Workshops: During school holidays and weekends, RHS Garden Harlow Carr hosts various children’s workshops and activities, such as craft sessions, storytelling, and gardening workshops. 
  4. Educational Visits: School groups can visit the garden for an educational day out, with tailored workshops and resources available to support learning in a fun, hands-on environment.
  5. Wildlife Watching: The garden is home to various wildlife species, including birds, insects, and small mammals. Children will enjoy observing these creatures in their natural habitat. Another great way to learn more about wildlife and explore nature.

Other than that, there are a few very interesting and wonderful play areas your kids can enjoy and learn simultaneously. Woodland is the coolest and quietest place in the garden where you and your kids can enjoy its lush planting, diverse horticulture, and open meadows. 

Other best place that younger visitors can explore is Logness Monster and Craggle Top Tree House, where children can run and play around and enjoy the beautiful surroundings during their school holidays.

The kitchen garden is one of the wonderful places to explore, where kids can spot the various vegetables and fruits being grown. You can go and watch some fabulous rockery plants in the Alpine house. 

You can bring some duck-safe food and feed the beautiful ducks in the Queen Mother’s lake. Streamside is very attractive and delightful to the eyes.


RHS Garden Harlow Carr offers a range of facilities to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable visit for families:

  1. Café: When you get hungry wandering around, the on-site Bettys Café Team Rooms and Shop is the best place to visit. It serves various hot and cold food, including sandwiches, soups, and cakes. Children’s menus are available, and there’s plenty of indoor and outdoor seating.
  2. Toilets: You can enjoy your visit to the garden with complete access to changing places and toilets throughout the garden.
  3. Wheelchair Access: Most of the garden is wheelchair and pushchair friendly, with ramps and accessible pathways provided. A person with a wheelchair can enjoy the garden as much as others. There is also a manual wheelchair to hire at the gate entrance.
  4. Gift Shop: The gift shop offers a selection of souvenirs, plants, gardening tools, and more.

Would You Recommend it?

Yes, RHS Garden Harlow Carr is a fantastic destination for families, providing children with a wide range of educational and entertaining activities. The beautiful surroundings, family-friendly facilities, and engaging events make it an ideal day out for all ages.

With the Fun activities for kids and the playground, the garden is the best place to visit and relax with your family. It offers you different places to connect with mother nature and the best escape from your busy life.


Is there a cafe?

Yes, Bettys Café is located on-site, offering a range of hot and cold food options, with children’s menus available. You can visit the café and enjoy your meal with your family after a long tiring stroll.

What is your favourite part?

One of our favourite parts of RHS Garden Harlow Carr is the Craggle Top Treehouse play area. It allowed both Matilda and Barney to connect with nature while having fun. You sit there and relax while the children enjoy their time in the play area.

Is it suitable for dog walkers?

Dogs are welcome at RHS Garden Harlow Carr, but they must always be on a short, non-extendable lead. Dog waste bins are provided throughout the garden. However, the dogs are not allowed to enter any waterbodies and children’s play areas for the safety of the visitors.

How much is it?

If you plan to visit RHS Garden Harlow Carr with your family, including the kids. In that case, you have nothing to worry about the tickets. It offers various ticket options, including family and individual tickets for adults and children. Prices are as follows:

  • Adult: £12.15
  • Child (5-16 years): £6.10
  • Children under 5: Free
  • Family (2 adults, 2 children): £30.60

RHS members enjoy free entry to the garden. Please note that prices may be subject to change, and checking the RHS website for the latest information on ticket prices and discounts is recommended.

Are there picnic areas available?

Yes, the garden has designated picnic areas where families can enjoy their food. Even there are picnic tables to enjoy your time and food. Please remember to dispose of any litter in the bins provided.

Is there a first aid facility on-site?

Yes, first aid facilities are available at RHS Garden Harlow Carr, and trained staff are on hand to assist in case of an emergency.

Can I bring a pram or pushchair?

Yes, the garden is mostly pushchair friendly, with accessible pathways and ramps provided. However, please note that some areas may have uneven terrain, making it more challenging to navigate with a pushchair.

Are there any age restrictions for the play area?

The Craggle Top Treehouse play area is suitable for children of all ages. However, adult supervision is always required, and some play equipment may have specific age recommendations posted.

What are the opening hours?

RHS Garden Harlow Carr is open daily, except for Christmas Day. The opening hours are:

  • March to October: 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM
  • November to February: 9:30 AM – 4:00 PM

The last entry is one hour before closing time. It’s advised to check the RHS website for any updates or changes in opening hours.

Do carers go free at RHS?

Carers accompanying visitors whose disability requires their support are given free of charge entry.

How many people are in the RHS membership?

With the individual membership, one member can visit the garden unlimited times with a family guest or two children all year round. A joint membership gives unlimited visits to two members, a family guest and up to four children

Is RHS a registered charity?

RHS rely on donations and memberships to support all charitable activities. It inspires excellence in horticulture, promoting the art and science of gardening.

Pros & Cons


  • Visually stunning gardens
  • Lovely natural play park
  • Educational workshops & facilities.


  • Betty’s cafe although nice is expensive.

RHS enjoyment rating

Last Updated on June 12, 2023 by Ryan

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