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Destination Harrogate Supports Nidderdale Greenway Extension

Upper Nidderdale
Upper Nidderdale

Destination Harrogate supports the proposed extension of the Nidderdale Greenway.

The organisation promotes Harrogate District as a destination for visitors, and is linked to Visit Harrogate and Harrogate Borough Council. It has published a Destination Management Plan for 2022-25.

Tourism and the Visitor Economy

The Plan points out that the visitor economy represents 8,000 jobs and contributes £600 million to Harrogate’s economy – 14.3% of the total. This is second only to real estate, which the Plan says contributes £827 million. (It would be interesting to know if the £827 million includes the sale price of all houses that changed hands).

The £600 million figure is from 2019; in 2020, the pandemic had a negative impact and knocked the total down to £280 million as visitor numbers dropped by 57%.

Overnight visitors make up 19% of the total but represent 63% of economic impact. The average length of stay is 3.3 days, and July to September is peak season.

Pipeline Projects

Pipeline projects which are expected to improve the attractiveness of Harrogate District include:

  • investment in Harrogate Convention Centre
  • Harrogate Station Gateway
  • the Skell Valley Project to revitalise 12 miles of the river Skell
  • Knaresborough Leisure and Wellness Centre (opening in 2023)


Destination Harrogate’s first priority is to position Harrogate as a Health & Wellbeing destination; the second is to raise its profile for Events.

The third priority is to develop a responsible tourism strategy to minimise the negative environmental and social impacts of tourism. This is where the Nidderdale Greenway comes in: the Action Plan for priority three includes extending the Nidderdale Greenway to enable traffic-free access to all of Nidderdale.

When the next Plan is published, let’s hope an extended Nidderdale Greenway is a reality – or if not, that it is given prominence in the Plan, not hidden away in a single row of a table near the end of the document.

Destination Harrogate Supports Nidderdale Greenway Extension

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