Window Shopping in Harrogate

Blogging challenges, Harrogate, North Yorkshire

When Sheree read my post about window shopping last week, where I’d included a stop-off in Harrogate, she was disappointed I hadn’t included the windows of tea shop and bakery extraordinaire, Betty’s. I was in Harrogate again last week, and realised I had to put this right. But the sun was so high, and the light so bright that my camera got clearer views of Parliament Street behind than of the window display. Never mind. Two for the price of one.

My favourite display was in the Oxfam second hand bookshop. Here’s what the signage says:

‘How bad are books? The carbon footprint of reading. A year of driving (average 1600 miles) – 4000 books. Veggie burger – 1/3 book. Cheese burger 3.2 books. Fly to New York and back – 1800 books. 1 pair of men’s jeans – 19 books. It takes 1kg of CO2 to make a book. A second hand book is almost zero carbon.’

Oxfam Books, Harrogate.

I can’t comment on the scientific observations, but I hope it’s true: I’d sooner have a book than a burger, any day. And I liked the reflections in the window too.

I think I’ll leave it at that – or no, let’s just look at this antique shop, where dogs are apparently welcome. Why the bear?

West Part Antiques, Harrogate

Farewell Harrogate, for the time being. Back soon.

Monday Window

69 thoughts on “Window Shopping in Harrogate

  1. Margaret, thank you so much! Brings back happy memories of weekends in Harrogate spent pottering around the antique and book shops and seeking fortification in Betty’s.

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  2. Betty’s! I must budget appropriately for when I finally visit Harrogate. Simply can’t not partake of Betty’s. (Yes, too many negatives but you get the gist.) Love these shots in general. As for the bear, I worked for a while in an antique centre (where I learned very little about antiques). The owners acquired a standing bear. It too, was prominently placed where it greeted/terrified visitors as they came down to the entrance. It always bothered me.

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    1. What is it about stuffed animals? They give me the creeps, but some shopkeepers think they bring in the business. Ah well …. You won’t ‘alf ‘ave to queue for your seat in Betty’s these days. Be prepared.

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  3. Lovely Harrogate. And Betty’s. I used to visit the one in Northallerton when we lived in Catterick for a treat. Haven’t found anywhere quite like it down South.

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    1. Funnily enough, I’m not wild about the Northallerton version, which doesn’t have the spaciousness I associate with Betty’s. But wherever it is, it’s a Yorkshire institution!

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  4. Oh lovely, lovely, lovely. And, thank you very much for that little gem ‘How bad are books?’ – I hope all the Oxfam bookshops are doing that. Next time I am in the town centre I will check out the one here.

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  5. I have just taken a screenshot of your Oxfam bookshop photo with your summary of the signage and your blog details – would you mind if I posted it on Instagram when COP26 begins? I will, of course, credit ‘From Pyrenees to Pennines’?

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      1. It will be my pleasure and thanks again. To be honest I am not holding my breath for truly significant changes to come from COP26, probably going to be more commitments to change, but still little action. It appears no politician wants to be the bearer of bad tidings and explain the scale of what is now required. But we live in hope.

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  6. Lovely post! I haven’t been to Betty’s since I was a child so no memories triggered for me, though I’d like to check it out again for myself one day. Loved the Oxfam bookshop CO2 display, and can confirm that the local Oxfam bookshop I was in this morning did not have one, so it’s probably that particular one. Think it should be extended to all their bookshops with credit to the Harrogate one acknowledged. Did you depart Harrogate by plane, to get that semi-aerial view in the last pic?

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  7. Sounds like Betty is a bit of an institution, which everyone is familiar with? The window display looks nice and I like the reflection of the street. Wow, 1800 books for a flight to NY!

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    1. Quite. We committed to not flying any more over two years ago, but train travel needs to become more competitive. Yes, Betty’s is indeed an institution which all visitors to Yorkshire should experience at least once.

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  8. I wonderful, fabulous post. Love the windows especially the book window. You reminded me of a marvelous quote by Virginia Woolf about used books:

    “Books are everywhere; and always the same sense of adventure fills us. Second-hand books are wild books, homeless books; they have come together in vast flocks of variegated feather, and have a charm which the domesticated volumes of the library lack. Besides, in this random miscellaneous company we may rub against some complete stranger who will, with luck, turn into the best friend we have in the world.” Virginia Woolf, Street Haunting

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    1. What a truly fabulous quotation, which I didn’t know. Now that second hand books are classified as correctly as any library, I’m not sure I totally agree. I find extremely serendipitous choices in our library system too. Hooray for both, I think!

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  9. well, it was a dogs or pets charity shop before – hence the welcoming of dogs, I guess….
    I LOVE that Oxfam poster about books’ carbon prints… I will copy the text – and I’m still sitting, 18mo after our international move, on some 300 books I’ve read but couldn’t allow to be burned in France and yet, have no chance to bring them to the UK where many, many friends would love to get their hands on them, or charity shops, or Oxfam….

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  10. Had to come back and check that i didn’t miss anything. Only now I realise that ‘Betty’s’ is ‘an institution’ – and I’m sure I’d love to know it (although I am NOT a sweets/puddings/dessert fan!). But who could resist those mini sandwiches or the stylish interior for an extended visit?! We, when living in Devon, took all our visiting friends to our local Cockington Park and it’s kitschy but oh so romantic and well known place for Afternoon Tea…. Always a great success – only it was scones galore instead of sandies…. Will I ever be able to visit my glorious Devon again, with its wonderful weird, crazy, lovable friends?

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    1. Yes, Betty’s is an institution alright. And you don’t have to do sweet. They can definitely do excellent savoury too. Yes, your Devon friends will be there for you – maybe not too much longer now?

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