Bryony Halcrow – What a Star!!

Aneto 3Congratulations to local, long distance runner, Bryony Halcrow, who took on the challenge of the 64 kilometre Aneto Trail (yes sixty four), and starting and finishing in our twin town of Luchon last weekend (6 June).Aneto Map

That sounds hard enough, but ‘Aneto’ is the highest peak in the Pyrenees to a height of 3,404 metres,  that’s nearly 11,200  feet! Luckily the race only went to 10,000 feet, but still an 8,000 foot climb from the start in Luchon, to the turning point below the mountain summit and across the border in Spain*.

Aneto Plan

Aneto 2Not only did Bryony complete the course, but she finished an incredible ‘THIRD’ to bring a medal back to Harrogate and taking just 11 and a half hours. Not bad for a first attempt in running a distance of 40 miles, and with a vertical climbs of nearly 3 miles!! (The men’s race winner took just under 9 hours.)


Any more volunteers for next year?!

* But if BREXIT happens, you made need a passport to get over the border from France into Spain!!!!



Trustees fact finding trip to Montecatini

HIP Trustees, Mary Fennimore and Nigel Clay, and their partners, made their first visit to Harrogate’s twin toIMG_20190515_174129033wn in Northern Tuscany in early May. Despite some knowledge of the town and area, all four were blown away by the beauty of the town and the surrounding countryside.

The similarities to Harrogate with the 19th century spas, and the open parklands in the centre of the towns, were matched by the range of activities and places to visit nearby.

The convenience of getting their, with direct flights from Leeds/Bradford to Pisa, and with the rail link from the airport to Montecatini also providing easy access to the local delights of Florence, Sienna and Lucca.

Montecatini’s long history can be experienced  by a funicular railway journey up to the ancient settlement of Montecatini Alta, overlooking the town and providing panoramic views of the rolling Tuscan hills.IMG_20190515_152212721

As well as exploring the medieval castle and church, and taking in the surrounding landscapes, the compact square is filled with shops and restaurants.

Casa Gala proved to be an excellent choice for lunch and Maître d’, Valentina, is looking forward to welcoming more guests from Harrogate in the near future!



Young musicians from Luchon take part in the Harrogate International Youth Festival.

A group of four young musicians from Luchon is visiting Harrogate this weekend as part of the International Youth Music Festival.Luchon_21-4

‘Eths Lobetons’ are a four piece group who play a style of folk music of the Pyrenees, with both French and Spanish influences, and performed on guitars, violin and accordion.

The group, and their support team, took some time out to visit and perform at Fountains Abbey on a glorious Easter Sunday afternoon.

Their concerts included a performance at Ripon Cathedral on Easter Monday evening


and in Harogate’s iconic Royal Hall on Tuesday.


The New Zealand Connection

Harrogate is a ‘Sister City’ with Wellington in New Zealand.

There is  New Zealand Garden in Valley Gardens.

This is what the Yorkshire Post reported in 2010……

Harrogate’s New Zealand Garden, a special corner of the Valley Gardens, has received a traditional Maori blessing following a restoration and replanting scheme. Kaumatua (Elder) Sam Jackson, above, travelled from Wellington in New Zealand – Harrogate’s sister city – for the re-dedication. Also attending from Wellington were Coun Ray Ahipene-Mercer and Sam’s wife June Te Raumanga Jackson. The New Zealand Garden was established in the 1950s in honour of 23 New Zealand airmen stationed in North Yorkshire during the Second World War, all of whom lost their lives.

We hope to re-establish links with Wellington and are trying to encourage participation in the ‘Golden Oldies’ cricket tournament in 2020!