The Stray, Harrogate

This 200 acres of open grassland and verges wraps around the main urban “old town” of Harrogate. It exists for the people of the town and is a popular spot for picnicking, kite-flying, outdoor games and local football matches.

The Stray surrounds much of the town, so you'll never be far away from shops, toilets, public transport and other local parks and open spaces.

The Stray is covered by an act of Parliament, the Stray Act 1985. The Act, and its byelaws, determine how it can be used while protecting the land, preserving this beautiful open space.

Events and activities

Two fairs take place annually on Oatlands Drive Stray, the first over the spring bank holiday and the second over the August bank holiday. Circuses take place periodically. All circuses authorised by us will be non-animal events.


Harrogate Stray has had six to seven million crocus planted in the grass areas over the years to create an eye-popping floral treat in spring. The best time to see the crocus flowering would be a sunny day from the beginning of March.

Visitor information

Many of the pathways that run across all major sections of the Stray have suitable disabled access.

Parking is not allowed on any part of the Stray grassland or verges, unless in conjunction with an organised event, where parking areas will be clearly identified. On-street disc zone car parking is available around the town centre and on nearby roads.

Please note that motorhomes are not allowed to park on the Stray overnight.

The advertising of cars for sale as well as advertising boards and banners are not permitted on any land which is classed as the Stray.