Preview of the Harrogate Meeting – Trainees Edition

The meeting

The 2015 ABN Trainee session in Harrogate promises to be more stimulating than a stride across the Yorkshire Dales and more refreshing than a cuppa in Betty’s tea rooms…

At the neurology road-show, junior doctors and medical students will hear ABN president Geraint Fuller discuss the working life of a neurologist, followed by thought-provoking case-based discussions with Joe Anderson and insights into starting a career in neurology from the ABNT committee.

For neurology trainees, the day will follow the successful format of previous years based around two small-group sessions: this year’s cases will be muscle disease and dizziness. A lecture from Gill Sare will enlighten us on stepping up to a consultant role. The finale will be a joint session by experienced consultants discussing their favourite clinical signs and tips from the top!

Back by popular demand, the evening research session will be open to medical students, junior doctors and trainees. This year the focus is on how to get ahead in research with lectures from Alastair Compston on translational neurology, an insight into running a multi-centre study from David Burn and the experience of completing a PhD and where that leads from Jon Rohrer. This will be followed by an informal social evening.

The ABNT dinner will take place on Wednesday 20th May at Brio, a little Italian restaurant with a great reputation located in the centre of Harrogate, only a short stroll from the conference centre. We are also looking forward to a cracking Gala dinner on Thursday evening at the Majestic Hotel.

Finally, there will be an ABNT meeting for all trainees at 8am on Wednesday morning and we would love to see you there, hear your views and listen to what issues you would like the committee to take forward over the next year. For further updates please follow @ABNTrainees on twitter. It promises to be an excellent meeting and we hope to see you there!

To make the most of your trip to Harrogate, Sayan Datta, the ABNT rep in Yorkshire provides an insider’s guide to discovering the treasures of Harrogate…

Welcome to Yorkshire!

Yorkshire’s reputation has soared in recent years: record crowds watched the Tour de France for ‘Le Grand Départ’, Lonely Planet confirmed that it’s the 3rd best place to visit in the world (!) and Yorkshire’s medals haul at the 2012 Olympics would have ranked it 12th in the world – if it were a country!

Convinced Yorkshire is ‘God’s own county’? Then Harrogate is one of its crowning jewels; the historic Spa City sits proudly in North Yorkshire, consistently voted the best (and the happiest) place to live in the UK.

The history extends to the venue itself; the Harrogate International Centre boasts the 1000-seat Edwardian Royal Hall Theatre, re-opened by Prince Charles in 2008, now complemented by modern conference and event space.

Harrogate itself

No visit would be complete without stopping at Betty’s Café Tea Rooms. Forget the Ritz: the quintessential English (and Swiss) afternoon tea experience is found here, as well as proper breakfast or lunch options. Harrogate is spoilt for choice as nearby RHS Garden Harlow Carr – well worth a visit in itself – has its own Betty’s overlooking the grounds.

There are few places in the UK that host Victorian Turkish Baths; Harrogate’s Royal Baths were refurbished in the early 2000s and have been altered little from the original rooms and waters used to wash away the citizens’ rheumatism and gout. Nowadays, a more contemporary spa experience is on offer.

If there’s time, the best of Harrogate golf is at Rudding Park – visitors are welcome, from the confident amateur to those just wanting to fine-tune their game.

Surrounding area

It’s hard to fit it all in! Pick from nearby World Heritage Site Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal gardens, or Bolton Abbey on the banks of the River Wharfe; both ruined monasteries as a result of Henry VIII’s reformation, now spectacularly beautiful and tranquil tourist spots. Or look to Ripon Cathedral: fourteen centuries of history, featuring medieval woodcarving believed to have inspired Alice in Wonderland author Lewis Carroll.

Castles are aplenty: Ripley, Knaresborough, Skipton and Spofforth. Or just get walking: Fewston Reservoir, Brimham Rocks, Nidd Gorge, Ilkley Moors there’s a lifetime of routes in the Yorkshire Dales.

Fine dining at two of Yorkshire’s Michelin starred restaurants are a trip away: the Box Tree in Ilkley and the Yorke Arms in Ramsgill. Or try the award winning Devonshire Arms’ Burlington restaurant, and combine with a walk around Bolton Abbey. For ale-lovers, Masham is the home of the Black Sheep and Theakston breweries: both offer tours and food.

We hope you enjoy the meeting and your stay. The ‘Welcome to Yorkshire’ tourist webpage: is a fantastic source of information for Harrogate and beyond, but also, email me and I’ll help if I can

Useful links:  Yorkshire Tourism homepage    Bettys Café Tea Rooms   Black Sheep Brewery    Bolton Abbey    Devonshire Arms Hotel & Spa and Burlington Restaurant   Fountains Abbey & Gardens    Harrogate International Centre    RHS Harlow Carr Gardens    Ripley Castle    Rudding Park Hotel, Golf facilities    Skipton Castle    Theakston Brewery    The Box Tree Restaurant, Ilkley    Harrogate Turkish Baths    The Yorke Arms Restaurant, Ramsgill

ACNR 2014;15(1):34. Online 15/04/15