Things to do

Festival season is finally upon us and Yorkshire is leading the way with a stunning array of festivals for you to enjoy this July!

Ingleton's 1940s Weekend, 3-5 July

Step back in time and join us for a weekend full of nostalgic entertainment. Learn the history of World War 2, enjoy the music & fashions of the era and take part in the act of remembrance for those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

York Early Music Festival, 3-11 July

The UK's largest festival of classical music written before 1750 intertwines the themes of Method & Madness - from the cool of the Baroque to the heat of the Renaissance.

The festival opens with the captivating (and utterly mad) Barokksolistene led by Norwegian violinist Bjarte Eike in a show looking at the music of the English 17th century tavern ['irresistible' The Times]; on Saturday 4 we welcome Voces Suaves presenting music by Monteverdi and his contemporaries; on Sunday 5 hear Handel's extraordinary baroque masterpiece 'Orlando' with soloists including Carolyn Sampson and Helen Charlston; Monday welcomes Matthew Wadsworth, Steven Devine and a series of 'Mad Songs' to the stage; The Sixteen present their Choral Pilgrimage programme in the Minster on Tuesday; the acclaimed countertenor Iestyn Davies sings with the Dunedin Consort led by John Butt on Wednesday; Thursday we welcome The Society for Strange & Ancient Instruments; Friday the prize-winning vocal group Profeti della Quinta return to York and on Saturday we host some of Europe's finest emerging professionals including the Consone Quartet and L'Apothéose from Spain.

Pontefract Liquorice Festival, 5 July

Join Pontefract in celebrating the town’s unique historic links with liquorice during a day of sweet-themed fun and activities for all the family across the town centre - and at Pontefract Castle! Browse the colourful stalls of our festival market in the historic town centre, selling a wide variety of produce - many with a liquorice twist!

The event, which celebrates the sweet treat, is taking place from 10am – 4pm in the town centre. Visitors can enjoy a tempting variety of food and drink while browsing the many food, craft and gift stalls at the street market, with musicians and street entertainers delighting the crowds throughout the day. 

Great Yorkshire Show, Harrogate, 14-16 July

The Great Yorkshire Show is an iconic three-day event and one of the biggest agricultural events in the English calendar. Every year, more than 130,000 visitors and over 8,500 animals converge on the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate to compete, socialise and celebrate.

The 162nd Great Yorkshire Show will be held on Tuesday 14 – Thursday 16 July 2020 when the best of British farming, food and the countryside will be showcased. In the judging rings, thousands of animals will compete: from cattle to sheep, pigs to pigeons and the show finishes with one of the most prestigious showjumping classes in the country, the Cock O’the North.

Burton Agnes Jazz and Blues Festival, 17-19 July

The festival is uniquely set in one of the UK's finest Elizabethan stately piles, Burton Agnes Hall! Over twenty five bands provide a weekend of Jazz and Blues from their manicured lawns and inside the ornately carved Great Hall. There is civilised camping with hot showers in the adjacent park field, children's entertainers, local ale and food, late night acts in the bar tent and open mic performances in our shops and cafe courtyard. This festival provide music for all tastes, from those seeking an ambient accompaniment to a glass of wine in the majestic grounds; to the jazz or blues aficionado wanting to get up close to star performers.

Seafest, Scarborough, 17-19 July

Seafest, which this year celebrates its 21st anniversary, is set to serve up a feast of maritime delights for all the family in Scarborough South Bay.

Sample the food stalls and enjoy free seafood cookery demos in the Seafest Food Theatre with leading Yorkshire chefs, plus the Great Yorkshire Brewery hosts a real ale and beer festival with over 40 local real ales, beers and ciders.

Go Racing in Yorkshire Summer Festival, across Yorkshire, 18-26 July

9 days of incredible racing, sponsored by Sky Bet, which takes place at the end of July. Race meetings are held over nine days, starting at Ripon and culminating at Pontefract. The week is tied together in a variety of ways, including a leading trainer and jockey of the week, food and drink specials, jockey skills competitions and a festival feeling providing a relaxed, chilled out atmosphere.  Not to mention the competitive racing providing the heart-thumping sport.

The 2020 festival takes place from Saturday 18th July to Sunday 26th July. 

Yorkshire Dales Food and Drink Festival, Skipton, 18-19 July

Join The Yorkshire Dales Food & Drink Festival for their 5th Birthday this year. Once again, they are taking over Funkirk Farm, Skipton on the 18th & 19th July 2020 to bring you a foodie fun filled weekend you will never forget.

For those of you who haven’t visited before – you are in for a treat!  They have live celebrity demos by Ainsley Harriott and James Martin. You can also meet Ainsley at one of his book signing sessions! Plus, more live cookery demonstrations on the Yorkshire AA Rosette and Local Chef Cookery Stages. Fabulous workshops and masterclasses, a vintage funfair, crafting demonstrations, lots of fun activities to keep the kids entertained, tasting sessions, hundreds of exhibitors and the best street food the UK has to offer!

Theakston Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival, Harrogate, 23-26 July

The world class, award winning Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, now in its 17th year, will return to the magnificent Old Swan Hotel on 23-26 July 2020! Curated by their expert Programming Committee helmed by crime fiction titan Ian Rankin and celebrating the very best in crime fiction, the Festival is a firm date in the literary calendar and has achieved international acclaim for the programming, organisation and atmosphere.

With an incredible line-up of special guests and a variety of fresh and exciting panels, you’re bound to find something you like.

Castle Howard Triathlon, 25-26 July

The Castle Howard Triathlon will be part of the 2020 Castle Tri Series and will once again feature the obligatory picture postcard backdrop and a course with something for every level of triathlete. Indeed, the 13,000 acre grounds of Castle Howard form arguably the most physically demanding triathlon course of the Castle Tri Series.

Race entrants will start the race by swimming through Castle Howard’s Great Lake before transitioning into the technical bike route through the glorious rural idyll of Yorkshire and the Howardian Hills. The spectacular run leg passes through the undulating countryside of the estate before a sprint finish tops everything off in style right in front of the main doors of the house.

Tramlines, Sheffield, 31 July - 2 August

Tramlines is the biggest party Sheffield’s ever seen. Over the weekend of 31st July – 2nd August, there’ll be an amazing line-up with more than 70 artists across four stages, plus comedy, a pop-up cinema, an expanded family area and a food and drink line-up unlike anything the area’s ever seen. As ever, they’ll be championing local talent and celebrating creativity in Sheffield, with a strong focus on local talent.

In 2020, some of the headline acts are Ian Brown on the Friday, Catfish and the Bottlemen on Saturday and Madness on the Sunday. 

Underneath the Stars, Barnsley, 31 July - 2 August

Underneath the Stars is an annual music and arts festival established in 2014 by the production company behind Kate Rusby and Pure Records. As a not-for-profit, Community Interest Company, all of the profit goes back into the music & arts programmes. The festival has been developed to support and provide a platform for both emerging and established artists, create pioneering schemes for our volunteers, and to deliver new experiences and adventures for all ages.

Names for 2020's festival include Kate Rusby, Paul Carrack and Suzanne Vega. This family friendly festival looks set to be one of the most fun festivals this summer.