Things to do

July Events and Festivals

Yorkshire has an abundance of fantastic activities and events running all year round, each month Yorkshire.com will be highlighting some of the finest festivals that can be found in God’s Own County.

July 2017 is jam-packed with events that are sure to make your summer memorable and, although great weather is not guaranteed, a warm Yorkshire welcome and a whole heap of fun definitely is.

Great Yorkshire Show

The Great Yorkshire Show, England’s premier agricultural event, attracts in excess of 130,000 people each year due to its excellent array of agricultural demonstrations and exhibitions.

This year’s show, the 159th edition, takes place between Tuesday 11 – Thursday 13 July and will see a series of amazing displays; including old favourites and a series of firsts. The RAF Falcons are in town to perform a parachute display for the very first time and exclusive fashion designers will also see their new designs modelled on the Great Yorkshire Show catwalk.

As well as the 8,500 animals including sheep, pigs, pigeons and ponies, the Charolais Cattle Society will be holding its Summer National Show with 75 head of cattle expected.

Welcome to Yorkshire will also be in attendance with the show’s biggest stand once again. We’ll have the popular Scarborough beach for families to enjoy alongside another host of delights including our famous pub that will see the announcement of Yorkshire's Favourite Pub 2017.

Go Racing in Yorkshire Summer Festival

The annual Go Racing in Yorkshire Summer Festival is in its 10th year and will once again be celebrating the best things about racing on the flat in the White Rose County. This year’s festival takes place between Saturday 22nd July and Sunday 30th July, showcasing a week of Yorkshire racing with accompanying live music, family entertainment and much more. The dates are as follows:

Sat 22 July – Ripon
Sun 23 July –  Redcar
Mon 24 July – Beverley (Eve)
Wed 26 July – Catterick
Thurs 27 July – Doncaster (Eve)
Fri 28 July – Thirsk
Fri 28 July – York (Eve)
Sat 29 July – York
Sun 30th July – Pontefract

Bradford Literature Festival

Hailed as one of the most inspirational festivals in the UK, the Bradford Literature Festival is back with over 300 events packing into iconic venues across the city from 30th June to the 9th July. Bradford has long been a hub for literature, diversity and culture and that is a major inspiration behind this festival.

This year sees the first ever Comic Con weekend at the festival and on 1st and 2nd July, fans can enjoy a comics extravaganza at the University of Bradford.

York Early Music Festival

The York Early Music festival is celebrating a significant milestone this year, it is the 40th anniversary year.

The festival, taking place 7th-15th July, is a great place to meet and discuss ideas and there will be special programmes from John Bryan and Peter Seymour who were at the festival for its inaugural year and are still going strong.

A particular highlight is the 2017 York Early Music International Young Artists Competition, with the finals taking place on Saturday 15th July.

Selby Arts Festival

This brand new, nine day event for Selby is aiming to make the town a more fun and creative place to live, work and visit and if the list of events is anything to go by, they’re guaranteed to succeed.

Highlights include TV comedian, Ed Byrne who will be performing an exclusive preview of his brand new, 1 hour Edinburgh show and the fourteen-piece ukulele collective, The Grand Ole Uke of York will be putting on a show with a humorous and highly entertaining live performance.

Yorkshire Dales Food & Drink Festival

Taking place over the 22nd and 23rd July, with amazing demonstrations, entertaining activities, great live music and the chance to try some of the best street food from around the UK, this is more than just a food festival.

This packed weekend offers visitors the chance to eat, drink, laugh, play, watch, dance and this year... sleep. After taking in one of the area’s best food festivals you can sleep under the awe-inspiring Yorkshire Dales stars – for a truly magnificent weekend, look no further than Funkirk Farm, Skipton.

The festival aims to promote the ‘Field to Fork’ ethos and will be once again welcoming TV chef James Martin to the event on the Sunday.

Underneath the Stars Festival

Talking of being under the stars, this festival at Cannon Hall Farm from 21st-23rd July is a perfect example of mixing great entertainment with glamping. Set in the beautiful rolling hills of South Yorkshire this is the perfect setting for a stress-free weekend.

Underneath the Stars Festival provides spectacular entertainment for people of all ages with music, dance, craft workshops, lively street-art performers and so much more. With a prime selection of real ales, wines and spirits from an array of local producers (charged at reasonable Yorkshire prices, of course) and some sumptuous street food, you’ll wish this festival lasted longer than just the weekend.

Pontefract Liquorice Festival

On the 9th July, head to West Yorkshire for the Pontefract Liquorice Festival where there will be a day full of sweet treats, fun and entertainment to celebrate the town’s historic link with the flavoursome plant.

 Now in its 22nd year, this longstanding Pontefract favourite has something for everyone to enjoy with dancers, musicians and entertainers keeping visitors amused as they browse around the 80 food, craft and gift stalls on the colourful street market.

Make sure to give the liquorice stout a try, it’s a firm favourite at the festival!

Great Yorkshire Fringe

After wowing York with two years of festivals, the Great Yorkshire Fringe is returning to the city from 21st July-13th August.

The festival has quickly become a key summer event in York’s entertainment calendar bringing the best in comedy, cabaret, theatre and music to the county.

This year’s highlights include TV comedian, Henning Wehn who will be offering an evening of Teutonic jolliness at its best, and singer Curtis Stigers, who is touring in celebration of the 50th anniversary of ‘Sinatra at the Sands’.

Another must-see is comedian Paul Sinha, who many may know as ‘Sinnerman’ from ITV’s The Chase.

Harrogate Festival

Last year saw the 50th anniversary of this festival marked with a magical fire garden that forged lasting memories and this year, between 30th June – 29th July, the fire and spirit will continue to burn with the celebratory theme ‘Generations’.

Harrogate Festival has always brought a mix of the best international talents to the town’s doorstep as well as supporting the rising stars of the future and this year proves to be no different.

Hull was named 2017 UK City of Culture and throughout the year there is a plethora of events to help celebrate the city. This month’s highlights include:

Hull Film Festival

Hull’s only film festival is back for its fourth year to celebrate the best in independent film from 26th June to 9th July. Bringing exclusive and internationally acclaimed pictures to the city over a two week programme, Hull Film Festival offers audiences the chance to delve into the wonderful world of film across many genres.

Balancing Act

This exhibition is truly unique. ‘Balancing Act’ is an display of photos taken by Craig Thompson who builds balancing sculptures on the beaches of Filey, Flamborough and Bridlington using stones found on site. They exist long enough to be photographed and then disappear with the next tide. Thompson mentions that his favourite thing about this project is that the only place that each sculpture can exist in the future is in these photographs. This strange, yet beautiful exhibition can be enjoyed at the Morten Gallery until 2nd July.