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!

Great Yorkshire Show

The Great Yorkshire Show takes place from Tuesday 10th – Thursday 12th July this year at the Harrogate Showground.

Some 100,000 visitors are expected to attend this farming and countryside showcase over the three-day event. The crowds will see some of the UK's finest cattle, sheep and pigs competing for the coveted championship rosettes, as well as 2,000 horses in the show jumping and equine classes.

Go Racing in Yorkshire Summer Festival

Taking place in the last month of July, the Go Racing in Yorkshire Summer Festival 2018 celebrates all that’s great about racing on the flat in God’s Own County. This is the 11th annual celebration of racing in Yorkshire and will see some wonderful days over nine racecourses, providing superb racing and a fabulous atmosphere.

Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, Harrogate

The world class, award winning Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, now in its 15th year, returns to the magnificent Old Swan Hotel from the 19-22 July! 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. 

Festival goers will join the world’s most celebrated crime authors in conversation, in action and in the bar, including panel events with Alafair Burke, Karen Cleveland, AA Dhand, Greg Hurwitz, Simon Mayo, Chris Brookmyre, Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, Ann Cleeves and Eva Dolan. There’ll be a Late Night Event with BBC’s Pointless star, Richard Osman, and stand-up turned crime author, Mark Billingham.




Bradford Literature Festival

Hailed as one of the most inspirational festivals in the UK, Bradford Literature Festival has over 500 events packed into iconic venues across 10 days. This is a celebration of the written and spoken word in all its wonderful forms. Every year world-renowned authors, poets, musicians and artists head to visit this spectacular city and share their expertise and passions with you, the audience.

Harrogate Music Festival

Music, art and theatre has the ability to transform. See the world through new eyes this summer with our month-long Festival bursting with colour, laughter, soul and song.

2018’s Festival theme, Innovation, brings one of the most mercurial (and Mercury Award nominated) singers, Laura Mvula, to Harrogate. Returning are Festival favourite, The John Wilson Orchestra, swinging into town to breathe new life into Hollywood’s Golden Age, and we’ll relive Bernstein and Tchaikovsky, marking key anniversaries of the composers’ lives.

Step into summer with Harrogate International Festivals – the home of festivals.

York Early Music Festival

Power and politics, one of the most seductive, intoxicating and pertinent subjects of the modern age, is the overarching theme of the York Early Music Festival 2018, taking place Friday 6 – Saturday 14 July.

Highlighting that nothing in the world is new, music from across 400 years illustrates conflicts from medieval popes to Napoleon, punctuated along the way by the Catholic Church’s endeavours to bring order to the clergy, the politics of England during the English Civil War, and a glimpse into the opulent court of Louis XIV.

Yorkshire Dales Food & Drink Festival

This festival is jam-packed with things to do including local chef and crafting demonstrations, a selection of hands on workshops, a vintage fun fair, kid’s activities, tasting sessions, live music, hundreds of exhibitors and the best street food and drink the UK has to offer!

Underneath the Stars Festival

South Yorkshire's stellar music & arts festival Underneath The Stars returns this summer with another exciting line-up of established and emerging talent across the folk, jazz, roots, bluegrass, fusion and Americana music worlds, as well as the promise of enticing workshops, arts, crafts and food stalls, highlighting the creative talents of the Yorkshire region.

Pontefract Liquorice Festival

Liquorice lovers rejoice this is the perfect festival for you!

Pontefract Liquorice Festival, held each July, celebrates the town’s historic link with the flavoursome plant.

Sweet lovers can enjoy a tempting array of liquorice food and drink while browsing the food, craft and gift stalls at the colourful street market. Dancers, musicians and street entertainers delight the crowds throughout the day, while craft activities, face painters and fairground rides keep the little visitors amused.

Great Yorkshire Fringe

The Great Yorkshire fringe is quickly becoming a key summer event in York’s entertainment calendar, bringing the best in comedy, cabaret, theatre and music to Yorkshire. Building on the success of the first two festivals, The Great Yorkshire Fringe grows with the city of York, engaging residents and visitors, supporting local businesses and encouraging tourism for the wider area.

Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre

More than 400 years ago, the first audiences for Shakespeare’s plays enjoyed an experience that was as intimate as it was exciting, crowded in close to the actors and the action, in a small theatre in the bustling city of London. In SHAKESPEARE’S ROSE THEATRE an experience every bit as exciting, intimate and immersive will be offered to today's audiences in a dramatic playhouse setting beside the iconic 13th century Clifford’s Tower in the heart of the historic city of York.

Leeds Jazz Festival

This festival is over six days this summer – July 19-24. There are four main venues – the Wardrobe, The Leeds College of Music Rooftop Bar, then two days of Fringe Festival Music with local and community bands in Millennium Square on Monday and Tuesday day and evening, including an “improvisation chamber” where people can try out improvising for the first time and a new jazz play with music in the Carriageworks.

Meadow Connections

The weekend-long Meadow Connections festival is back for its second year, offering a packed schedule of talks, workshops and demonstrations that celebrate upland hay meadows in the Yorkshire Dales.


Whether you’re a green-fingered gardener, a flower enthusiast or a cactus-keeping novice, Bloom! is a colourful, city-wide celebration for everyone. Discover the secret green spaces hidden behind the walls of some of York’s historic buildings, make your way through some of the less visited gardens of the city and witness a floral master at work with Royal florist Simon Lycett.


Sheffield’s inner-city festival dedicated to celebrating the outdoors returns for Summer 2018, with another jam-packed weekend of adventure, taking place Friday 6 — Sunday 8 July. 

The BMC British Bouldering Championships will be returning to provide the star attraction of the weekend, where the nation’s strongest male and female climbers battle it out on a purpose-built wall on Devonshire Green.

Over the next few months, the Great Exhibition of the North takes place. This is a free, summer-long celebration of the North of England’s pioneering spirit.

The country’s biggest event in 2018, it will pack a programme of amazing exhibits, live performances, displays of innovation, new artworks and unforgettable experiences into 80 days.

Find out how you can get involved here.