Things to do

October Events and Festivals

October brings with it a shed load of fascinating events and festivals. With Halloween in the month, there's a couple of spook-tacular offerings plus some other first-class events that are well worth checking out.

Here is our run down of great things to see and do in Yorkshire this month:

Ilkley Literature Festival

Ilkley Literature Festival is the North’s largest and most exciting literature festival. The 2017 Ilkley Literature Festival programme features over 250 events including Alan Bennett, Sarah Millican, Richard Osman, Shami Chakrabarti, Judy Murray, Richard Dawkins, June Sarpong, Daljit Nagra, Alan Hollinghurst and many more.

On top of this, their Children’s Festival is headlined by BBC Radio 1’s Greg James and Chris Smith and includes fantastic events for anyone ages 3-12 including Ben Faulks, Nadia Shireen, Robin Stevens and Festival favourites tutti frutti. Young People have the chance to meet some of their favourite authors including Alex Wheatle and Samantha Shannon. Plus there are workshops and masterclasses with leading writers and the Festival Fringe.


Sensoria is the UK’s festival of film and music. Sensoria’s natural home is Sheffield – a city renowned for its creative and technical innovation and one rich in musical heritage. The festival has risk taking and innovation at its core – it is informal and informative; Sensoria loves to provide access, raise aspiration and work to encourage new talent on an ongoing basis.

Sensoria features screenings, gigs, performance, talks, installations, events and exhibitions. Year-round they present Sensoria Teasers – events, activities and collaborations as and when the opportunity arises. 

Railway in Wartime

After a review of the event in 2016, and collaborating with Pickering in Business, the North Yorkshire Moors Railway will be bringing back both the military and civilian vehicle parades across the weekend. On Saturday 14th October, the foot parade will be led by the Yorkshire Corps of Drums and will include all disciplines of the military, followed by a vast array of 1940s military vehicles. Sunday 15th will see the return of the civilian vehicle parade with classic vehicles such as 1930s Austin 10, Rolls-Royce convertible and period motorcycles.

Over the three-day event, families can hop on board steam and heritage diesel trains and relive the amazing spirit and camaraderie of World War II, whilst enjoying various war-themed entertainment and vehicle displays at stations along the iconic North Yorkshire Moors Railway line.

The Home of Halloween – York Dungeon

Who says Halloween has to last just one day? For pretty much the whole of October (and a little bit of November) The York Dungeon is getting a full festive overhaul, with plenty of decorations, and new surprises in every show! But it isn't just the Dungeon that are being taking over! There's a whole gang of events coming too, including York Dungeon Late (18+ Only), Trick or Treat Walking Tours and a York Dungeon City Bus Tour.

Harrogate International Literature Festival

The Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival has become the hot ticket on the national Festival circuit thanks to its stellar line-up of literary names in beautifully intimate settings. Hosted over a long weekend, this Festival, now in its seventh year, celebrates great writing by bringing best-selling authors, influential politicians, comedians and stars of the stage to share their stories with a programme designed to entertain and inspire.

This year’s uplifting line-up features Joan Bakewell, Victoria Hislop and Jenni Murray, alongside Jonathan Aitken, Martin Sixsmith, Peter Snow & Ann MacMillan, Amanda Owen, Ann Widecombe and many more.


Musicport festival is held in October each year at Whitby Pavilion. The festival is friendly, intimate, inclusive and welcoming to all – whether you’re on your own, a family or a group.

The music represents cultures from all over the world – beats to get you up and dancing, DJs to transport you, dance and spoken word to set the imagination going, plus workshops, market stalls, food – there’s something for everyone and plenty of surprises!

Farmer Copley's Pumpkin Festival

Farmer Copleys now hosts the UK’s largest pumpkin festival, celebrating everything that is wonderful about the autumn, harvest and the not so humble pumpkin. They grow pumpkins that are red, green, black, blue, yellow, white, orange, smooth, warty, stripy, every shape, size and colour of pumpkin you can imaging.

There’s also the witches kitchen, small ride, tractor ride, barrel ride, storytelling, face painting, sweet treats, toffee apples, photo ops, the list goes on and on, it is genuinely great family fun, don your wellies and bobble hat and celebrate the autumn, our favourite season.

Stokesley Food Week

This year’s Stokesley Food Week has grown further and will start with a free launch event on Sunday 1st October which will run from 11-4. A host of local food and drinks’ producers will showcase their products at a special market in a marquee on The Plain, outside of the Town Hall. In addition, Chapter’s Deli will provide a prosecco bar and there’ll be live music and pop-up food demonstrations, as well as a variety of free food and drink samples.

One of the highlights of this year’s Stokesley Food Week is a special ‘Gin and Jazz’ party in the Town Hall on Friday October 6th. The event, organised by Angrove Park, will offer over 40 gins as well as a range of canapes and live music. Tickets are £15 and are available from the Town Hall. A percentage of the proceeds will be donated to a local foodbank charity.

Whitby Goth Weekend

The Whitby Goth Weekend® is an alternative music festival. It was founded in 1994 by Jo Hampshire of Top Mum Promotions and has grown to become one of the world’s premier Goth events. Alongside the music as part of the official event there is also the Bizarre Bazaar Alternative Market which features over 100 stalls across multiple venues.

The live music takes place in the Spa Pavilion which is situated on West Cliff in Whitby, North Yorkshire. The Bizarre Bazaar Alternative Market is spread over six trading areas in the town – The Exhibition Hall, the Foyer and the Theatre at the Spa Pavilion, the Sports Hall and the Community Room at Whitby Leisure Centre, and at Whitby Brunswick Centre.

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 highlight is:

Turner Prize 2017

Turner Prize, one of the world’s most renowned art prizes, is awarded by Tate to an artist who has exhibited outstanding work in the previous year. The four shortlisted artists for 2017 will exhibit their work at Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, throughout October and November with the overall winner announced in early December.

Through genres such as portraiture, landscape and still life, the four artists explore how art is able to respond to political and social upheaval.