Things to do

September Events and Festivals

September may mean the end of summer, but it also brings with it an amazing array of fantastic events in the county.

Sounds in the Grounds, Ripley Castle, 3 September - 6 September. 

Sounds In The Grounds is bringing you a full weekend of great live music to the grounds of Ripley Caslte. Enjoy ABBA Mania, The Bootleg Beatles, Beyond The Barricade or A Country Night In Nashville. Audiences can come together and enjoy a fantastic night of music from their designated picnic patch (available for 2, 4 or 6 people) which will be socially distanced from others but close enough to share the fun. (All concerts conform to guidance from Public Health England regarding Covid-19).

Kilnsey Show, Upper Wharfedale, 1 September

Kilnsey Show first took place 1897 – Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee year. It’s keynote aim – as today – is to promote and showcase life and farming in the Yorkshire Dales, notably the breeding of livestock, along with crafts and rural traditions. Well over a century on, Kilnsey Show & Sports, staged in the shadow of the famous Kilnsey Crag, has expanded and diversified to become one of the county’s largest one-day agricultural shows, one of the best known of its kind in the northern calendar, attracting competitors and visitors from near and far.

A great family day out, Kilnsey Show offers an enjoyable taste of life in the countryside. Keenly contested sheep and cattle classes are supplemented by horse events throughout the day – riding classes, shires, hunters, mountain and moorland; climaxing to a thrilling finish with harness racing. The sheepdog trials attract many of the top dog handlers from all over the United Kingdom, supported by displays , demonstrations and attractions encompassing all aspects of agricultural and rural life.

Freedom Festival, Hull, 2-6 September

Now approaching its 13th year, Freedom Festival is an established fixture on the national and international cultural calendar. In 2019 we extended the celebrations beyond a weekend to five days of wonder, as we expanded our indoor programme to give more people the opportunity to see extraordinary performances from award-winning artists from across the world.

Freedom is a festival born from the city of Hull and its association with the abolitionist movement, themes of empowerment, activism and the potential of community. The festival programme is playfully woven together with world-class street theatre, circus, dance, physical theatre, music, talks, visual art, exhibitions, debates and so much more.

Spartan Yorkshire, Castle Howard, 5-6 September

Spartan Race, the world's leading obstacle race brand, is heading to Yorkshire for the first time ever! Castle Howard will play host to Spartans inaugural Yorkshire event on the 5th and 6th of September 2020.

Racers of all fitness levels are invited to take on the Spartan Sprint (5km, 20 obstacles), Super (10km, 25 obstacles) or both! The added kids race means that fitness-fuelled fun can be enjoyed by the whole family!

St Leger Festival, Doncaster, 7-9 September

Yorkshire’s Classic St Leger festival is the highlight of the flat season, and in 2019 the four-day event welcomed over 54,000 visitors, with the World’s Oldest Classic St Leger stakes attracted an impressive 27,688 visitors on St Leger Saturday.  

The St Leger has been won by some legendary horses through the decades, and 2019 was no different, as jubilant crowds watched Logician, fresh from victory in York’s Great Voltigeur, maintain his unbeaten record with an emphatic victory under Frankie Dettori. St Leger is one of the most prestigious race weeks of the British horse racing calendar, and an experience not to be missed!

Staithes Festival, 11-13 September

Staithes has a long and celebrated history of art from the 19th century Staithes Group of Artists to the present day. This festival will be celebrating the art of the village and much more starting on the evening of Friday 11 September and continuing through the weekend of 12/13 September 2020 when the villagers of Staithes will open their cottage doors to the public as temporary galleries for a selling exhibition of work by resident and visiting artists. Last year the festival hosted 100 artists in 60 venues. Work included painting, printmaking, textiles, ceramics, jewellery and crafts.

Visitors will be able to walk the maze of lanes visiting ‘galleries’ as well as taking part in a programme of guided walks, workshops, talks and film shows. Heritage too plays an important part in the life of the village and will be celebrated in events and exhibitions throughout the weekend. There will be a vibrant programme of music ranging from street buskers to concerts.

The Yorkshire Dales Cheese Festival, 12-13 September

Join the fun at Wensleydale Creamery for a weekend of celebrating cheese, glorious cheese with a fantastic selection of cheese-makers, local food & drink producers and crafts.

At this festival there will be cookery, cheese & butter making demonstrations, A cheese-making viewing gallery, interactive touch screens with behind the scenes footage and a Wallace & Gromit photo opportunity for the scamps. Plus you can discover all of Wensleydale Creamery's cheese-making secrets! 

Harrogate Autumn Flower Show, Newby Hall, 18-20 September

Join HFS for the 2020 Harrogate Autumn Flower Show at their fabulous new venue, Newby Hall & Gardens. Situated a few miles away, just off the A1M, Newby Hall is a jewel in the crown of North Yorkshire with one of the country’s finest 18th Century stately homes and was recently voted 2019 Historic Houses Garden of the Year.

The really great news is that, in addition to all your favourite show features, admission to the 2020 Harrogate Autumn Flower Show will also include access to Newby’s award-winning gardens, complete with some of Europe’s biggest herbaceous flower borders, 15 stunning garden ‘rooms’ and family adventure garden!