Want to know the best times to visit Yorkshire? Our top picks of things to do each month will help you decide. Whether you want to go walking in the Yorkshire Dales, are looking for family-friendly events on the Yorkshire coast or want to hit the best food and music festivals, certain months are best. For any events and venues mentioned, please check dates and opening times before travelling.
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If you want a total chill out after all the festive indulgence, visiting Yorkshire in January is a fantastic idea. Things are quiet and perfect for enjoying short walks in the Yorkshire Dales or the North York Moors National Parks, relaxing in coffee shops in delightful villages or savouring a leisurely lunch in a country pub.
At this time of year attractions that usually remain open include Castle Howard and the Wensleydale Creamery. Whatever, you decide to do, returning to a cosy cottage with a log fire to snuggle up beside is the perfect end to each day.View Yorkshire Cottages
Jorvik Viking Festival usually takes place in February half term (although it can be later in the year, so do check). Vikings pitch their tents and take to the streets of York to give visitors the opportunity to explore life through Norse eyes. From seeing a Viking ship to watching Viking tools being made to craft workshops for children and competitions such as the best Viking beard, there are plenty of entertaining activities.
For something more romantic, there are snowdrop walks at venues such as Burton Agnes Hall, Goldsborough Hall and Beningbrough Hall, while the Dark Skies Festival in the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales National Parks is perfect for a spot of stargazing.View Yorkshire Cottages
For train enthusiasts or anyone who fancies a trip down memory lane, the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway gala weekend is action packed. The Keighley and Worth Valley Railway operates steam and diesel trains on a 5-mile heritage route between the industrial heart of Keighley and the pretty Bronte Country of Oxenhope. See the railway’s locomotives and visiting trains up close and to buy tickets to ride.
For something different, the Harrogate Fire and Light Festival is a three-night event that takes place in Harrogate’s historic Valley Gardens. Follow the special trail adorned with illuminated installations and fire sculptures, for a magical evening.View Yorkshire Cottages
If you are a fan of beautiful gardens and blooms the Harrogate Spring Flower Show is a fantastic way to get inspired for the new growing season. Packed full of show garden features and floristry stands, with talks and demonstrations from horticultural experts, there are plenty of tips to pick up.
For those with a sweet tooth there’s the York Chocolate Festival where you can watch chocolates being made, make your own treats and sample and purchase delicious chocolate.
For something different, there’s the Whitby Goth Weekend dedicated to alternative music and celebrating gothic culture. It’s an interesting time to visit Whitby when the gothic Whitby Abbey takes on an even more special significance.View Yorkshire Cottages
Now the weather is hopefully warmer, there are plenty of outdoor events and festivals to take part in or observe. The Bridlington Kite Festival is a sight to behold. Some of the world’s largest inflatable kites are flown in a mesmerising display of colour, while there are professional demonstrations and the opportunity to loan kites to fly under the supervision of a pro.
Meanwhile, for arts fans there’s the Saltaire Arts Trail. Held over one of the bank holiday weekends in May, the event showcases local arts and crafts along with the village’s heritage.
There’s also the WensleyAle Beer, Music and Food Festival, normally held over the late May bank holiday weekend at Redmire Station on the Wensleydale Railway.View Yorkshire Cottages
From June and throughout the summer there are festivals in Yorkshire to suit pretty much everyone. Ilkley Food Festival celebrates food and drink with tastings, cooking demos, street food and lots more.
If music and art is more your thing there’s Swaledale Festival that celebrates music and art, but also walking, so it’s a great time to explore the Yorkshire Dales. There’s also the Harrogate Music International Festival and Grassington Festival, Arts and Music.
June is also one of the best times to visit Yorkshire to discover the rural side of life. A number of farms welcome visitors for open farm Sunday, while the Malton Show showcases all things farm and countryside related.View Yorkshire Cottages
One of the highlights of the Yorkshire calendar is The Great Yorkshire Show. It is highly regarded as one of the best agricultural shows in the UK and attracts locals and visitors alike. It takes place on the 250-acre Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate over four days and champions everything good about agriculture, food, farming and the Yorkshire countryside.
With competitive events including show-jumping and best cattle, goats and rabbit competitions, alongside cooking demonstrations, a garden show and the opportunity to try countryside activities, there is plenty for visitors of all ages to get stuck into.
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The Whitby Regatta is a fantastic reason to visit Yorkshire in August. This family-friendly event offers yacht racing and rowing races on the sea, alongside a host of free activities and entertainment. From air displays and classic car rallies to the fireworks finale, the event offers a weekend full of excitement.
Meanwhile, for a sophisticated evening of classical music, flag waving and sipping champagne, there’s Castle Howard Proms. Set in the spectacular gardens of this magnificent stately home in North Yorkshire, the event promises fun for couples, friends and families alike.View Yorkshire Cottages
Get your jazz shoes ready for the Scarborough Jazz Festival held at the Scarborough Spa entertainment venue with acts from a variety of bands and singers.
Meanwhile, for something different, and rather beautiful, head to the Yorkshire Balloon Fiesta, a huge, 4-day hot air balloon festival. Held on the Knavesmire, York racecourse, the event showcases hot air balloon launches and when the sky is filled by them it is a fantastic sight. There is also music children’s entertainment, a fun fair and live music from well-known acts.View Yorkshire Cottages
If you’re a bookworm or love poetry, the Ilkley Literature Festival makes a fantastic addition to a luxury cottage holiday in Yorkshire in October. The event celebrates reading and writing with a host of talks, recitals and workshops.
As the evenings draw in and we look forward to winter, it’s a wonderful time to wrap up and get outside on a crisp evening, as long as there’s a good reason to do so of course. How about a visit to the National Trust’s Fountains Abbey which is floodlit after dark every Saturday night?View Yorkshire Cottages
Calling all film fans. If you like the idea of watching something new or different, head to the Leeds International Film Festival. With short films and feature films from film makers from a wide variety of countries across the world, and all genres represented, there is bound to be something of interest.
It is the largest film festival in England outside of London and events are held at various venues throughout the city of Leeds, including the Town Hall. It is also a qualifying festival for the Academy Awards, BAFTAs and BIFAs. So, book your tickets and enjoy a screening experience with a difference.View Yorkshire Cottages
It’s the time of year to get festive and from stately homes dressed up for Christmas to atmospheric markets, Yorkshire has plenty to get you into the season’s spirit.
Enjoy a trip to Harewood House where all kinds of Christmas activities take place such as wreath making workshops, while the rooms of Castle Howard are transformed into a magical winter wonderland.
For Christmas markets, York is one of England’s largest and is perfect for picking up gifts before enjoying dinner and some Christmas cheer in one of the city’s restaurants.
There are also good Christmas markets in Harrogate, Leeds and Skipton, while on the first weekend of December Robin Hood’s Bay hosts a Victorian-themed weekend.View Yorkshire Cottages
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