North York Moors

North York Moors logo
Browse section

Events in August

It's August! The festival season is in full swing and the school summer holidays means there’s a packed calendar of activities and events going on this month.

Details of this month's agricultural and country shows can be found here. Find walking challenges, cycling and mountain biking, and fell and road running events listed in our Enjoy Outdoors pages. Foodie fans should check out farmers' markets in and around the North York Moors.

Family fun | Music, festivals & performing arts | Other great events & exhibitions

You can also search for events by date here, which includes a list of our free guided walks for the month or book online.

National Park events and activities

We have lots of children's activities and trails running throughout the school break. From Plundering Pirates and Slithery Snake Treasure Hunts to archery and bushcraft, you'll find plenty of events running at our Danby base, as well as Little Boots Tuesdays at Sutton Bank too (booking essential for these events). Have a browse of our calendar here.

Sutton Bank Sundays return this August with free drop-in-anytime activities for all the family:

  • Sup and Scran (6 August): Taste some of our lovely local food and drink, and see how things were done in the farmhouse kitchen.
  • In Days of Old (13 August): Find out how people might have spent their time in bygone days. Design your own shield or have a go at calligraphy.
  • Fitness, Flowers and Fresh Air (20 August): Learn to identify wild flowers, discover the healing properties of plants, sample some healthy recipes and test your fitness with a spot of cycling or the 100m sprint!

Combine your visit to Sutton Bank with a spot of biking, including round 3 of Sutton Bank Bikes' Kids Time Trial (19 August), with four categories starting from balance bikes; prizes for winners and best fancy dress (Disney themed).

The This Exploited Land of Iron team's Community Archaeology Excavation continues too (1-5 August) at Goathland Incline. Once at the heart of the Industrial Revolution, fuelled by the discovery of ironstone and the coming of the railways – join the dig in search of the industrial past of the North York Moors, identify the finds, and hear about the lives of the miners, railwaymen and their families.

Summer fun in the North York Moors

Our friends at Hidden Horizons, East Barnby Outdoor Centre, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, English Heritage, National Trust and others, are running a series of family-friendly activities this summer. Booking essential unless a drop-in event. Take your pick from:

  • Holiday Activity Days (£40 pp) (various dates). Aimed at 9 to 16 year olds, activities range from canoeing, sailing, body boarding, mountain biking, to climbing and bushcraft.
  • Summer Explorer Adventures (daily throughout August) for outdoor adventures at Castle Howard, from woodland quests to foraging and craft building.
  • Hands on History: Seafarers (weekdays throughout August) at Whitby Abbey
  • Tactile Tuesday at Nunnington Hall (1, 8, 15, 22, 29) kids craft activities
  • Fossil hunts at Boggle Hole, Runswick Bay and Scalby Bay (1, 8-11, 22, 24, 29, 31 August)
  • Become a Junior Ranger for the day and get closer to nature in Ravenscar (1 and 22 August). Booking essential.
  • Beck Isle Museum's popular Rural Craft Days (2, 16, 30 August). You can also join their Summer Fun activities running daily through to 3 September (10am to 3pm), looking at farms, sea creatures and Victorian toys.
  • Boggle Hole Seashore Safari (3, 6, 8-10, 13, 15, 20, 22-24, 27, 29 August) hosted by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust's Living Seas
  • Fairy Stories in the Garden at Scampston (4, 17, 22 August)
  • Stories & Sword School (5/6, 12/13, 19/20, 26-28 August) Join the monk in residence at Rievaulx Abbey as he shares stories of life at the Abbey and test your skills in Sword School.
  • Dracula (5/6, 12/13, 19/20, 26-28 August) Hear Bram Stoker's Gothic tale in the setting of the writer's inspiration, Whitby Abbey (performances at 11am, 1pm and 3pm).
  • Dalby Duck Dash (6 August)
  • Rockpools at Runswick Bay (8 August)
  • Arboretum Explorers' Club (9, 23, 30 August), from pond-dipping and minibeast hunting to shelter making and orienteering.
  • Abseiling Adventure at Roseberry Topping (9 and 20 August)
  • Flutterbies and creepy crawlies at Nunnington Hall (9 August) and Rievaulx Terrace (17 August)
  • Ravens and Robins at Ravenscar (10 August), get up close with our feathered friends
  • Rock pool rummage at Saltburn (11 August) and Robin Hood's Bay (24 August). Learn about amazing anemones, crazy crabs, funny fish and more. Booking essential.
  • Helmsley under Siege! (12-13 August) - it's 1644 and Helmsley Castle is under siege, witness the siege battles, take part in drill sessions!
  • Grab your Bucket and Spade and head to Robin Hood's Bay (14 August), build the best sandcastle and play seaside games
  • Magical Travelling Circus (17-20 August) - head to the Big Top within the grounds of Whitby Abbey as fairytale acrobatic theatre company Nicole & Martin present four plays in four days.
  • Small Mammal Survey (17 August) help rangers discover more about the small mammals living in the woods at Hayburn Wyke. Booking essential.
  • Sports Day at Rievaulx Terrace (19 August)
  • National Dog Day at Rievaulx Terrace (26 August)
  • Go rock hopping and treasure hunting at Hayburn Wyke (27 August) with a Geocaching Taster Day (drop-in). Other sessions at Danby (10 August) and Sutton Bank (31 August)

Download the Gruffalo Spotter app at home, then head to one of the forests at Dalby or Guisborough where Gruffalo and other characters will come to life on the Gruffalo Spotters Trail and augmented reality app. Look for clues which lead to footprint marker posts - point the app and watch Mouse, Fox, Owl, Snake and the Gruffalo appear before your eyes.

Music events, festivals and performing arts

Pack your picnics, chairs (and a brolly), and sit back with this year's outdoor theatre offerings in the spectacular setting of Mount Grace Priory (Great Expectations on 11 August, Twelfth Night on 19 August and Wind in the Willows on 22 August), Ryedale Folk Museum for Pride and Prejudice (5 August) and Nunnington Hall for a production of Peter Pan (11 August). 

Castle Howard’s Proms Spectacular (19 August) features Brit Award winners Blake and rising classical star soprano Joanna Forest and sees the London Gala Orchestra perform a rousing medley of Proms favourites including Jerusalem, Rule Britannia and Pomp & Circumstance No 1, popular classics and songs from musicals combined with plenty of flag waving, a spitfire fly-by and a spectacular laser and firework finale in a magnificent setting.

Catch the Esk Valley Railway every Friday evening during summer and you'll find yourself on one of its Music and Ale Trains. Spectacular scenery, real ale bar on board and live music on the train, plus the chance to sample one on the many classic pubs along the line.

Don’t miss the Esk Valley Theatre's annual production – this year performing Larkin with Women (10 August - 2 September). Early booking recommended (T: 01947 897587).

The friendly Saltburn Folk Festival (11-13 August) has dozens of acts from all over the UK and further afield. Pubs pulsate and, tents mushroom as audiences camp out for a fabulous weekend.

Follow this up with the legendary Whitby Folk Week (19-25 August). Seven days of dancing, storytelling and performances in venues across the town, with musicians making merry in Whitby's many pubs, street entertainment, craft fair and pop-up campsite.

There’s no better way to get a feel for our glorious nautical heritage than to attend Whitby Regatta (19-21 August). This spectacular event celebrating its 176th year, is probably Britain’s oldest sea regatta. What started in the 19th century as a fishermen’s boat race has grown into a hugely popular weekend of parades, fireworks, vintage car rallies, aerobatics, and of course displays of boats of all kinds, from classic yachts to naval submarines.

Renowned classical musicians from around the world gather in the North York Moors for one of the most remarkable among Europe’s classical music events that is now firmly established on the musical map, the North York Moors Chamber Music Festival (13-26 August). This year it celebrates Arcadia, with the evening concerts in some of the area's most remote and beautiful historical buildings; the journey to the venue is just part of the magic.

The magnificent Ampleforth Abbey makes a fitting setting for Harrogate Festival Chorus and Orchestra's Ola Gjeilo's Sunrise Mass and Benjamin Britten's The Company of Heaven (24 August).

Other great events

We've invited established and emerging artists to display miniature works of art on postcards for our summer exhibition, Art to Go (29 July - 4 September). The postcard art can use any medium – from drawings, photographs and paintings through to printmaking and textiles. Each postcard will remain unsigned when it’s on display, with the artist’s name only being revealed after purchase.

Our gallery is also hosting artist James McGairy's popular small-group painting workshops (20 August) and a printmaking workshop with Penny Hunt (19 August), covering textile and millinery techniques. Booking essential for all. Elsewhere you can learn how to Carve your Initials into a stone (13 August), under the expert guidance of Charles Smith in Dalby Forest.

The annual Whitby Lifeboat Station Flag Weekend (5-6 August) features a classic car show as well as a display of Whitby's Lifeboats plus a sea king helicopter from RAF Leconfield (subject to availability), while Staithes RNLI Weekend follows (18-20 August).

Join Richard Baines from Yorkshire Coast Nature and skipper Sean Baxter for a free evening Seabirds and Whales talk (11 August) at Staithes Village Hall, where they will share plenty of stories on finding wonderful wildlife off the National Park coastline. Booking not required. Donations to RNLI welcome.

Climb to the top of the North York Moors' mini-Matterhorn, Roseberry Topping for tea and homemade cake at the National Trusts popular annual tea-party, Tea on the Topping (6 August). 

This month tour Ampleforth's apple orchards and cider mill by day or by night on one of their Apple Tours (9 August) or a Twilight Tour (18 August), the evening visit finishes with a barbecue.

Over at Ryedale Folk Museum you'll find the very best of rural crafts at their Countryside Crafts Weekend (12-13 August), from blacksmithing to woodturning, plus Iron Age re-enactments and hands-on activities to enjoy.

The second East Cleveland inter-village Scarecrow Festival kicks off in Liverton this year, before Margrove Park, Loftus and Easington take it in turns throughout August with their scarecrow displays, games, activities and refreshments. Find more at Thornton le Dale's Scarecrow Festival held over Bank Holiday weekend (26-28 August), it's one of the biggest around, you'll discover corners of this gorgeous village you didn't know existed. 

Re-enactment groups will be at Scampston Hall for a Civil War Battle (26-28 August) while at Eden Camp it will be a World War Two Living History Weekend (26 August) including UK Homefront and the Frontline Association.