Events in September
As the school holidays and summer draw to an end, you'll still find plenty going on across the North York Moors in September.
Find challenge walks, cycling and mountain biking, and fell and road running events listed in our Enjoy Outdoors pages while foodie fans should check out farmers' markets in and around the North York Moors, and Food & Beer Festivals.
Music events, festivals and performing arts
One of the year's highlights is the sixth Staithes Festival of Arts & Heritage (9-10 September) where fishing cottages become pop-up galleries and cafés for the weekend as around 130 artists descend on this picturesque village. Talks and walks, street food, workshops, lobster pot and Yorkshire coble boat demonstrations, and music, including seafaring shanties from the Men of Staithes Choir, acoustic folk sessions and plenty of homegrown talent on Sunday, run alongside the galleries for a full weekend of art and entertainment.
This year's gems include Emma Stothard's wire and willow elephant family, a rock balancing workshop, and the Knitting Doctor, while light artist Mick Stephenson returns to light up the village in a unique and eye-catching way with Stuart Langley. Plus there's a chance to hear Christopher Toth's entertaining talk exploring the mysterious, dark nature of our universe and a glimpse into the work of the Boulby Underground Laboratory.
Malton's Harvest Festival (9 September) celebrates the best of the region's late summer and autumn bounty, from game and seafood to wild and foraged food and soft fruit. Alongside a wide range of stalls, you’ll find street food, live chef demos, cookery lessons, talks, tastings, a festival bar and live music.
Round off the month with the sounds of the swinging sixties at the Whitby 60’s Festival (22-24 September) where you'll find giants The Manfreds, The Merseybeats, The Union Gap and other great names playing the music that defined a generation.
Heritage Open Days (7-10 September)
Celebrate England's architecture and culture at this year's Heritage Open Days where you can take advantage of free access to places that usually charge for admission or our closed to the public. This year's highlights include:
- St Mary's Church, Goathland (7-10)
- Nunnington Hall and Rievaulx Terrace (both 8-9)
- Ryedale Folk Museum (9)
- Shandy Hall, Coxwold (9)
- Scotch Corner Chapel, near Sutton Bank (9)
- Archaeology Walk, Loftus (9)
- Loftus Town Hall (9)
- St Nicholas Parish Church, Guisborough (9)
- Whitby Abbey Lands (9)
- Holly Cross Church, Gilling East (9-10)
- Stonegrave Church (9-10)
- YHA Whitby (9-10)
- Whitby Yards (9-10)
- Howsham Mill (10)
Find more details, including exact opening times on the Heritage Open Days website.
Family events and activities
Guisborough Forest Festival (10 September) is a celebration of all things wood and much more - with 100 participants from craftspeople, local producers to musicians and wildlife experts. This year's highlight include ten foot tall butterflies on stilts, plus flowers and trees that spring into life. It's a fantastic fun filled event for all the family with traditional demonstrations from coracle making, horse loggers and bushcraft experts to rope turners, as well as lots of children’s activities, including archery and a climbing wall. Free park and ride service runs every 15 minutes from Fountain Street car park on Rectory Lane, Guisborough.
Head to the Rotunda Museum for Scarborough's fourth Yorkshire Fossil Festival (22–24 September). Scarborough Museums Trust is behind the three day event, with fossil foragers, fossil experts, guided dinosaur footprint walks and lots of fun for the kids. The main festival is free too!
Other great events and exhibitions
If you're looking to improve your landscape and wildlife photography skills, then book a place at Moorsview 2017 (8-10 September) where some of North Yorkshire's most renowned photographers share their approach during a weekend devoted to outdoor photography. Sign up for the one-day seminar or book a place on one of the accompanying photo walks and practical workshops.
Peter Hicks: A Retrospective opens at the Inspired by... gallery on 9 September and looks back over more than 60 years of work from one of Yorkshire’s greatest living artists. One of the gallery's highlights during its 10th anniversary year, the exhibition will feature almost 300 works, from 80 postcard-sized paintings to huge canvases, and includes the work he’s best known for: dramatic landscapes of the North York Moors National Park.
Peter will be interviewed at the gallery by another of Yorkshire’s great landscape artists, photographer Joe Cornish (23 September). Tickets for the talk are £5 and advance booking is recommended. While don't miss the chance to book on James McGairy's final small-group painting workshop for 2017 (24 September). Elsewhere there's another chance to Carve your Initials into a stone (17 September), under the expert guidance of Charles Smith in Dalby Forest that will become part of the world's largest dry stone wall maze.
Eden Camp’s annual All Services Paradee (10 September) is the largest gathering of service veterans in the north of England; the parade steps off at 2pm.
As truly dark skies return after summer, explore not only our own solar system but objects from deep space on one of Hidden Horizon's two-hour Stargazing - Deep Sky Exploring evening events (15 September). Booking essential. You'll also find York Astro hosting a family friendly Stargazing and night time nature walk (30 September) at Rievaulx Terrace.
Go behind the scenes and learn all about Malton and Norton's horse-racing heritage at the annual Malton Festival of Racing (17 September).
English Heritage's Yorkshire Abbey Season returns (23-24 September, 30 September - 1 October) with events at some of our greatest abbeys and priories, including Rievaulx Abbey, Byland Abbey and Mount Grace Priory. Meet the medieval Living History characters as your explore the magnificent ruins at Byland, join monks at Mount Grace and gain an insight into what life was like for those living there. At Rievaulx witness fantastic displays of falconry and discover how hawks generated income for the abbeys.
As the autumn colours begin to develop and the season's bountiful harvest is enjoyed, don’t miss Ampleforth Abbey's first Cider Tap event (23 September) or visit Scampston Walled Garden's annual Autumn Plant Fair (24 September) for a chance to pick up everything you might need for the garden from more than a dozen specialist nurseries and stalls.
Railway fans should head to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway for its Autumn Steam Gala (29 September - 1 October) featuring vintage trains steaming through the National Park’s beautiful autumn colours.
The Trackrod Rally Yorkshire returns to the area for two days (29-30 September). Filey acts as the event hub, with rally stages around Cropton and Dalby Forests. Please note that walk and cycle trails in Dalby are closed for the day.
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