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.
The North York Moors is the perfect place to escape to for peace and quiet. As the seasons change so do our senses and for September we're encouraging you to relax and renew as we welcome in the autumn. Feel invigorated in nature with a number of events and activities that will rejuvenate your spirits. Breathe and reboot with yoga on the beach, balance the body and mind in a peaceful meditative woodland walk or boost your mood with a kayaking session at Runswick Bay. Confirmed events are shown below, with more information and details of further events available soon.
- Kayaking for Beginners (1 September) at Runswick Bay with National Trust)
- Relax and Meditate (5 September) Buddhist nun Ani Tselha takes us on a 1½-mile walk along quiet, shady woodland paths that lend themselves perfectly to her peaceful meditations
- Industrial Intrigue (6 September), a leisurely walk with a National Trust ranger at Ravenscar
- East Coast War Channels Walk (9 September) - a stroll with the National Trust and Scarborough Sub Aqua Club to discover the story of local wrecks
- Hayburn Wyke Wander (13 September) - join a National Trust ranger for a gentle walk in the woods
- Wanderlust! retreat (21-23 September) - yoga, stand up paddle boarding surf and river safaris
Visitors also have the opportunity to try meditation, yoga and tai chi in the chill-out zone at Guisborough Forest Festival (9 September), the annual celebration of all things wood and much more - with 100 participants from craftspeople, local producers to musicians and wildlife experts. This year's highlights include dancing sheep who love to jive to ABBA songs and characters from Alice in Wonderland. 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.
Music events, festivals and performing arts
One of the year's highlights is the seventh Staithes Festival of Arts & Heritage (8-9 September) where fishing cottages become pop-up galleries and cafés for the weekend as more than 150 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 a life size polar bear made of white willow, inspired by the 250th anniversary celebrations of Captain Cook’s voyages and a special piece of work commissioned from Artist Blacksmith, Katie Ventress, 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 Food Festival (8 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, pop up picnic area, a festival bar and live music.
The classic Lewis Carroll poem, The Hunting of the Snark (20-22 September), will be brought to life in the forest by innovative theatre company, Burn the Curtain, in the heart of Dalby Forest. Be prepared to walk 2-3 miles during this interactive event with a difference, as you walk through the forest, you can attempt to find the ever elusive Snark!
Ryedale Book Festival's main events are focused on 21-22 September, with two inspirational days and events for all ages in Malton. Highlights this year include award-winning author and former Home Secretary Alan Johnson, Peter Salford-Bow's tale of a professional wine buyer accompanied by a tutored wine tasting session plus a number of 'meet the author' events while children can enjoy a dragon-themed programme and plenty of craft activities.
The Festival of Thrift returns to Kirkleatham Museum (22-23 September) for a fun-filled weekend of thrift, recycling and upcycling, hands-on activities for all the family, music, artists, demos, talks, workshops, food and drink and more.
Round off the month with the sounds of the swinging sixties at the Whitby 60’s Festival (28-30 September) where you'll find giants The Searchers, Marmalade and other great names playing the music that defined a generation.
Heritage Open Days (6-9, 13-16 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 (6-9, 13-16)
- Nunnington Hall and Rievaulx Terrace (both 7-8)
- Ayton Castle, West Ayton (8)
- Land of Iron: Combs Wood Uncovered (8) FULLY BOOKED
- Extraordinary Women of Northern England, St Nicholas Parish Church, Guisborough (8)
- Archaeology Walk, Loftus (8)
- Loftus Town Hall (8)
- A Georgian House, 44 Baxtergate, Whitby (8)
- Whitby Abbey Lands (8)
- Church of St John the Evangelist, Whitby (8-9)
- The Whitby Jet Heritage Centre (8-9)
- Two Whitby Yards as featured on BBC’s Secret Britain: Clark’s Yard (8-9)
- Two Whitby Yards as featured on BBC’s Secret Britain: Linskill Square (8-9)
- YHA Whitby (8-9)
- Howsham Mill (9)
- St Hilda’s Church, West Cliff, Whitby (9)
- Whitby Georgian Guided Walk (9)
- Ryedale Folk Museum (15)
Find more details, including exact opening times on the Heritage Open Days website.
Other great events and exhibitions
Two linked exhibitions continue at the Inspired by... gallery through to 24 September. Printmaker Rebecca Vincent and woodworker David Hannah use trees as their inspiration through hand-printed etchings and decorative mirrors and furniture created from North Yorkshire sourced hardwoods in Fields and Furrows and Altered Images.
As truly dark skies return after summer, Yorkshire Arboretum will be sharing its love for nocturnal wildlife with a Bat Walk (8 September), while the National Trust will be hosting a family friendly Stargazing and night time nature walk (15 September) at Rievaulx Terrace. For the first time, Rievaulx Abbey will be illuminated (28-30 September), offering atmospheric evenings of light and sound. A shuttle bus from Helmsley will provide access to this event. Plus Go Ape will be running a number of Night Zip Wire Adventures for those aged 10+ (29-30 September), just don't forget to bring a head torch!
Eden Camp’s annual All Services Parade (9 September) is the largest gathering of service veterans in the north of England; the parade steps off at 2pm.
As the autumn colours begin to develop and the season's bountiful harvest is enjoyed, don’t miss Ampleforth Abbey's orchard tours (5, 19 September), with a chance to taste its ciders or Rosedale's Flower Festival 'Our Rosedale Harvest' at St Mary & St Lawrence Church (15-23 September) where donations will help fund urgent repairs. Scampston Walled Garden's annual Autumn Plant Fair (30 September) is also a chance to pick up everything you might need for the garden from more than a dozen specialist nurseries and stalls.
There's another chance to Carve your Initials into a stone (15, 16 September), under the expert guidance of Fiona Bowley in Dalby Forest that will become part of the world's largest dry stone wall maze or join a two-day course. Helmsley Walled Garden will be running a number of courses this month, including willow weaving (15 September) and Botanical Illustration (18-19 September).Our gallery hosts artist James McGairy's popular small-group painting workshop (30 September).
Go behind the scenes and learn all about Malton and Norton's horse-racing heritage at the annual Malton Festival of Racing (16 September).
Railway fans should head to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway for its Autumn Steam Gala (28-30 September) celebrating 100 years of the railway's Q6 locomotives along with the RAF's 100th anniversary. Vintage trains will steam through the National Park’s beautiful autumn colours.
The Trackrod Rally Yorkshire returns to the area for two days (28-29 September). Filey acts as the event hub, with rally stages around Dalby and Langdale Forests, and Staindale Gale Rigg. Please note that walk and cycle trails in Dalby are closed for the day.
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