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 .
You can also search for events by date here, which includes a list of our free guided walks for the month or book online.
See what's coming up in September too or you can search for events by date here, which includes a list of our free guided walks for the month, or book online.
Help us find our missing sheep! If you're visiting the area anytime during August, take part in our fun challenge and keep an eye out for more than 80 sheep with a difference! You’ll find them in gardens, at railway stations, on window sills, on the coast, in country houses, and on the moors.
They’ll all be decorated with a seaside holiday theme. Expect to see sheep in a bikini, smuggler sheep, shell-encrusted sheep and sheep with suitcases and sunhats!
When you see them, take a picture, make sure you use #SeatheSheep and share on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. How many can you spot?
National Park events and activities
We have lots of children's activities and trails running throughout the school break. From Worm-Charming Champs and Minibeast Safaris to archery and treasure hunts, you'll find plenty of events running at our Danby base, as well as Wild Wednesdays 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:
Combine your visit to Sutton Bank with a spot of biking, including round 3 of Sutton Bank Bikes' Kids Time Trial (18 August), with five age categories starting from balance bikes; prizes for winners and best fancy dress (cartoon themed).
The This Exploited Land of Iron project moves to Warren Moor Mine Site (6-10 August). Once at the heart of the Industrial Revolution, fuelled by the discovery of ironstone and the coming of the railways – join the daily tour at 2pm as volunteers repair the mine surrounds with traditional building techniques such as lime mortar. Parking available on site (OS grid ref ref NZ 625 088); no booking required.
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:
- Bushcraft for families at Dalby Forest with Hidden Horizons (1, 2, 15, 16, 23, 29 August)
- Family learning events at Ryedale Folk Museum (1, 6, 8, 13, 15, 20, 22 August)
- Beck Isle Museum's popular Traditional Craft Days (1, 15, 29 August). You can also join their Summer holiday activities running daily through to 2 September (10am to 3pm), from birds and bugs, to fun at the fairground.
- Fossil hunting with Hidden Horizons at different locations, including Boggle Hole and Runswick Bay; various dates through August. Booking essential
- Summer Activity Trail (daily until 2 September) at Yorkshire Arboretum
- Hands on History - Ahoy! at Whitby Abbey (daily until 2 September except event weekends). Sea-themed activities
- Hands on History - Knights and Princesses at Scarborough Castle (daily until 2 September except event weekends). Storytelling, mini jousting and dressing up
- Forest Adventure Club (2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30, 31 August) in Kilburn Woods cooking, den building, fire lighting, playing and more aimed at 5-11 year olds
- Bushcraft and beck scrambling with National Trust and East Barnby Outdoor Centre (3 August), den-building, crawl through boulders, suitable for age 8 and above. Booking essential
- Craft sessions (3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26, 31 August) - create a driftwood mobile or salt dough sea creature at YHA Boggle Hole
- Seashore Safari (3, 10, 11, 12, 13, 17, 24, 25, 26, 27, 31 August) at YHA Boggle Hole
- Summer Fun Days (3, 10, 24 August) at Scampston
- Bushcraft (4, 5, 6, 18, 19, 20 August) at YHA Boggle Hole
- Clash of knights (4-5 August) - witness the battles, take part in drill sessions at Helmsley Castle!
- Archery & Climbing Wall Weekend (4-5 August) at Castle Howard
- Stories & Sword School (4/5, 11/12, 18/19, 25-27 August) - join the monk in residence at Rievaulx Abbey as he shares stories of life at the Abbey and test your skills with a sword
- Dracula (4/5, 11/12, 18/19), hear Bram Stoker's Gothic tale in the setting of the writer's inspiration, Whitby Abbey (performances at 11am, 1pm and 3pm)
- Magical Unicorn Baking Workshop (5 August) at Helmsley Walled Garden
- Dalby Duck Dash (5 August)
- Canoe adventure with National Trust and East Barnby Outdoor Centre (6 August) for anyone 14 years and above. Paddle along the River Esk from Ruswarp to Whitby and watch wildlife along the way. Booking essential
- Tapestry Tuesdays (7, 14, 21, 28) at Nunnington Hall
- Discovery Day (8, 22 August) at Yorkshire Arboretum
- Bugs and beetles hunt with National Trust (9, 23 August) at Ravenscar. Free but booking essential.
- Fairy Stories in the Garden at Scampston (10, 14, 24 August)
- Sea kayaking for beginners (11 August) for anyone 14 years and above. Paddle a sea kayak from Runswick Bay, watch seabirds and discover rockpool life along the way
- Dog Festival (11-12 August) at Castle Howard. Expect dog agility displays, have-a-go dog circus skills, dog clinic advice and Ryedale Dog Rescue.
- Rock pool rummage at Saltburn (14 August) and Robin Hood's Bay (29 August). Learn about amazing anemones, crazy crabs, funny fish and more. Booking essential
- Chocolate making workshop for children (14 August) at Hovingham Village Hall with Butterflies Chocolate
- Small Mammal Survey (15 August) help rangers discover more about the mammals living near Ravenscar. Booking essential
- Abseiling Adventure at Roseberry Topping (19 August). Booking essential for this taster session
- Flutterbies and creepy crawlies at Nunnington Hall (15 August) and Rievaulx Terrace (17 August)
- The Big (but small) Paddle Festival (18 August) at Scaling Dam Sailing Club including stand up paddle boarding tasters, yoga, music and BBQ
- Family Sports Day at Dalby Forest (23 August) - free event, come and try cycling, netball, golf, volleyball, soft tennis and a climbing wall
- Wizard Weekend (25-27 August) - travel on the heritage railway to Goathland, see the live display of owls, dress up in a themed wig and cloak and have your photograph taken
- Vikings! (25-27 August) - learn some battle skills and take part in their own viking skirmish at Whitby Abbey
- Go rock hopping and treasure hunting at Hayburn Wyke (26 August) with a Geocaching Taster Day (drop-in). Other sessions at Sutton Bank (8 August) and Danby (30 August)
Head to Dalby Forest or Guisborough Forest and take a journey with the Highway Rat and all the characters from Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s story. Packs are available from the visitor centre for £3.
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 Whitby Abbey for A Midsummer Night's Dream (1 August), Ryedale Folk Museum for The Adventures of Doctor Dolittle (7 August), Mount Grace Priory (Little Women on 15 August and Much Ado about Nothing on 19 August) and Nunnington Hall for a production of Sherlock Holmes (18 August). The four-strong all-male The HandleBards perform Twelfth Night at Howsham Mill (8 August), see Shakespeare’s play as you’ve never seen it before - fast-paced, irreverent and bicycle-powered.
Catch the Esk Valley Railway every Friday evening during summer (3, 10, 17, 24, 31 August) 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.
New this year is Helmsley's first gin festival Ginilicious Festival (4 August) brought to you by the gin experts at Helmsley Wines plus a gourmet food and wineathlon, the Marathon du Malton (26 August), in the spirit (literally) of France's annual Marathon du Médoc! Combine a 10km run with ten food and drink stops on the course, giving you a chance to taste local specialities. Fancy dress recommended!
Castle Howard’s Proms Spectacular (18 August) features Lesley Garrett CBE and tenor Geraint Dodd 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.
Don’t miss the Esk Valley Theatre's annual production – this year performing Noël Coward's Private Lives (9 August - 1 September). Early booking recommended (T: 01947 897587).
There’s no better way to get a feel for our glorious nautical heritage than to attend Whitby Regatta (10-13 August). This spectacular event celebrating its 177th 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.
The friendly Saltburn Folk Festival (10-12 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. Combine a visit to Staithes RNLI Weekend (10-12 August).
Follow this up with the legendary Whitby Folk Week (18-24 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.
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 (12-25 August). Celebrating its tenth anniversary, and themed around Music for a While focused on British composers, each concert is held in some of the area's most remote and beautiful historical buildings; the journey to each venue is just part of the magic.
The magnificent Ampleforth Abbey makes a fitting setting for Harrogate Festival Chorus and Orchestra's performance of Rutter's Requiem and Dona Nobis Pacem by Vaughan Williams (23 August).
Other great events
Working with the Fine Arts and Media Department at Teesside University, Teesside University Inspired (running through to 28 August) is our standout summer exhibition at the Inspired by… gallery. Showcasing a collection of exciting, innovative and engaging art work by Teesside University's talented art students, all inspired by the landscape and folklore of the North York Moors and Tees Valley.
Ampleforth Abbey is running its orchard tours (1, 8, 15, 22, 29 August), including a tour of the orchard and cider mill, plus a chance to taste its ciders. Pre-booking advised.
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 (5 August).
Over at Ryedale Folk Museum you'll find the very best of rural crafts at their Countryside Crafts Weekend (18-19 August), from blacksmithing to woodturning, plus Iron Age re-enactments and hands-on activities to enjoy.
Thornton le Dale's Scarecrow Festival, held over Bank Holiday weekend (25-27 August), is one of the biggest around, you'll discover corners of this gorgeous village you didn't know existed. Everyone is going duck crazy this weekend with a Duck Derby (26 August) for Save the Children, near the Thatched Cottage on the beck in Thornton le Dale at 3pm while Helmsley's popular annual duck race gets going at 3pm (27 August) and sees 100's of ducks race down Helmsley Beck in aid of the RNLI (ducks on sale on the day).
Dig out your period costumes for Eden Camp's popular World War Two Living History Weekend (25-26 August).
There's a rare opportunity to see inside the amazing hidden gem of Scotch Corner Chapel, near Sutton Bank on 26 August. Come along and talk to the relatives of artist and sculptor John Bunting, who built the chapel.
Join a Guided History Walk, led by Louise Mudd, of Kirkbymoorside History Group, around the old streets of Kirkbymoorside (26 August, 2.02pm at the Market Place Bus Stop by The Lemon Tree). Free but donations to Moorsbus or Kirkbymoorside History Group are welcome. Booking not required, just turn up!