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Events this month

Mick Stephenson's light installations make a welcome return to Staithes Festival of Arts & Heritage Credit Staithes FestivalMick Stephenson's light installations make a welcome return to Staithes Festival of Arts & Heritage Credit Staithes Festival

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.

Find details of the last of this year's agricultural and country shows here. See what's on in October too! You can also search for events by date here, which includes a list of our free guided walks for the month or book online.

Family events and activities

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

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. 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.

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.

Join gold-winning Paralympian Steve Bate for an evening talk with pea & pie supper (30 September) as he tells the story of how he became the first visually impaired climber to solo El Capitan, before setting himself the goal of making the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games having never raced a road bike! All profits will go to Scarborough & Ryedale Mountain Rescue Team. Booking essential.

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 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.

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.

The Festival of Thrift returns to Kirkleatham Museum (23-24 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.