As summer says goodbye and autumn starts to take hold, the nights are lengthening... which means it's a great time to celebrate our dark skies or be brave, there's lots of spooky goings on in October too!
Find challenge walks, cycling and mountain biking, and fell and road running events listed in our Enjoy Outdoors pages.
This month we've partnered up with the experts from Hardmoors to hold our fourth MoorsRun (6 October), a family-friendly trail run in the heart of the Moors, for beginners and athletes alike. Sign up for the Rabbit Run (5k, minimum age 14 or 7 if accompanied by a parent or guardian) or the Turnpike Trot (10k, minimum age 16) and experience our fully marked and marshalled trail runs, with prizes and medals for all. Find out how to enter online here.
Plus it's not too late to get out on your bike! Enter Top of the Rock Gravel Sportive (6 October) organised by Sutton Bank Bikes starting 1000ft up on the spectacular Sutton Bank escarpment, take a grand tour across moor ‘n dale on gravel trails (from 17 to 37 miles).
Foodie fans should check out farmers' markets in and around the North York Moors, and Food & Beer Festivals. 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 November too or you can search for events by date here or book our events online.
Starry skies and Halloween happenings - Dark Skies Festival Fringe
Join Scarborough and Ryedale Astronomical Society (SARAS) as their regular stargazing events return for 2019 in Dalby Forest on 4 October. Held the first Friday of most months between October and March from 8-9.30pm, these are free to attend (charitable donations welcome). The Forestry Commission will charge £3 per car on exit.
For one night only Nunnington Hall is transformed into Diggin Manor for a special Murder at the Manor (5 October). Can you solve the murder? Bring your notebook and spyglass and join the race to become 'Supersleuth 2019'.
Just north of the National Park, enter the Scream Factory at Kirkleatham Museum (11-13, 18-20 October) and be prepared to be scared! The Twilight Tour is for families (aged 3+) but as night-time falls, the atmosphere becomes more sinister for the Extreme Tour, a heart pumping, stomach-churning trail of fear. Or why not try the Isolated Tour, where you walk the Extreme Tour all by yourself in the dead of the night!
Back again with their annual stargazing evenings, enjoy the celestial wonders of the night sky with Hidden Horizons (11, 25 October).
The Fox & Hounds in Ainthorpe and Whitby and District Astronomical Society are teaming up to run a stargazing weekend (18-20 October). Enjoy two nights hospitality in a traditional country inn, perfectly situated in the middle of the moors as a prime stargazing location.
Is there a better way of exploring the gothic splendour of Whitby Abbey than after dark? Head there for The Illuminated Abbey (25 October - 2 November) to admire Bram Stoker's inspiration in a new light, illuminated by coloured floodlighting. Experience a live performance of Dracula, meet witches and witch-finders, and enjoy a drink and some delicious hot food. This time of year, Whitby is also the natural home to the legendary biannual Whitby Goth Weekend autumn gathering (25-27 October), when thousands of Goths descend on their favourite haunt, and pay homage to Bram Stoker.
The North Yorkshire Moors Railway has fangtastic Halloween Trains (26, 27, 30, 31 October) with scary storytelling, and spooktacular characters as they tell ghost stories and frightful tales along the way! Fancy dress encouraged (suitable for aged 5-12).
Down in the dark, very dark, depths of Dalby Forest, prepare to be spooked as Fear in the Forest returns, you never know what’s lurking around the next tree… (31 October, walks from 5.30-8pm).
Look out for more details of next year's Dark Skies Festival which will return 14 February - 1 March 2020!
Other great events and exhibitions
Get hands-on and join Hidden Horizons for Dalby Diddys (2, 9, 16, 23 October). Both you and your little ones will have the chance to explore both the forest and their reactions to it. There's be lots of den building, mud kitchens, cooking (real food!), bug hunts, craft actvities and much more.
Turn the clock back to the 1940s for Railway in Wartime (11-13 October), North Yorkshire Moors Railway's biggest event, with street parades, vehicle displays and re-enactments along the line. They'll be special events at Pickering Castle and Beck Isle Museum too.
The last major music festival of the year is Musicport (18-20 October), held in Whitby Pavilion and it just happens to be the UK's biggest indoor world music festival.
Helmsley Walled Garden celebrates the English apple and more than 100 apple trees, at its fifth Apple Day (19 October), where you'll be able to taste, sample and find how to train apples to fit a space. Children gave have a go at apple bobbing and follow the family-friendly Apple Trail, plus enjoy apple-themed dishes in The Vine House Café.
Enjoy the gorgeous colours at Yorkshire Arboretum too, including Meeting with Trees: Autumn Glory (13 October). Autumn also means fungi and if you'd like to find out which ones are edible, get yourself booked onto a Fungi Foray at the Yorkshire Arboretum (30 October).
Take part in a pre Halloween beach sweep with Whitby Beach Sweep and Whitby Soulseekers. A Howl of a Sweep (13 October) on Whitby beach involves some beach cleaning alongside a child friendly spooky activity. Following that, head to W.Hamonds tea room for a social lunch.
Our Inspired by... gallery in Danby welcomes a new exhibition Fragile Enchantments from 19 October, running through until 12 November. Highlighting the landscape paintings of Wendy Tate and Rob Moore, together with ceramic works and jewellery by John Moore, Hannah Louise Lamb, Lucy Sylvester, Jill Ford, Clare Conrad and Theresa Taylor. Accompanying this will be Printscapes where guest curator Rob Moore brings together some of the best printmakers in the UK, to showcase a diverse range of approaches and processes, working within both the natural and urban landscape.
If that all inspires you to have a go yourself, there’s plenty of workshops to choose from. Our gallery hosts willow expert Anthea Firth for her popular willow weaving workshop, this time creating a Stags Head (12 October). Join experts in print making, Wendy Tate and Rob Moore for a Nature Print Workshop, using the landscape as a theme to produce a mixed media artist’s book that includes printmaking (26 October).
Burton Agnes Hall hosts its inaugural Autumn Festival (19-20 October), filled with seasonal craft and food stalls, music, entertainers and fairground fun.
Half-term fun for children
The National Trust are marking the Mammal Society's National Mammal Week with activities for all the family including carrying out a small mammal survey (26 October).
It's all about Halloween this holiday! Grab your broomsticks and enjoy a wicked witch-themed quest at Whitby Abbey (25 October - 3 November), join #TeamPirate or #TeamZombie at Castle Howard (27 October - 4 November), follow the Alien Bugs and autumn activity trails at Yorkshire Arboretum (26 October - 3 November). The Old Coastguard Station's Hallowe'en Trail features chilling clues and spooky prizes or explore the Spooky Woodland Trail from Ravenscar Visitor Centre (both 26-27 October). There's a Spooky Woodland Trail at Burton Agnes Hall too (26 October - 3 November) if you're brave enough!
Over at Sutton Bank, there'll be strange things happening (27 October - 3 November) with seasonal crafts, trails and family activities all with a spooky theme. Drop in anytime. They'll Feed the Birds too (30 October), booking essential. Combine a visit with a spot of biking too, including round 4 of Sutton Bank Bikes' Kids Time Trial (26 October), with five categories starting from balance bikes and Halloween fancy dress; £6 per person and prizes for winners.
There's plenty going on at The Moors National Park Centre in Danby this week too, including a Ghostly Treasure Hunt (28 October), Springy Spiders and Rotten Witches (both 29 October) and Halloween Crafts (31 October). Have a browse here to find our other events. Take part in quizzes and trails to get closer to nature and discover fun facts about this amazing place.
Enjoy Halloween Holiday Fun at Guisborough Priory and Woodland Gardens (27 October), with spooky halloween fun and tasty treats, will you be brave enough to enter the witch’s den and cast your spell?. Beck Isle Museum also has lots going on from a Fossil Hunting day (29 October) to their popular Rural Craft Day (30 October). See traditional skills such as printing on the beautiful Columbian letterpress, butter making, and rag rugging.
Year of Green Action
2019 is the Year of Green Action – a 12 month drive to get more people from all backgrounds involved in projects to improve the natural world. Throughout 2019 there will be events and activities across the North York Moors aiming to help people connect, protect and enhance nature. It's National Refill day on 19 June, come along to our national park centres at Sutton Bank and Danby and fill up your water bottle for free.
Join in the events and activities we have planned across the National Park.