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Events in August

Castle Howard Proms Spectacular Stage Shot Credit Castle HowardCastle Howard Proms Spectacular Stage Shot Credit Castle Howard

It's August! The festival season is in full swing and the school summer holidays mean 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 .

Family fun | Music, festivals & performing arts | Other great events & exhibitions

You can also search for events by date here, which includes a list of our free guided walks for the month or book online.

National Park events and activities

We have lots of children's activities and trails running throughout the school break. From Dinosaur days and story walks to kite making and holiday clubs, you'll find plenty of events running at our Danby base, as well as at Sutton Bank. Booking essential for all events except our drop-in ones. Have a browse of our calendar here.

The Moors National Park Centre
  • Holiday Club: Animal Adventure (1 August): Drop your young explorers off for a day of animal adventure, exploring the countryside, learning about the animals that live here and why they’re so important.
  • Fantastic Flowers (6 August): Come and enjoy the amazing colours and smells in this sensory activity making camouflage caterpillars, colourful petal pallets and smelly cocktails.
  • Kite Making (6 August): Let the National Park’s wildlife inspire your own creature kite. Why not test it out in the grounds?
  • Young Artist Workshop; Sky High (7 August): Use feathers and clouds as your inspiration
  • A Woodland Adventure (8 August): Use your senses to explore Crow Wood - the blindfold walk, feel a tree, listen to nature’s symphony and explore like a bug.
  • Holiday Club: Survival school (13 August): Drop your young explorers off for a day of survival! Imagine you were marooned on an uninhabited island. How would you survive?
  • Little Dinosaur Boots (15 August): Enjoy a dinosaur trail around the grounds and design your own little Triassic terror!
  • Dinosaur Designs (15 August): Did you know that dinosaur footprints can be found on the coast of the National Park? We’ll be imagining what these dinosaurs were like and make some dinosaur crafts to take home.
  • Wildlife Treasure Hunt (19 August): Collect the missing letters to reveal the secret code. Drop in.
  • Amazing Owls (20 August): Meet the owls from Kirkleatham Owl Centre, follow the owl trail and join in the owl crafts. Drop in.
  • Young Artist Workshop: Patchwork Picture (21 August): Experiment with a variety of techniques and use the landscape to inspire your abstract work of art.
  • Holiday Club: The Minibeast Adventure (22 August): Drop your young explorers off for a creepy crawly day of fun! Discover creatures in different habitats, from logs to grasslands, moorlands to rivers! Build your own bug box.
  • Have-a-go Archery (26 August): For all budding Robin Hoods, pay once and have as many goes as you like.
  • Brilliant Beetles (27 August): Go on a beetle hunt in the grounds – how many different types can you find? Make some brilliant beetle sculptures to take home.
  • A Moorland Adventure (27 August): Wellies essential for a bit of stream dipping on this 2-mile family walk.
  • Lucy Lamb Escapes (29 August): Lucy the Lamb escapes through an open gate and gets into a spot of bother. Join us for some woolly fun.
  • Dazzling Dragonflies (29 August): Make some dragonfly art and take home a fabulous sculpture.
Sutton Bank National Park Centre
  • Anglo-Saxon Day (4 August): Activities and displays by The English Companions. Free entry. Drop-in.
  • Holiday Club: The Airborne Adventure (7 August): Drop your young explorers off for a day of aerial fun! Lots of plants and animals have mastered the art of flight, discover their secrets and create your own flying machine.
  • Dinosaur Day (11 August): Hone your dinosaur detective skills with the experts from Hidden Horizons. Free entry. Drop-in.
  • Geocaching Treasure Hunt (14 August): Search for clues on the White Horse Walk.
  • Adventure on the Bank! (18 August): A chance to try out bushcraft, biking and climbing. Free entry. Drop-in.
  • Finger painting (21 August): Find some beautiful natural objects around the grounds, paint them and then create your own arty ornament to take home.
  • Landscape Watercolour Painting (21 August): Turn your Sutton Bank sketch into a watercolour masterpiece!
  • Holiday Club: The Wild Adventure (28 August): Drop your young explorers off for a day of wild fun! We’re heading to beautiful, eerie Gormire Lake. Learn how it formed, what lives there now and forage for materials for our wild challenges.

Combine your visit to Sutton Bank with a spot of biking, including round 3 of Sutton Bank Bikes' Kids Time Trial (17 August), with five age categories starting from balance bikes and prizes for winners.

Summer fun in the North York Moors

Our friends at Hidden Horizons, English Heritage, National Trust and others run family-friendly activities throughout summer. Booking essential unless a drop-in event. Take your pick from:

  • Hands on History - Myths and Legends at Whitby Abbey (daily until 1 September). Get hands on with legendary times past, enrol in a sword school and listen to stories of fantastic happenings.
  • Hands on History - Castles at Scarborough Castle (daily until 1 September). Test your jousting and sword skills against your opponents and see if you have what it takes to become legendary.
  • Summer Fun throughout the holidays at Nunnington Hall. Get out in the garden with their weekly Wild Wednesdays and Fossil Fridays, have a dig in the Dig Deep archaeology sandpit and follow the Dino Trail.
  • Rockpool rummage at Robin Hood's Bay with National Trust (1, 5, 15, 19, 30 August). Learn about the creatures that inhabit the nooks and crannies of our coastline; amazing anemones, crazy crabs, funny fish, slimy seaweed and lots more. Booking essential
  • Storytelling (2, 9, 20, 27 August) at Scampston
  • Dracula (3/4, 10/11, 17/18, 31 August & 1 September) watch the legendary tale performed live in the ruins that inspired him, Whitby Abbey
  • Teddy Bear's Picnic (4 August) at Helmsley Walled Garden
  • Children's art workshops including screen printing and monoprinting at Ryedale Folk Museum (6, 13, 20 August)
  • Forest Adventure Club (6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29  August) in Kilburn Woods cooking, den building, fire lighting, playing and more aimed at 5-11 year olds
  • I Wonder Wednesday, discover what life was like in different times at Ryedale Folk Museum (7, 14, 21 August)
  • Kids' Discovery Day (7, 14 August) at Yorkshire Arboretum 
  • Beck Isle Museum's popular Traditional Craft Days (7, 21 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.
  • Summer Fun Days (9, 23 August) at Scampston
  • Family explorer club at Dalby Forest with Hidden Horizons (10 August)
  • Bugs and beetles hunt with National Trust (12 August) at Ravenscar. Free but booking essential.
  • Small Mammal Survey (14 August) help rangers discover more about the mammals living near Ravenscar. Booking essential
  • Flutterbies and creepy crawlies at Nunnington Hall (15 August) and Rievaulx Terrace (17 August)
  • Vikings! (24-26 August) - learn some battle skills and take part in their own viking skirmish at Whitby Abbey
  • Geocaching taster day: Hayburn Wyke (25 August) Take up the treasure hunt challenge on this fun outdoors activity for all ages.

Head to Dalby Forest or Guisborough Forest and take a journey with Zog 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 a performance from Illyria Theatre of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (13 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 (2, 9, 16, 23, 30 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. 

Take to the water at The Big Paddle SUP Festival (3 August) at Scaling Dam Sailing Club, including stand up paddle boarding tasters, yoga, music, BBQ and more.

Castle Howard’s Proms Spectacular (3 August) features best-selling classical artist Wynne Evans and North Yorkshire's own operatic soprano, Sarah Fox 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.

The friendly Saltburn Folk Festival (9-11 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 (16-18 August).

There’s no better way to get a feel for our glorious nautical heritage than to attend Whitby Regatta (10-12 August). This spectacular event celebrating its 178th 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.

Follow this up with the legendary Whitby Folk Week (17-23 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 (11-24 August). Commemorating 100 years after the Great War, the focus this year is on music expressed from a profound source, music that ultimately triumphs over adversity and survives with a story to tell.The festival celebrates great music through friendship, sharing, the landscape, history and architecture, taking audiences on a journey throughout the National Park. 

The magnificent Ampleforth Abbey makes a fitting setting for Harrogate Festival Chorus and Orchestra's performance of Rachmaninov's Bogoroditse Devo, Finzi’s Magnificat and Rossini’s Stabat Mater (22 August).

Hunmanby Village Brass will be performing at Levisham Station for the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (26 August). As well as live music, passengers will be able to enjoy tasty treats and ice creams from the Paddock and Weighbridge Tea Huts!

Other great events

Saltburn is holding their first Scarecrow Festival (12-18 August), and don't forget Thornton le Dale's Scarecrow Festival, held over Bank Holiday weekend (24-26 August), is one of the biggest around, you'll discover corners of this gorgeous village you didn't know existed.

Ampleforth Abbey is running its orchard tours (14 August), including a tour of the orchard and cider mill, plus a chance to taste its ciders. Pre-booking advised.

As ever, August is a great time to enjoy the many agricultural shows on offer in the National Park, including: Danby Show (14 August), Rosedale Show (17 August) which you can easily get to on board the Moorsbus, and Egton Show (21 August). 

BBC Countryfile Live (15-18 August) is coming to Castle Howard for the first time and we will be there! Expect a range of features including the Village Green, the Countryfile Experience with the programmes presenters, the Wildlife Zone, Farming in Action and Passion for British Livestock. You'll find plenty of family interactive games and giveaways in our tent too! 

Dig out your period costumes for Eden Camp's popular World War Two Living History Weekend (24-25 August).

There's a rare opportunity to see inside the amazing hidden gem of Scotch Corner Chapel, near Sutton Bank on 25 August. Come along and talk to the relatives of artist and sculptor John Bunting, who built the chapel.

The Marathon du Malton (25 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!

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.  

Join in the events and activities we have planned across the National Park.