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Events in July

The Moors National Park Centre, Danby credit Dan PrinceThe Moors National Park Centre, Danby credit Dan Prince

Make the most of the long, sunny days this month. As the weather warms up, so does the calendar of open-air events, from music festivals to traditional country shows

It's also the start of the school summer holidays, so there’s a jam-packed calendar of events coming up to look out for, including Escape to the Moors, a free family fun day that will see the launch of our brand new visitor centre experience. 

Find more 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.

Festivals, music events and performing arts

Pack your picnics, chairs (and a brolly), and sit back with this year's outdoor theatre and cinema offerings in spectacular settings! Head to Ryedale Folk Museum for a performance from Illyria Theatre of Frankenstein (25 July). For something a little different Castle Howard will be screening Hollywood hits; The Greatest Showman (26 July), Bohemian Rhapsody (27 July) and A Star Is Born (28 July) with the Luna Cinema Outdoor Screenings.

Catch the Esk Valley Railway every Friday evening during summer (5, 12, 19, 26 July) 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.

There's some great music festivals to take children to this month, all go to great lengths to be family-friendly. Staxtonbury Music Festival, Manor Farm, Staxton (4-7 July) and Deer Shed Festival (26-28 July) at Baldersby Park, Topcliffe, where this year's theme is Generation XYZ, with plenty of wild time for the kids; expect music, workshops, art and science too.

The 37th Ryedale Festival (12-28 July) is one of the cultural highlights of the year, welcoming performers from all over the world for concerts and arts events in spectacular and historic houses, churches and theatres throughout this part of North Yorkshire.

Jazz is celebrated at both Burton Agnes' Jazz & Blues Festival (12-14 July), and at Ryedale Jazz, which returns to Pickering for a sixth year (21-27 July). 

The 20th SeaFest Maritime Festival (26-28 July) at the West Pier on Scarborough’s stunning South Bay, will see three days of great food, drink, cooking demos, an arts marquee, family activities and plenty of free live music.

Foodies can enjoy the fifth Saltburn Food Festival (28 July) which boasts a 80+ stall street market with live cookery theatre, festival fringe, outdoor dining areas, street theatre and live music and more.

Family events and activities

There's great things going on to keep everyone entertained in the North York Moors this summer. Take your pick from some of these highlights:

  • Dalby Forest Explorer Day (7 July) - meet plenty of experts, displays, demos and hands-on activities. This year's theme is "100 years” as it is the Forestry Commission’s centenary.
  • Hidden Horizons Dalby Forest Family Explorer Club (13 & 27 July). Booking essential.
  • Stand up paddle boarding at Runswick Bay (18 July). Booking essential for this taster session
  • Dracula Season at Whitby Abbey (every weekend 20 July - 1 September) - Think you know the story of Dracula? Think again. To understand Bram Stoker's gothic story, you need to watch his legendary tale performed live in the ruins that inspired him.
  • Hands on History - Castles at Scarborough Castle (daily from 20 July). Test your jousting and sword skills against your opponents and see if you have what it takes to become legendary.
  • Explore Robin Hood's Bay with National Trust on a geocaching taster session (21 July).
  • Go rock pooling at Robin Hood's Bay with the National Trust (22 July) and learn about amazing anemones, crazy crabs, funny fish and more. Booking essential.
  • Bees, Butterflies and Beyond! (24 July) at Scampston Hall. Explore the gardens and grounds of Scampston on a pollinator safari, learning to identify common types of bee and butterfly as well as other amazing creatures.

There's plenty for children and families to do, so come to our National Park Centres at Danby and Sutton Bank and try something new. Browse our full list of events.

At the Moors Centre in Danby, kids will love Rosie Rabbit Visits Crow Wood (23 July) where they can find out who needs Rosie Rabbit’s help in a story walk around Crow Wood. Why not drop your young explorers off for a day of navigation with us on our HOLIDAY CLUB: The Navigator’s Adventure (25 July). Kids will enjoy Flutter-by Butterflies at Sutton Bank (24 July) where they can join our butterfly hunt and create your own willow butterfly to take away. Or you can head along to the Hungry Caterpillar’s Party (31 July). Booking essential for all.

Other great events and exhibitions

Botton Village Croft Community Summer Fair (13 July) has lots going on too, children's activities, bat the rat, ‘We’re going on a Bee Hunt’ trail, craft market, lots of their wonderful homemade produce, hoopla and pop up cafe. It's free admission too!

A must see this month is The Lost Words exhibition (15 June - 29 July) on display at our Inspired by... gallery. The exhibition will display ‘spells’ by writer Robert Macfarlane and watercolour illustrations by artist Jackie Morris that were originally used to create The Lost Words book. The Lost Words celebrates the relationship between language and the living world, and nature’s power to spark the imagination.

If that all inspires you to have a go yourself, there’s plenty of workshops to choose from. For kids, join The Lost Words Treasure Hunt (15 June - 29 July). For those really looking to test their creative ability, book on to our Young Artist Workshop: The Lost Words (20 July, 10am and 1:45pm) where you'll create a silk and mixed media collage celebrating nature and the outdoors with artist Jane Carlisle Bellerby. Adults can join artist, Peter Reynolds, to develop watercolour painting techniques in a special ‘The Lost Words’: Watercolour Workshop (6 July).

If you'd like to get a bit more hands on, there's plenty of arts and crafts courses going on. Our resident gallery willow weaver Anthea Firth will be back on 27 July, creating a Large Goose. Be inspired to write by the sights and sounds of the North York Moors with Janet Dean and Clara Challoner Walker on this writing course: Awakening the Writer Within: Summer Workshop (28 July). Booking essential for all. Elsewhere you can try your hand at stone caring with Peter Maris (20 July) at Dalby Forest.

As part of the Land of Iron project, we're running a Combs Wood Community Archaeology Excavation Guided Tour (13 July). Join the North York Moors National Park’s ‘Land of Iron’ project team for a tour of the final year of excavations. Explore the remains of an ironstone mining and processing complex, discover why it was so short-lived and hear what three years of archaeological excavations at this site have found. Booking essential. 

Ampleforth Abbey is running its orchard tours (3, 13, 24 July), including a tour of the orchard and cider mill, plus a chance to taste its ciders. Pre-booking advised.

Don't miss the annual Kilburn Feast (5-7 July), there the Lord Mayor, appointed for the day, tours the village in top hat and sash, with his good “Lady” Mayoress (a young man in female clothing and makeup). The weekend's activities also include a popular 7-mile road race, the Mouse Derby, duck race, treasure hunt, street fair, live music and much more.

Steam engine, tractor and classic car lovers are in for a treat this month, with four events featuring vehicles from a bygone era. Head for Duncombe Park over the 6-7 July weekend, which has hosted the Great Yorkshire Traction Engine Club annual Duncombe Park Steam Rally for more than 50 years. You'll find steam engines and tractors of every kind, shape and size along with vintage cars and motorcycles, fairground rides, trade stands and a variety of live music and children's entertainment. Follow this up with a visit to Roxby Heritage Weekend (13-14 July) for more traction engine displays and vintage vehicles, along with tractor pulling. Enjoy 60's transport legends along with live music at stations along the North Yorkshire Moors Railway for its 60's Fest (13-14 July). 

The Whitby & District Lions Annual Charity Beer Festival (25-28 July) returns this month too. Based at The Whitby Mission & Seafarers Centre, you'll find plenty of real ales, ciders and perries to sample from local and regional microbreweries, with all proceeds going to local charities.

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.