With 2016 now here, we thought it was the ideal time to take a look at some of the events taking place in Yorkshire over the coming year.
As ever there will be lots to see and do throughout the region so whether you prefer outdoor activities, good food or a bit of culture there will be something for you. It was hard to whittle it down but here is the Gorgeous Cottages guide to the top 5 things not to miss in Yorkshire this year.
Top 5 Things Not to Miss Yorkshire 2016
The Tour de Yorkshire
The second annual Tour de Yorkshire (following the successful foray into Yorkshire of the Tour de France in 2014) will take place from the 29th April to the 1st May 2016 with 18 teams of 8 cyclists travelling all over Yorkshire in a nail-biting 3 day race.
Stage 1 (on the 29th April) will see the peloton travel 185 km from Beverley to Settle while Stage 2 (on the 30th April) follows a route between Otley and Doncaster. Stage 3 (on 1st May) will take in much of the North York Moors National Park as riders journey from Middlesbrough to Scarborough, climbing over many of the region’s impressive hills, including Sutton Bank, Blakey Ridge and Grosmont (one of the stations on the popular North York Moors National Railway where in 2015 riders were welcomed with a special steam salute).
This final stage, which also travels through Helmsley and Whitby, has a special sportive option which means thousands of amateur riders can also take part, following a route which uses many of the same roads as the professional racers.
Burton Agnes Jazz and Blues Weekend
This popular annual jazz and blues festival will take place from 1st – 3rd July at Burton Agnes Hall, an Elizabethan stately home surrounded by the Yorkshire Wolds in Driffield. First launched in 2007 the event is a chance to hear live performances from leading UK jazz and blues performers in a beautiful setting (the 2015 event included a tribute to Billie Holiday by British Jazz Award winner Val Wiseman).
There is a main outdoor stage and you can also enjoy live music in the venue’s impressive Great Hall and Courtyard. Tickets are available either for the whole weekend or for individual days and evenings and, as well as the music, you’ll find a bar tent (where some late night sessions take place), tea tent (for the more civilised), vintage ice cream van, cake stalls and much more.
Whitby Goth Weekends
Whitby, with its connection to Bram Stoker’s Dracula, has always attracted a gothic following and during 2 weekends of the year you’ll find special concerts, stalls and events (and some fabulous gothic outfits) throughout the town celebrating the weird and wonderful alternative scene.
Whitby Goth Weekends originally started in 1994 with a gathering of just 40 pen pals but have since grown from these humble beginnings into one of the world’s leading goth and alternative events. This bi-annual event takes place in April and October (to coincide with Halloween) and comprises of 2 nights of live music at The Spa Pavilion and 3 days of alternative trade stalls at Whitby Leisure Centre, Whitby Brunswick Centre and The Spa Pavilion.
The Goth Weekends typically attract about 1500 attendees from a range of alternative genres (including punks, emos, bikers and metallers), all dressed to impress in their own unique style. As well as the main event look out for a range of fringe activities throughout the town which include gothic ghost walks, live performances and art displays.
Dales Festival of Food and Drink
It was originally announced that the 2015 festival would be the last of its kind. Thankfully though, due to local support, there will be a Dales Festival of Food and Drink in 2016. Taking place on the 18th and 19th June, and re-locating to the Market Square in Leyburn, entry this year will be completely free of charge. The annual event is a celebration of local produce so it’s the perfect chance to discover new suppliers and the best of what this region has to offer.
You’ll find lots of exhibitors offering samples of food and drink so can sample some tasty treats and try before you buy. Previous years have included cookery demonstrations, country crafts and a Real Ale Festival so the event is always well worth a visit. If you’re a fan of Leyburn, the market square will also host a 1940’s festival, which takes place on the 23rd and 24th July. You’ll be transported back to the 40’s with singing, dancing, stalls and vintage vehicles. Local shops get into the spirit by decorating their windows with 40’s memorabilia and a vintage shuttle bus is available to transport visitors around the town.
This two week festival takes place throughout the three most Northerly Yorkshire Dales; namely Swaledale, Wensleydale and Arkengarthdale, attracting around 7,000 visitors each year. The festival has strong community links with many activities for local residents and encourages young performers to develop their skills with an extensive programme of education.
One of the attractions of this festival is the wide range of Dales venues used which can include churches, village halls, pubs, castles and even fields with events ranging from larger scale concerts to much more intimate gatherings. Though the primary focus of the festival is classical music, you can also listen to folk, jazz and world music performances, attend poetry recitals and even go on special guided walks throughout the area.
We hope this guide to 5 things not to miss in Yorkshire has given you plenty of food for thought and encourages you to add some of these dates to your 2016 diary. Of course there is plenty to see and do in Yorkshire throughout the year with local markets, scenic walks, award-winning restaurants and lots of history.
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Find out more about what’s happening across Yorkshire here: Things to do in Yorkshire