Yorkshire festivals holiday cottages

Yorkshire festivals

Gorgeous team 23 April 2013

If you think festivals are all about hedonistic teenagers, mucky tents and questionable toilets, this week’s blog may surprise you.  Having experienced the above several times in my younger days I now enjoy something rather more civilised.  Luckily there are bags of excellent festivals here on my doorstep in Yorkshire.

So here goes, our Gorgeous Guide to the Top 10 Yorkshire Festivals:

Swaledale Festival

Guided walk through the countryside at the Swaledale FestivalImage: @swaledalefestival


Just as the wildflower meadows come to life in a riot of colour and scent, the Swaledale Festival gets going. It’s a month long festival with quite a varied program of music, arts and literature. There are also fascinating guided walks most days.

Deer Shed Festival

As I have two young children, the family-orientated Deer Shed Festival of music & arts is definitely very close to my heart. Held in Topcliffe North Yorkshire there are loads of excellent facilities for children and handy extras like pre-erected tents.

Malton Food Festival

Yorkshire pudding recipe mural on a building in Malton, YorkshireImage: @buckethandle054


Held in a pretty North York Moors market town, the Malton Food Festival packs a serious punch with some heavy-weight foodies in attendance.  The Godfather of Italian cooking, Antonio Carluccio, is a regular here as are various other local and celebrity chefs.  There is an excellent Yorkshire street food section.

Beverley Folk Festival

Another family-friendly option.  A small and intimate festival with the focus on folk music, but in recent years has added a more diverse programme of poetry and film.  Recommend taking some time to explore Beverley while you’re here.

Dales Festival of Food & Drink

A celebration of the wealth of local produce here in the Yorkshire Dales.  Lots of delicious food to try and there are usually live demonstrations across the festival.  Really nice atmosphere as it’s run by the people it supports – the local farmers and producers in this area.

Ripon International Festival

This classical music festival is focused around the endearing market town of Ripon in the Yorkshire Dales.  Some of the finest classical musicians, orchestras and choirs in Europe and beyond make their way here each year to perform in historic buildings like Ripon Cathedral.

Galtres Festival

Another personal favourite of mine as it has a great family element.  You can expect top class music acts like Maximo Park amongst lots of lovely food stalls and a comprehensive beer tasting tent: my husband’s idea of heaven!

Grassington Festival

This fantastic festival takes place in June and celebrates multi-arts and local music, provide residents and visitors with a colourful experience for two full weeks. Take in a wide range of performances whilst you're there.

Burton Agnes Jazz and Blues Festival

Set over 3 days, this very relaxed and friendly festival is held in the grounds of the Elizabethan Hall and its gardens.  Again children are really well-catered for with a children’s corner including a maze, jungle garden and giant games.

Ilkely Literature Festival

This nationally renowned Literature Festival enjoys the backdrop of Ilkley, a charming spa town on the cusp of the Yorkshire Dales.  Past guests have included Nobel Prize winners, Ted Hughes amongst them.  It's 2 weeks of literary walks, exhibitions, performances and all things books.

Saltaire Arts Trail

Outdoor displays at the Saltaire Arts Trail in YorkshireImage: @saltaireinspired


A community arts event held in the culturally significant town of Saltaire – a UNESCO World Heritage site.  Their commendable ethos is all about making the arts accessible to all by having a series of open houses, a maker’s fair, commission and exhibitions.  Saltaire is also home to one of the largest collections of Yorkshire artist David Hockney’s work.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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