Events in North Yorkshire 2020

19 December 2019

Three people at a festival


As well as being able to enjoy the glorious countryside and coastal walks, there are plenty of other exciting things to in North Yorkshire in 2020, including a vast selection of events. Whether you’re looking to listen to some great music or enjoy a spot of shopping, there will surely be an event to suit you. We reveal some of the best events in North Yorkshire for the upcoming year in this guide.



Man looking through records


You can make 2020 the year you travel back in time if you attend the Festival of Vintage, which takes place at York racecourse, making it the perfect activity if you’re visiting the picturesque city. Across three buildings and four floors of the racecourse, plus an outdoor area, you’ll spot everything from classic cars to vintage clothing with the backdrop of music through the 1900s.

We spoke to Keeley from the team to find out more: “Celebrating the 1930’s-1960’s, our vintage festival-goers will enjoy a nostalgic step back in time with live music, dancing, fashion shows and classic vehicle displays. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved with dance lessons, fashion talks, and workshops. Visitors are encouraged to dress to impress and can even get the look at the hair and beauty parlour for the ladies and barber for the gents. Plus, if you fancy showing off your vintage look you can enter the best-dressed competition.

“Enjoy the sounds of the Victory Stage with wartime songs or the rock & roll tunes of the Rockin’ Stage, where 14 different bands, singers and DJ’s are playing across the weekend. Learn how to Lindy Hop and do the Balboa in the Vintage Dance Hall. Shop vintage, with over 150 of the UK’s best independent vintage traders selling everything from 1920’s dresses to costume jewellery and art deco furniture to record players!”

The Festival of Vintage is happening on 25th and 26th April 2020




The beautiful seaside town of Whitby offers plenty to do, whether you want to stroll cobbled streets and shop in the many independent shops, or fancy indulging in some classic fish and chips by the seaside. If you’re staying in accommodation in Robin Hoods Bay and looking for a fun-filled day activity that’s extra special, then visit the neighbouring seaside town during the annual The Whitby Regatta.

We asked Ian from the team to tell us about the regatta’s plans for 2020: “The 15th, 16th, 17th August presents to you a full weekend of entertainment, embracing yacht racing, rowing races and various free forms of entertainment as published in the official programme, finishing with a prize presentation and spectacular firework display!

“There will also be an abundance of children’s entertainment including shows performed by Dr Phantasma and his amazing sideshow and Van Buren’s magic show and a circus workshop. The Grand Parade makes its way through the town and up to the Royal Hotel where prizes are awarded for various categories of fancy dress. In addition, visitors can watch or participate in the fun run, the raft race, the greasy pole competition taking place in the harbour or the motorcycle and quads gymkhana on the beach.

“Have your photo taken with the North Yorkshire Moors Birds of Prey whilst holding a falcon, eagle or owl and enjoy the falconry display. You’ll be able to get up close and personal with an array of stunning birds for a truly awe-inspiring encounter you’ll never forget.

“There is a Regatta Market and Craft Fair which is always a successful blend of market and craft fair stalls and catering outlets, mixed with crowd-pulling events, including the Whitby Regatta Dog Show, and local musicians performing throughout each day.”

The jam-packed weekend concludes with a spectacular firework display! More updates on the exciting events happening at The Whitby Regatta is expected in February.

The Whitby Regatta takes place on the 15th, 16th, 17th August 2020.



Man carrying a lantern


An unmissable 17-day festival that has something for everyone, from an action-packed flight on a zip wire at night or a romantic stargazing safari. With the vast open spaces of the moors and the low pollution levels, the National Parks in Yorkshire will let you see the stars as you have never done before, with some of the best night skies in the UK.

Amanda from the Dark Skies Festival team tells us more: “While 2020 is being trumpeted as the year that space travel becomes a reality, the fifth Dark Skies Festival, held jointly by the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales National Parks, will show just how much visitors can enjoy the cosmos without leaving planet Earth.

“The festival, which coincides with the February half-term holidays, will comprise more than 100 events including virtual space travel courtesy of pop-up planetariums, stargazing safaris using powerful telescopes, after-dark runs and bike rides as well as talks and crafting sessions that fire the imagination.

“Along the coast, visitors can enjoy one of the atmospheric ghost walks in Robin Hood’s Bay to learn more about the myths, legends and smugglers antics within the village or join a stargazing party at Fyling Hall School in Fylingthorpe where the Whitby & District Astronomical Society will take them on a tour of the solar system. Alternatively, they can head further up the coast to Runswick Bay for a stargazing safari or learn night photography skills with Richard Burden in Whitby.

“Further inland, there are plenty of stargazing evenings at North York Moors beauty spots such as Dalby Forest, Blakey Ridge or the Moors National Park Centre at Danby. Thrill-seekers can head to Go Ape in Dalby Forest to plunge into the darkness attached to a zip wire, enter the True Grit 50-mile off-road cycling event at Newburgh Priory near Coxwold; compete in the 5km night run in the magnificent grounds of Castle Howard, or go for a walk while learning after-dark navigation skills.

“For families, there are a host of other daytime and early evening events including moonrock geocaching, starry crafting sessions and walks with a ranger to discover more about the nocturnal animals that inhabit the moors and forests.”

Yorkshire’s Dark Skies Festival is happening between 14th February to 1st March 2020 at various locations across both the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales National Parks.





For those who are fans of jazz music, the Scarborough Jazz Festival should definitely be on your event-bucket list. Happening in the fantastic location of Scarborough Spa, just a few metres from the seaside, there will be various famous jazz artists perform.

The festival director, Mike Gordon announced on their website: “The feedback I have received across the weekend was even more positive than last year. Particularly moving for me was the number of top UK jazz musicians who unreservedly came up to me and said that our festival is the best they’ve come thanks to a warm welcome, efficient organisation, great backstage facilities, tremendous sound system and team, appreciative audience and, of course, a beautiful venue and setting. It’s been a memorable weekend. Now on with the planning for next year!”

The line up will be announced early 2020 and the event takes place on 25th to 27th September 2020.

Plenty of other exciting events are happening across North Yorkshire in 2020, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled for an event you’ll love to attend whilst staying in a hotel in Robin Hoods Bay.

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