What’s On in Harrogate 2016


You might already know the obvious tourist hotspots of Harrogate; Betty’s Tea Rooms, the Great Yorkshire Showground, RHS Harlow Carr, the Turkish Baths and all the many conference and exhibition centres. You probably also have your favourite bars and restaurants that you can’t resist coming back to, but this page will keep you updated on what is new and happening in Harrogate, so you can check out something different each time you visit.

Birchfield Maize Maze – open now until 2nd September 2016

Based at a family dairy farm at Pateley Bridge, this is undoubtedly one for the kids, and is open throughout the summer holidays. Lose yourself in the corn maze and then reward yourself in the ice cream parlour and café. An adjoining children’s play area means there will be plenty of energy used up here, while the farm animals on show will also entertain.

Kate Whiteford OBE – until 18th September 2016

An exhibition at the Mercer Art Gallery, showcasing the works of landscape and watercolour artist Kate Whiteford and based around her large-scale prints of trees inspired by Lancelot Capability Brown.

International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival – 3rd – 21st August 2016

Based around four different venues – Royal Hall, Harrogate Theatre, Ripon Cathedral and Harrogate International Centre – this annual festival brings together the very best amateur and professional productions of Gilbert & Sullivan’s work. This year includes four new productions from the Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company.

Harrogate Farmers’ Markets – 11th August 2016 (also 8th Sept, 13th Oct, 10th Nov, 8th Dec)

Very popular are these monthly markets on Cambridge Street showcasing the very best, fresh and authentic Yorkshire produce. Celebrate the fine local cuisine and take home some authentic Yorkshire jams, breads, pickles, cheeses, pies, meats, fish or vegetables.

Cheffins Classic & Vintage Tractor Auction – 19th & 20th August 2016

The Yorkshire Event Centre hosts this collection of weird and wonderful agricultural vehicles. Viewing is on the 19th with a public auction on the 20th of classic and vintage tractors, vehicles, related spaces, implements and stationary engines.

Foodies Festival – 19th – 21st August 2016

For three days, Harrogate’s Ripley Castle plays host to a wonderful array of food and drink delicacies. With street food stalls, food and drink masterclasses, an Artisan Producers’ market, a tasting theatre and a vintage tea room you won’t be going home with an empty stomach.

Royal Hall Open Day – 24th August 2016 (also 6th Sept, 12th Oct, 26th Oct)

Guided tours can take you around this famous emblem of Harrogate’s heritage, or wander freely and marvel at the fruits of the huge restoration project to return the venue to its former Edwardian splendour.

The Great Create Extravaganza – 26th & 27th August 2016

Based at the Yorkshire Event Centre by the Great Yorkshire Showground, this two-day event features some inspiring and educational workshops and demonstrations on paper craft; including cards, gifts and decorations.

StrEat Food & Family Fun Festival – 26th – 29th August 2016

The UK’s first national festival celebrating street food culture really is one for all the family. Based in the Valley Gardens this four-day bank holiday weekend event has 75 street food vans, a tepee village, street performers, craft beer and cocktails and lots of children’s entertainers.

Friday Night Dance – 9th September – 21st October 2016 & 4th November – 16th December 2016

Based in Grove Road School during the school terms, this weekly event allows couples to enjoy Ballroom and Latin American dance classes, with refreshments served to make a unique social occasion.

Real Ale & Cider Festival – 10th & 11th September 2016

Enjoy three of the finest things in life – real ale, cider and RHS Harlow Carr – in this two-day extravaganza of quaffable drinks from all over Yorkshire. Served straight from the barrel this is authentic Yorkshire fare, just don’t expect to remember what your favourite was.

Harrogate Autumn Flower Show – 16th – 18th September 2016

The Yorkshire Event Centre brings you beautiful show gardens, plant nursery displays and live expert demonstrations, whilst also allowing you to shop away to collect everything you need to build your own flower garden at home.

Harrogate Gift & Fashion Fair – 23rd & 24th September 2016

If it is unique and unusual gifts you are looking for, the Yorkshire Event Centre’s annual fair will offer you something you cannot buy on the High Street. 110 independent retailers showcase a range of jewellery, accessories, home and garden items, health & beauty products, children’s gifts and eye-catching art.

Yorkshire Bridal Fair – 2nd October 2016

If you have your big day booked but nothing else, the Yorkshire Bridal Fair at Pavilions of Harrogate is the answer, with over 100 wedding retailers on-hand at Yorkshire’s premier wedding show. With everything from dresses, rings, flowers, cakes and accessories to book, hire and buy, this is a must for every couple planning their big day.

Harrogate Comedy Festival – 1st – 16th October 2016

29 different acts – including some of the best-known names on the UK circuit – make up the 8th annual Harrogate Comedy Festival. Based at the Harrogate Theatre, you can book for names such as Ross Noble, Rich Hall and Russell Kane or discover the stars of tomorrow.

Harrogate History Festival – 20th – 23rd October 2016

Celebrate some famous historical writing at the Old Swan Hotel, where you can delve into some of the most fascinating stories and discuss the gripping conflicts, personalities and epic tales that make up some of the most famous tales in human history.

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