York has annual events that attract thousands to the city. In this article we explore some of the best known.
York has the third biggest racecourse in the country in terms of prize money and attracts around 350,000 visitors per year. Famously the scene for Dick Turpin’s hanging the racecourse sits on grounds known as the Knavesmire on the outskirts of the city centre.
The Ebor Festival held in August is the highlight of the racing season at the race course. Established in 1843, this is a 4 day race meeting.
One of the great things about York racecourse is that it has something for everybody. Costing much less than a tickets for the stands, families can picnic on the course enclosure area whilst watching the racing. In September the race course even holds a Family Race Day. Under 18’s can go free on this day and there is a variety of entertainment on offer for the children.
Dragon Boat Challenge
The Dragon Boat challenge is held on the River Ouse every year and sees 36 teams battle it out in aid of charity for a variety of awards. The colourful spectacle is held every summer in July between Scarborough Railway Bridge and Lendal Bridge.
This is an excellent showcase for adults and children alike in the heart of the city.
Jorvik Viking Festival
The Jorvik Viking Festival has been recognised as the largest Viking festival in Europe. It has a range of family friendly and events and includes guided walks, battle re-enactments and lectures. Travelling from all over the globe to attend, people are enthralled by the true to life stories played out by actors.
The festival is organised by the Jorvik group, the organisation behind the Jorvik Viking Centre which reopens in April 2017.
Illuminating York is an events that see many artistic lights displays implemented at some of York’s greatest known landmarks. Most displays are free with a small charge being applied to visit York Minster.
The event is held in October and also sees a number of fringe events being held that include historic tours of the city and special cinema screenings.
York Ice Trail Weekend
The Ice Trail weekend sees a number of amazing ice sculptures placed around the city. Held in December, it features 30 frosty figures made from crystal-clear ice sprinkled across the centre and surrounding streets.
Coinciding with the Christmas market, you can sip a warm cup of mulled wine whilst wandering around admiring the detail that goes into each sculpture.
York Christmas Market
The York St Nicholas Fair brings an array of Christmas themed stalls and merriment during November and December. Explore the market absorbing the atmosphere and aroma of thawing mulled wine whilst you enjoy York’s best Christmas experience.
Traditional line Parliament Street, St Sampson’s Square and The Judge’s Lodging, where traders sell locally-made handcrafted gifts.
Thor’s Tipi is on Parliament Street is a popular place. Sit around the log fire and enjoy a hot chocolate or even something stronger. There’s mulled wine, Christmas cocktails and draft ales available from an independent licenced bar.