Yorkshire Coast – Main Events And Days Out For The Diary

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The transformation of classic British seaside entertainment to world-class status on the Yorkshire coast is set to continue in 2022 with legendary groups and singers, from Simply Red to Westlife, performing at Europe’s largest open-air theatre, the UK’s last remaining professional seaside orchestra returning for a season of concerts and, 125 years after Bram Stoker’s Dracula was first published, Whitby Goth Festival, the world’s largest festival celebrating all things ‘Alternative’, proving that Whitby still rules as the capital of Goth.

As home to the UK’s first seaside resort, the Yorkshire coast knows how to entertain, it has had 100s of years of practice!  2022 will see events and activities taking place across the seaside towns and their famous beaches, including the following highlights:

Special Anniversaries In 2022

Scarborough Open Air Theatre’s 90th anniversary.  Europe’s largest open-air theatre opened in 1932 and has a packed programme of big acts for 2022.

■ Whitby Abbey, Dracula. Image © English Heritage

125 years since Bram Stoker’s Dracula was published.  Whitby Abbey will hold several commemorative events this year.

The 70th anniversary of the creation of the North York Moors National Park (28 November)

Scarborough will host the prestigious Armed Forces Day National Event, 24-26 June.

Celebrating Independent Spirits,
‘Alternative’ Festivals Include

■ Whitby Goth Festival

Whitby Goth Festival, 22-24 April and 28-30 October: The world-famous Whitby Goth Festivals are biannual celebrations of The Alternative, with live music featuring some of Europe’s top acts, bizarre theatre shows, fashion and fairs, film-screenings and family events throughout the town, a favourite being the stunning autumnal illuminations amongst the ruins of Whitby Abbey.

Steampunk festivals – Whitby on 12 February and Filey 14-15 May: with magic, music and masquerades, plenty of dressing-up, and even a vintage car race on the beach

Scarborough Sci-Fi Festival, 9-10 April: a magical mix of well-known guests, authors, film and TV props, console, retro and table-top gaming, software developers, comic book artists, indie films, live music, collectible traders and Saturday night party

Scarborough Goldwings Light Parade, 10 September: the UK’s ‘most glitzy’ biker weekend is an annual tribute to Britain’s finest Honda Goldwings, the world’s top touring motorcycle.  There are dazzling bike displays with the highpoint being a Saturday evening promenade, brilliantly illuminated, along Scarborough’s North and South Bays.

Whitby’s Krampus Weekend each December, the first event of its kind in the UK, celebrates the darker side of Christmas with a parade, live music, fantastical art shows and plenty of monster fun. Date tbc.

Celebrating The Coast’s Maritime
Heritage And Sea Sports

Scarborough’s Seafest Maritime Festival, 22-24 July: a huge annual – and free – seaside extravaganza, with the UK’s largest gathering of sea balladeers, shanty men, sea folk musicians and singers.  Entertainment includes live music, food theatre, with free cooking demos by top chefs, fossil hunting and street theatre, building up to the traditional Blessing of the Boats.

Whitby Regatta, 13-15 August: this major water-sports event is the oldest sea regatta in the North (dates back more than 180 years) and alongside the yacht and rowing racing, visitors can enjoy a spectacular fireworks finale and a packed programme of sea-based arts and entertainment – all free to watch. 

■ Whitby Fish & Chips Festival

Fish & Ships Festival, 24-25 September, Whitby: a joyous annual celebration of seafaring life, with a centrepiece food village populated by celebrity chefs and local seafood heroes, ships of all shapes and sizes, fishy family entertainment, and star turns by Whitby’s finest fishermen, boat-builders, shanty-singers and sea-balladeers, artists and historians, sailors and brave lifeboat crews. 

Scarborough Surf Festival, 8 October, North Bay. The Yorkshire coast is one of the best places in the UK for surfing – find out why at this free, fun event with its taster sessions, surf simulator, competitions, yoga and more.

Celebrating Live Music In The Great Outdoors

■ Scarborough Open Air Theatre. Image © Kluens Cuffe & Taylor

Scarborough Open Air Theatre: Europe’s largest open-air theatre is 90 years old this year and has the summer’s biggest shows.  Each year, there are between 10-12 large-scale concerts, featuring Britain’s favourite performers.  Star vocalists and entertainers confirmed for 2022 include: The Wombats, RuPaul’s Drag Race, Crowded House, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Bryan Adams, Lionel Richie, Lewis Capaldi, The Script, Tears for Fears (with special guest Alison Moyet), Simply Red and Westlife. Various dates.

Scarborough is the last seaside resort in Britain to maintain a professional orchestra. They will take to the stage once again for a season of 130 summer concerts. Various dates.

Whitby Folk Week, 20-26 August: a seven-day celebration of traditional music, dance and song of the British Isles with hundreds of events from concerts, workshops, sing-arounds, sessions and street entertainment. Attracts top artists from across the UK.

Celebrating Seaside Specials

Scarborough Cricket Festival – now over 130 years old – is one of the world’s most historic sporting events, and has welcomed the world’s most famous cricketers, including WG Grace.

The world-famous Peasholm Park Naval Warfare in Scarborough is possibly the longest-running show of all time – an 80-year-old miniature sea battle of model ships, aircraft and submarines (and Britain’s smallest manned navy!), taking place every summer.

Books by the Beach, 11-12 June, Scarborough: a major literary festival starring some of the country’s favourite authors and actors.  Previous participants have included: Joanna Trollope, Daisy Goodwin, and Declan Murphy.

The Yorkshire coast has become one of the UK’s most vibrant areas for shows and culture on a par with what’s on in the West End or O2 Arena, as Janet Deacon, head of tourism and culture at Discover Yorkshire Coast, explains: “Where else in the UK could you come and see a big-name performer, watch world-class theatre and listen to a performance by the UK’s last remaining professional seaside orchestra?  While, of course, there’ll always be room for the more traditional forms of seaside entertainment, holidaymakers are being drawn to the Yorkshire coast’s very varied and ever-changing cultural offer, which competes with the West End on quality and price.”

Where to find out more

For further information and advice when planning a trip to the Yorkshire Coast, talk to the friendly and dedicated team at the Tourism Bureau on 01723 383636.  Alternatively, you can find everything you might need to plan your trip at

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