On 1 August, people across the historic county of Yorkshire will come together to celebrate Yorkshire Day.
First marked in 1975, the Yorkshire Ridings Society began celebrating Yorkshire Day as a form of protest against local government reforms that had started in 1974.
In a reshuffle of borders and legislative powers, Yorkshire’s three traditional Ridings were abolished and parts of the historic county itself transferred to Humberside and Lancashire.
Nowadays, Yorkshire Day is an opportunity to celebrate the county’s beautiful countryside scenery, incredible historic monuments, and brilliant cities.
From specific events organised for the day itself to unmissable days out you simply have to experience around the county, here are five ways you can celebrate Yorkshire Day this year.
1. Attend the official Yorkshire Day Civic Celebration
Perhaps the very best way to celebrate Yorkshire Day is by going to the Civic Celebration of the day itself.
Each year, one lucky town in Yorkshire is selected to host the Yorkshire Day Civic Celebration, and the honour has been bestowed on Keighley in the City of Bradford Borough in West Yorkshire for 2022.
Yorkshire Day falls on a Monday this year, so events start on Sunday 31 July for you to enjoy, including:
- Inflatables and other activities for children at Church Green
- An artisan market and live music in Church Green car park
- Entertainment at the Airedale Centre
- A community showcase at Town Hall Square.
The activities at Church Green car park, Airedale Centre, and Town Hall Square will all be available on Monday on Yorkshire Day itself, as well as:
- A parade and church service, starting at Sainsbury’s car park at 10.30 am
- Keighley creative workshops and installation at Church Green
- Children’s activities, face painting, stalls, and a barbecue at the Livery Rooms.
So, with something for everyone at the flagship event of the entire day, make your way over to Keighley to truly get into the Yorkshire Day spirit.
You can find out more details of the event on the Keighley Town Council website.
2. Learn about the Yorkshire dialect with the Yorkshire Dialect Society
As part of the Civic Celebration in Keighley, you can also attend an event run by the Yorkshire Dialect Society to find out about the history of the Yorkshire dialect.
This brilliant event is a celebration of the unique patter that Yorkshiremen and women are so well known for.
From 10.30 am to 4.30 pm at Keighley Library on 30 July: learn the fascinating story behind the Yorkshire dialect; see the fantastic exhibition to the late poet and historian Ian Dewhirst MBE; enjoy a deep dive into John Hartley’s ‘Clock Almanacs’, a so-called “treasure trove” of the Yorkshire dialect; and celebrate the dialect through humorous poems and anecdotes in Eric Scaife’s “Tyke Talk”.
A great way to soak in a bit of county history while learning something new, this event promises to be a wonderful trip into the past.
Tickets can be purchased online from the Yorkshire Society website for £5, including the cost of coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon.
3. Visit one of Yorkshire’s many heritage sites
Culture is central to what makes Yorkshire into a place of such historical significance, so make the most of it by visiting one of the many heritage sites located throughout the counties.
It’s almost impossible to make a list of the best sites to visit in Yorkshire as there are so many, but four listed on the English Heritage website that are well worth heading to are:
- Scarborough Castle, a medieval fortress overlooking the North Sea and Scarborough itself
- Kirkham Priory, priory ruins dating back to the 1120s lying in the Derwent valley between York and Malton
- Rievaulx Abbey, a former Gothic abbey in Helmsley, now with a museum next door
- Helmsley Castle, also near Helmsley in the North York Moors national park.
Wherever you are in Yorkshire, there will be even more incredible sites to explore. Simply search for one near you and make a day trip to truly celebrate the heritage of the county for Yorkshire Day.
4. Take a day trip to the beautiful Yorkshire coast
As well as being home to some of the best cities in the UK, Yorkshire has some of the best coastal towns, too.
In particular, Robin’s Hood Bay on the coast of North Yorkshire is known for its stunning views and sandy beach. This picturesque little village also boasts twisting cobbled streets and alleyways, packed with cafes, pubs, restaurants, and local shops to explore.
Similarly, Whitby is another feather in the Yorkshire cap. This gorgeous seaside town overlooking the North Sea features beautiful views of the water with a quaint harbour situated in the bay itself.
You’ll find plenty of things to do, from places to eat to activities, as well as a range of historic buildings to visit for an authentic Yorkshire experience.
In fact, the Gothic ruins of Whitby Abbey are said to have been Bram Stoker’s inspiration when he wrote his iconic novel Dracula. That alone makes Whitby worthy of a visit.
5. Enjoy a classic Yorkshire roast
Whether you choose to make it yourself or take a visit to a country pub, roast dinners in Yorkshire are surely better than anywhere else around the country. That’s why you simply need to enjoy one to fully get into the spirit of Yorkshire Day.
Even in the (hopefully) warm August weather, a proper British roast dinner complete with beef, gravy, and vegetables, is the perfect way to relax and refuel after a morning exploring what Yorkshire has to offer.
And of course, no proper Yorkshire roast is complete without the centrepiece of the entire plate: the Yorkshire pudding.
Crispy, golden, and buttery on the outside with a light, fluffy inside, the delicious taste of baked batter is a vital addition to your plate.
If you do want to enjoy a proper pub roast, make sure you read this list from the Yorkshireman to find the best one near you.