10 things to look out for on the Yorkshire coast in 2022

Night time gig and fireworks at Scarborough Open Air Theatre has a jam-packed programme 

Scarborough Open Air Theatre has a jam-packed programme - Credit: Tony Bartholomew

For many people, the events of the last couple of years have prompted something of a reset, with more people looking to spend time in the UK, and outdoors. No better place than Yorkshire, says Janet Deacon, looking ahead to a year at the coast....

It’s the shortest month, but how often does it feel like the longest, with spring tantalisingly just out of reach? Banish the winter blues with the fabulous Dark Skies Festival (February 18-March 6), a team effort from our county’s two beautiful national parks – the North York Moors, and the Yorkshire Dales. Many of the events takes place on the coast, and the two parks promise ‘a star-studded event’ – see what they did there?

Spring nudges a little closer, but it can still be a little, er, fresh out there. Keep warm inside with some superb music at Scarborough Spa – it’s one of the venues for the Ryedale Festival Spring Weekend which features some of the UK’s best classical musicians – and for the Top Secret Blues Festival. Dates for both yet to be confirmed.

Sci-fi spectacular, Gothic glory, or fabulous folk? Take your pick in April with three great coastal festivals. Stars from across the sci-fi spectrum will head for the Spa for the Scarborough Sci-Fi convention (9/ 10). Filey Folk Festival brings acoustic folk, blues, traditional, country, and even a bit of acoustic rock and pop to the town from April 29-May 2. Whitby’s famous Tomorrow’s Ghosts Festival has two iterations in spring and autumn – dust down your raven-feathered suit for the early one this month (date TBC).

Spring is in full swing – head to Yorkshire’s very own ‘mini TT by the sea’, Oliver’s Mount in Scarborough, for road racing at its best throughout the year – it’s the Spring Cup this month (dates TBC). Whitby’s Fish and Ships Festival didn’t have time to get properly established before Covid scuppered it – but it’s back this year with more maritime marvels (21/22). Top Yorkshire wordsmiths will spin their verbal webs at Filey Literature Festival (20-22). The big names in music start heading to Scarborough this month, too, with the first of the Open Air Theatre concerts – The Wombats on the (26)  and RuPaul’s Drag Race: Werq the World (29). Later in the summer, look out for, in June, Crowded House and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons; in July, Bryan Adams, The Script, Lionel Richie, Tears for Fears and Alison Moyet, Simply Red, and Westlife; and in August, Lewis Capaldi.

More literary love this month with Scarborough’s Books by the Beach literature festival, which usually brings in the big guns – previous speakers have included Michael Palin, Alan Johnson and Lionel Shriver. There’s more sporting action at Oliver’s Mount with the Barry Sheene Classic (date TBC), and music at Robin Hood’s Bay with the annual folk weekend (10-12). And at the end of the month, the long awaited National Armed Forces Day (24-26) will finally happen in Scarborough after being cancelled two years in a row – expect an action-packed weekend including spectacular air and ground displays and a major military parade.

… and things are warming up! Don’t miss the traditional and totally unique Naval Warfare at Scarborough’s Peasholm Park throughout this month and next – a thrilling recreation in miniature of the Battle of the River Plate (well, what else?). Cool down in the sea inspired by the fishy goings-on at Scarborough’s very own maritime festival, Seafest (22-24).

Wooden rowing boats - The thrills and spills of racing at Whitby Regatta 

The thrills and spills of racing at Whitby Regatta - Credit: Tony Bartholomew

The month in which we celebrate our very own Yorkshire Day also brings plenty of sea-themed festivity with Whitby Regatta (13-15) and Staithes and Runswick Lifeboat Weekend (dates TBC). The brilliant Whitby Folk Week is from August 20-26, while the end of the month brings the revered Scarborough Cricket Festival to the town’s North Marine Road ground.

The fun of the fair at Whitby Regatta 

The fun of the fair at Whitby Regatta - Credit: Tony Bartholomew/Turnstone Media

As summer slides into autumn, make the most of the (hopefully!) good weather with a round during Scarborough Golf Week (4-9). A venerable 101 years old this year, the six-day festival holds 17 tournaments at Filey, Scarborough and Whitby. Spend a glitzy evening on Scarborough seafront with the Goldwings Light Parade (10). Or how about this for a choice – visit one of four fabulous and very different festivals this month: the highly-regarded Staithes Festival of Arts and Heritage (9-11); the Yorkshire Fossil Festival at Scarborough (16-18); Scarborough’s laid-back Jazz Festival (dates TBC), and Filey’s colourful Kite Festival (17/18).

Surfer and board Surf Festival this year 

Take the plunge at the Surf Festival this year - Credit: Tony Bartholomew

The days are getting shorter, but October is often a glorious month on the coast. Take to the seas at Scarborough Surf Festival (8), or enjoy the best in world music at Musicport in Whitby (dates TBC). And as we head towards the winter, let your spine be chilled with the second Tomorrow’s Ghosts of the year at Whitby (28-30), and the stunningly beautiful Illuminated Abbey, also at Whitby (Halloween week).

Christmas on the coast – there’s nowt else like it! Start the celebrations at the traditional Robin Hood’s Bay Victorian Weekend early in the month. And don’t miss Scarborough’s amazing Boxing Day events, including the traditional Fisherman v Firemen (that’s firemen who stoked the engines of the boats, not firefighters!) and raft race in the harbour. And if you’re feeling really brave, you could join the hardy souls who take part in Whitby’s Boxing Day Dip – what a way to end the year!

For more information on what’s on across the Yorkshire Coast #placeofsurprise and the North York Moors throughout 2022, see discoveryorkshirecoast.com or call the Tourism Bureau on 01723 383636.