Scarborough Events, Things to Do and Festivals 2014 / 2015

(Scarborough, North Yorkshire, England, UK)

Cliff top view of the South BayMany seasonal events are staged each year in Scarborough, with Peasholm Park and its beautiful Japanese gardens playing host to a reenactment of a maritime battle on its boating lake, and evening fireworks throughout the summer months. Also hosted by Peasholm Park is the 'Acoustic Gathering' event - a brief one-day musical festival each September, where more than 20 consecutive acts perform on the bandstand, beneath the majestic Japanese pagoda.

Other things to do each summer in Scarborough include the jazz music, classical concerts and the Beached Festival, which is held on the South Bay and has grown to become the most significant live music event on the coastline of Yorkshire.

The traditional seaside Scarborough Spa Complex is home to a local orchestra, who perform a series of weekly classical music concerts between late July and early September. At the Stephen Joseph Theatre and other venues, the annual National Student Drama Festival at the end of March has taken place here since its founding in 1956, and over the years has attracted a number of famous stars of the stage and screen.

Harbourfront picture

Scarborough Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015: General Information

Towards the end of the Middle Ages, the town became a leading trading venue, and it was at this time that the famous Scarborough Fair was born, lasting approximately 45 days in total and attracting merchants from throughout England, and even Denmark and Norway. Although the fair lapsed in the 17th century, due to direct competition from surrounding market towns, it has been revived at several times, and since 2006, Scarborough Fair is once again a popular local event thanks to the English Heritage organisation, although much less low key today. Fair celebrations now include exciting medieval jousting competitions and innumerable market stalls.

For maritime festivities, Seafest is one to look out for and this yearly festival is based around the West Pier, in either late June or early July, attracting everyone from local folk singers to Yorkshire shantymen. Also at this time of the year are the Scarborough Cock o' the North Road Races, which make full use of the racing circuit around the high ground known as Oliver's Mount.

The main annual events in Scarborough are as follows:

  • Boxing Day Raft Race - arranged by Sub Aqua Club at Scarborough Harbour
  • Coastival - mid-February, with more than 100 different events around the town
  • Shrove Tuesday Skipping Festival - at Scarborough South Bay
  • National Student Drama Festival - late March to early April, based at various venues, including the Stephen Joseph Theatre, the Spa Complex and the town's University of Hull campus
  • Scarborough Literature Festival - held April, established in 2007
  • Ian Watson Spring National Road Races - mid-April, at Oliver's Mount
  • Scarborough Literature Festival - mid-April, at the Cresent Hotel and other venues
  • Scarborough Festival of Speed Hill Climb Weekend - early May, at Oliver's Mount
  • Barry Sheene International Classic Race Festival - May / June, at Oliver's Mount
  • Scalby Fair - held mid-June in the village of Scalby around 10 minutes from Scarborough, a week of fun lead up to a street fair
  • Seafest - late June / early July, at the West Pier and harbourfront
  • Staxtonbury Family Music Festival - held mid-July in Manor Farm, Staxton
  • Cock o' the North Road Races - mid-July, at Oliver's Mount
  • Three Hills Hill Climb Bike Championships - late July, at Dalby Forest, Low Dalby and Oliver's Mount
  • National Speed Hill Climb Car Championship - mid-August, at Oliver's Mount
  • Scarborough Cricket Festival - late August / early September, at the Cricket Ground on North Marine Road, featuring the Yorkshire County Cricket Club
  • Acoustic Gathering - mid-September, at Peasholm Park
  • Scarborough Jazz Festival - mid-September, at the Spa Complex
  • Steve Henshaw International Gold Cup Races - mid-September, at Oliver's Mount
  • Northern Soul Weekender - mid-September, at Scarborough Spa
  • Annual Scarborough Dance Festival - mid-November, at the Grand Hall of the Spa Complex