Yorkshire folk love their food and drink, so it's of no surprise that they host such a diverse variety of food festivals each year, and that they are some of the most well attended in the country. With great food, drink, entertainment, and a whole host of other activities this is your guide to food festivals of God’s Own County.
Wetherby Food Festival: 7th-9th July
As Wetherby Food Festival races in to it’s fourth year, this annual event has fast become a highlight in the calendar for both local and visitors far and wide. Attracting thousands of visitors over the weekend, why not enjoy some amazing food from the fantastic selection of hot street food traders serving from some great quirky units.
The producer area hosts some of the best local producers around, with local jams, chutneys, cheeses, as well as gins and vodkas and of course there’s plenty of speciality bars to keep customers refreshed with real ales, ciders, pimms, prosecco, and cocktails. Team this with live music on stage throughout the weekend, free children’s entertainment, children’s cookery classes, fun fair and much more, so why not make a weekend of it, and enjoy it with all your family and friends.
Pontefract Liquorice Festival: 9th July
Not everyone is a Liquorice lover – It’s one of those foods that falls into the love it or hate it category. If however you fall into the former then this is the festival for you.
The Pontefract Liquorice Festival is a day of sweet treats, fun and entertainment, celebrating the town’s historic link with liquorice!
Sweet lovers can enjoy a tempting array of liquorice food and drink while browsing around 80 food, craft and gift stalls at the colourful street market.
Dancers, musicians and street entertainers delight the crowds throughout the day, while craft activities, face painters, fairground rides and keep the little visitors amused.
Discover fascinating facts about liquorice growing in the area and learn why there is so much to celebrate at a liquorice talk, or really soak up the festival atmosphere at one of the local pubs or cafes. Liquorice stout is a firm festival favourite!
Now in its 22nd year, Pontefract Liquorice Festival is a firm family favourite with something for everyone to enjoy.
Otley Food & Drink Festival: 16th July
Head to Otley in the middle of July for a slice of foodie heaven. Otley is known for its artisan produce from hand-kneaded bread to homemade chocolates and there’ll be even more on display at the Otley Food & Drink Festival.
Organised by Visit Otley and Otley Town Partnership, the festival will feature a wonderful array of more than 50 stalls selling good quality, locally sourced products, as well as a full programme of events including a cookery theatre with demonstrations by local chefs from within Otley and Otley Farmers’ Market. Throughout the day there will also be food and wine tastings, local breweries, live music, children’s entertainment and much, much more. A tasty day for all the family – just make sure you come with an empty stomach. Come along and join in the fun in what is almost guaranteed to be a lively celebration of food and drink.
Sausage & Beer Festival: 22nd July
This July sees the second annual instalment of North Yorkshire’s Sausage & Beer Festival, taking place in the wide open spaces of the Camp Hill estate, a short drive north of Ripon on the A1. This festival has a lot to offer, and will be hoping to win over some die-hard fans for further events in the future.
The day includes, first and foremost, over 20 local butchers handing out samples and selling their finest goods, offering a staggering variety of sausages between them. You’ll even be able to see how the sausages are made at special demonstrations, although if you’d rather just eat them that’s fine too, of course.
To go with the sausages, a wide range of real ales and craft beers will be on draught, in cask, and in bottles for you to purchase and relax with, perhaps while you watch some of the many bands playing.
Don’t be fooled by the title though, this isn’t just for the guys. With competitions, vintage vehicles, face painting, a fun fair, an adventure playground and much more it really is entertainment for all the family.
And if all of that wasn’t enough motivation to go, for your entry price every visitor will be given a free sausage sandwich – what’s not to love?
Yorkshire Dales Food & Drink Festival: 22nd July-23rd July
Normally held in Leyburn this popular festival will relocate to Skipton this year, which will see the Auction Mart transformed into a ‘foodies haven’ and should attract a great crowd from the local community and those from further afield.
And with over a whopping 270 traders showcasing delicious Yorkshire produce and celebrity chef performances galore, it’s going to be a brilliant event that is bigger and better than ever.
With Malton-born James Martin as the festival’s patron and alongside him John Torode, visitors can enjoy chef demonstrations from these iconic culinary experts over the course of the weekend – although please be aware you will need to book these.
As well as that talented local chefs will also be in attendance, giving you some top cooking tips and recipes, and when you’re feeling peckish, the Street Food Arena will be where you want to head.
You can take in the vibrant atmosphere, aromas and best of all taste some tantalising dishes, and there are also lots of free activities and entertainment for the kids to enjoy.
North Leeds Food Festival: 22nd July-23rd July
Set in what is one of Europe’s biggest urban parks; the beautiful Roundhay Park, the North Leeds Festival is going to be one of the best foodie events to grace God's own county this year.
Not only is there a selection of delicious street food, and independent beers, but a whole host of entertainment ranging from art to music, culture, crafts, lifestyle and charity stalls. There's also lots for the kids to be getting up to also, and as you can imagine, the majority of it to showcase the great talent and variety Yorkshire has to offer.
So why not get down there and try some new things such as cricket……by try we mean eat……and by cricket we actually do mean cricket. Yes eating crickets.
The Great British Food Festival: 29th July-30th July
The Great British Food Festival is coming to Castle Howard, and this is more than ‘just another food festival’. The Great British Food Festival combines the nation’s love of great food and drink with nine of the country’s most treasured locations, providing a unique opportunity to explore new flavours and beautiful venues, all at the same time!
Castle Howard is an 18th-century residence set within 1000 acres of breath-taking landscape just outside York. The grounds include lakes, fountains, temples and woodland as well as formal walled garden and children's adventure playground.
The Great British Food Festival will include tasty hot food vendors, great chef demos, kid’s cookery classes, circus workshops and live music, making this the perfect family day out.
And it also includes a local Great British Bakeoff competition that anyone is free to enter.
It must be noted that these are not every food & drink festival that is on locally, and also this is just for the month of July. There are plenty of other wonderful festivals taking part throughout the rest of the year. Have a look here and here.