Best events

for a nostalgic return to York

Coming to visit? Missing York? Here are just a few ideas for your return to town…

York International Shakespeare Festival

Asta Nielsen playing a female Hamlet
Asta Nielsen playing a female Hamlet

Each May, York plays host to the York International Shakespeare Festival. With stage productions, puppet shows, comic opera and fascinating public talks held across the city, the programme is strikingly varied. With material to suit all tastes – from theatre lovers to film buffs and from primary-aged children to academics — there is something to suit all ages and interests.


European Researchers’ Night, held in December, is a mega event that takes place every year simultaneously in several hundred cities all over Europe and beyond. It aims to show that research is fun and influences daily life for all of us. Drop in at locations around the city for short talks and demonstrations from University and industry specialists.


YuCycle, our charity challenge bike ride, returns for 2015 to tempt you to ride through the picturesque dales of North Yorkshire. Your entrance fee goes to student bursaries and sport at York, so it’s a worthwhile cause if you can join us. This University-organised event involves the whole community as staff, students, alumni join the challenge of 25, 50 or 100km routes, Get on your bike on Sunday 7 June.

foi-logo-squareYork Festival of Ideas

Once again York Festival of Ideas brings together a range of world-class speakers, exhibitions, performances and interactive experiences for people of all ages, celebrating the power of ideas. This great festival returns for its fourth year from 9 to 21 June 2015 with a theme of Secrets and Discoveries, with many free events. Visit Festival of Ideas events for our favourite festival events.


York Food and Drink Festival

food-festivalHead back for the annual York Food and Drink Festival over 18 to 27 September to sample Yorkshire produce, international guest markets and a world of wine. This buzzing market is a food lover’s dream and you can sample lots of fantastic food from the region and abroad.

Illuminating York

In December, Illuminating York will spread right across the city centre with 12 brand new illuminating artworks. A fantastic programme of events across local attractions means you can enjoy a raft of new digital light experiments as you stroll around York.

The Great Yorkshire Fringe

Top-notch comedians and fantastic family entertainment will be hitting York’s city centre
in what promises to be a ten-day festival of fun and frivolity. The Great Yorkshire Fringe takes place between 24 July and 2 August and will see parts of the city transformed into a vibrant and exciting performance space.

college-50-logo2015 reunions

Physics, Music, Derwent and Langwith alumni celebrate 50 years this year – join us at your reunion! Find out more by clicking the link:

York Roses

Stemming from the Wars of the Roses, fierce rivalry lives on in the form of the largest inter-university sports tournament in Europe as York takes on Lancaster. With more than 132 fixtures, head back to support York next April.