Path leading up near trees on right with blue sky
Heather leading up to horizon
View over stream down valley

Spectacular scenery, wonderful coastline, a heritage railway, fabulous restaurants, pubs and cafew. The list of reasons to visit the North York Moors goes on and on.

But did you know that we also have vibrant arts and culture scene?

The beauty of the North York Moors is an inspiration for many artists and makers in the area. There is so much to see and do; some which may surprise you. From exhibitions to art centres to open studio’s, there is something for everyone. There is also a lively performing art scene with performances of all kinds from theatre, films, concerts to music festivals.

The North York Moors web site is a great source of information, but here are some of our insider tips on what to do in the local area.

Theatre seating at arts centre  - view from stage
Front of the Palace Theatre - cream building with doube doors

Helmsley Arts Centre started out as an old Quaker Arts Centre, and has been operating as a venue since 1993. It is a charity run by a small team of staff and volunteers. It has a 140 seat auditorium and 40 seat studio space. They have a varied programme of cinema, live music, theatre performances, comedy clubs, art exhibitions and workshop classes. Check out their what’s on guide – you’ll be surprised at the wealth of their programme.

Stephen Joseph Theatre is Alan Ayckbourn’s favourite theatre. You’ll find it in Scarborough’s 1936 Odeon art deco building. It has a fantastic year round programme of drama, music, comedy, dance, poetry and films.

Palace Cinema Malton is another art deco gem. Family owned and run, it was adapted into a picture hall in 1915. It shows all the latest releases on its state of the art projector along with live theatre, opera, ballet and concerts.

Sunset over marquee in Wrelton. Two women walking in front.
T|eo women holding pictures on steps in front of a green metal building

Scarborough Open Air Theatre is just a 45 minute drive away and you’ll be amazed at the artists and bands playing there. This year we have Johnny Marr, Gregory Porter and Simple Minds to name just three. And if you do go, let us know and we’ll give you our tip for parking for a fast exit home.

Forest Live returns to Dalby Forest this year with Nile Rodgers, Bryan Adams and Richard Ashcroft playing. It’s a quite magical setting in the heart of the forest.

North Yorkshire Open Studios is an annual event held on the first two weekends in June. Many of the artists will happily organise for a visit to their studio outside of these dates. The web site is a great resource to track down an artist who you like. We found local artists Justine Warner, Ione Harrison Ian Mitchell and Angela Cole from open studio days. If you’ve stayed in the Long Barn, you’ll recognise their work; we keep adding to the local art that we display in the Long Barn. 

North York Moors Chamber Music Festival is organised by the cellist Jamie Walton who lives in Appleton. It’s a fantastic local event with daily concerts in either nearby Welburn Hall or local churches around the area. Along with lots of locals, we go every year and highly recommend it.

Padlock and key to the Hanging Stone installation
Man in brown monks costume holding a tray of medieval pies
Sign showing medieval welcome to Appleton le Moors

Hanging Stones is a wonderful ongoing arts project by Andy Goldsworthy in Rosedale, so just on our doorstep. Nine existing buildings plus one new building in varying states of disrepair have been rebuilt as art works and connected by a 6 mile walk through one of the most beautiful local dales Northdale. Contact us for details on how to book this magical walk

Appleton Le Moors Medieval Festival returns in 2024 (the weekend of 27th/28th July) It is held every two years and sums up the eclectic and wonderful community that we live in. Expect medieval music, food, and activities.

And maybe this year, Ian will bake his medieval pork pies again….