More Things To Do in York and beyond – some at a Yorkshireman’s favourite price! Here’s Hutch’s List No. 5, from The Press

The best things in life are free…or on offer: York Residents’ Festival 2024

TWO days of York celebrating all things York lead off Charles Hutchinson’s tips for cultural fulfilment, from Eighties’ nostalgia to a monster musical, a ghost story’s return to a singing French iconoclast.

York Residents’ Festival 2024, today and tomorrow

YORK Residents’ Festival returns this weekend with free entry or offers on more than 50 York attractions, restaurants, bars and retailers.

For the weekend organised by Make It York, historical attractions such as York Minster, Jorvik Viking Centre, Clifford’s Tower, Fairfax House, Barley Hall, Merchant Adventurers’ Hall and Treasurer’s House will be opening their doors for free to residents across the weekend. 

Residents can also take advantage of a free river cruise with City Cruises, free wizard golf at The Hole In Wand, in Coppergate Walk, and the first 100 visitors can visit for free at York’s Chocolate Story, King’s Square. 

Offers at York eateries and restaurants include The Grand, Rio Brazilian Steakhouse York, Ambiente Tapas and Pearly Cow. Retail offers exclusive to residents are available at Avorium, York Gin, Love Cheese, Potions Cauldron and more besides. 

For those preferring to explore by foot, offers and discounts apply to walking tours and outdoor activities. Mountain Goat will be taking residents off the beaten path to explore the beautiful Yorkshire countryside, while the family-friendly Wizard Walk of York promises to be spellbinding. Or why not learn to abseil and climb Brimham Rocks, at Brimham Moor Road, Summerbridge, Harrogate?  

Step this way for The Wizard Walk of York

To take advantage of York Residents’ Festival offers, you must present a valid York Card, student card or identity card (e.g. driving licence or bus pass) that proves York residency by clearly stating ‘York’.

Make It York managing director Sarah Loftus says: ‘We’re delighted that we have so many York businesses providing fantastic offers for Residents’ Festival weekend. This is a great opportunity for residents to rediscover some of the brilliant attractions, retail and food offers on their doorstop. 

“A huge thank-you to our Visit York members for coming together to provide so many brilliant offers; there’s something for everyone during this fun-packed weekend.”

Meanwhile, Ann Petherick is reopening Kentmere House Gallery, in Scarcroft Hill, York, for a new year of exhibitions in time to coincide with the second day of York Residents’ Festival: tomorrow, from 11am to 5pm.

On show are original works of York and Yorkshire by more than 50 professional artists, plus prints, books and cards exclusive to the gallery. The first full weekend opening in 2024 will be on February 3 and 4, 11am to 5pm. Admission is free.

For the full list of offers, and for booking information for York Residents’ Festival, visit Please note, some venues and activities require pre-booking. 

Celia Crwys Finnigan and Laura Sillett: On song for The 80’s Movie Mixtape at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York

Nostalgic gig of the week: The 80’s Movie Mixtape, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, tonight, 7.30pm

THE 80’s Movie Mixtape is a truly independent theatre show showcasing West End singers and musicians from around London and Surrey in a new tribute to Eighties’ blockbuster movies and their electrifying soundtracks.

A band of six actor-musicians – Jamie Ross, lead vocals, keyboard; Celia Crwys Finnigan, lead vocals, keyboard, alto saxophone; Laura Sillett, lead vocals, keyboard, baritone saxophone; Dom Gee-Burch, lead guitar; Ed Hole, bass, and Luke Thornton, drums – combine songs from Footloose, Top Gun, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Dirty Dancing, Back To The Future, American Gigolo, Ghostbusters, Flashdance, Against All Odds and Electric Dreams with Eighties’ party anthems. Box office: 01904 501935 or

Percy: Performing at Navigators Art & Performance’s Basement Sessions 3 night of music, comedy, spoken word and poetry

On the move: Navigators Art & Performance, The Basement Sessions 3, The Basement, City Screen Picturehouse, York, February 23, 7.30pm

YORK creative collective Navigators Art & Performance is moving this weekend’s Basement Sessions 3 bill to next month. “Unfortunately, the Basement is ankle deep in flood water and we’re going to have to postpone the gig this Saturday,” says co-founder Richard Kitchen.

Taking part will be poet and actor Danae, from Mexico via York; “punk/jazz riot” Neo Borgia Trio, from the University of York Big Band; writer, poet, performer and multi-instrumentalist JT Welsch; comedian Will Glitch, from Norwich via Hull; left-field post-punk favourites Percy; acoustic duo The Jammingtons Experience and transatlantic guitar band Fat Spatula. Box office:

English Teacher: Leeds band heading for York tomorrow

Independent Venue Week gig of the week: English Teacher, The Crescent, York,  tomorrow, 7.30pm

“LEEDS’ music scene is the best in the world,” proclaims Lily Fontaine, English Teacher’s vocalist, guitarist and synthesiser player, without a blink of hesitation. This weekend she heads to near-neighbour York with bassist Nicholas Eden, drummer Doug Frost and lead guitarist Lewis Whitling, who she first met at house parties while they all studied at Leeds College of Music (now Leeds Conservatoire).

After tinkering with projects of their own, they settled on playing together, developing their fusion of dream pop and post-punk noise. Coming next? Writing new songs “somewhere between Adele, Jockstrap and Fontaines D.C.”. Box office: for returns only,

Mark Hawkins as The Actor, left, and Malcolm James as Arthur Kipps in The Woman In Black, on tour at the Grand Opera House, York. Picture: Mark Douet

Haunting return of the week: The Woman In Black, Grand Opera House, York, Tuesday to Saturday, 7.30pm; 2.30pm Wednesday and Saturday matinees

STEPHEN Mallatratt’s stage adaptation of Scarborough author Susan Hill’s spine-chiller returns to York for the umpteenth time, directed as ever by Robin Herford. As he did at York Theatre Royal in November 2014, Malcolm James plays lawyer Arthur Kipps, who engages a sceptical young actor (Mark Hawkins) to help him tell his terrifying story and exorcise the fear that grips his soul. Box office:

Following the science: James Willstrop’s Dr Frederick Frankenstein in Pick Me Up Theatre’s Young Frankenstein. Picture: Jennifer Jones

Musical of the week: Pick Me Up Theatre in Young Frankenstein The Musical, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, Wednesday to Saturday, 7.30pm plus 2.30pm Saturday matinee

WHEN the infamous Victor Frankenstein’s grandson, Dr Frederick Frankenstein (James Willstrop), inherits the family castle in Transylvania, will he be doomed to repeat the same mistakes in Mel Brooks’s musical adaptation of his 1974 monster horror-movie spoof?

Andrew Isherwood directs York company Pick Me Up Theatre as Frankenstein’s experiment yields both madcap success and monstrous consequences with the help and hindrance of hunchback henchman Igor (Jack Hooper), Scandinavian assistant Inga (Sanna Jeppsson), mysterious housekeeper Frau Blucher (Helen Spencer) and needy fiancee Elizabeth (Jennie Wogan-Wells). Box office: 01904 501395 or

Guz Khan: York and Leeds gigs this winter

Comedy gig of the week: Guz Khan Live!, York Theatre Royal, Wednesday, 7.30pm

COVENTRY comedian, impressionist and actor Guz Khan is on his way to selling out York Theatre Royal after his February 25 gig at Leeds City Varieties already did so. Raised on a housing estate in Hillfields, he graduated from Coventry University and taught Humanities at Grace Academy in his home city before focusing on stand-up.

Khan, 38, is best known as the creator and star of the BBC Three comedy drama Man Like Mobeen, wherein he played a former Small Heath drug dealer now trying to live a good life as a Muslim. Box office: “Last tickets” on 01904 623568 or

Cantona Sings Eric: Maverick footballer-turned-musician returns to Leeds for April concert. Poster picture: supplied by Academy Music Group

Most unexpected Yorkshire gig announcement of the week: Eric Cantona, Cantona Sings Eric, Leeds O2 Academy, April 16, doors, 7pm

ERIC Cantona once told Leeds United fans from the balcony of Leeds Town Hall, “why I love you, I don’t know why, but I love you” as the 1992 league champions paraded the Division One trophy. Only 207 days later, he was gone…to bitterest rivals Manchester United. Never to be forgiven.

Now 57, the avant-garde French footballer, sardine philosopher, actor, English advert regular and painter “to the rhythm of jazz” is to return to the city. Not in one of those “An Evening With” shows full of nostalgic football chat but as Eric Cantona, singer and musician, performing solo, with piano and cello for company. Box office: or

David Hammond: Performing works by work by Erik Satie, Brian Eno, Federico Mompou, Howard Skempton, David Power and Derek O’Connell

Piano recital of the week: Late Music presents David Hammond, St Saviourgate Unitarian Chapel, York, Friday, 1pm

DAVID Hammond performs a crossover of ambient and classical solo piano music centred on work by Erik Satie, Brian Eno, Federico Mompou and Howard Skempton, with new works by David Power and Derek O’Connell in the first Late Music recital of 2024.

The full programme will be: Erik Satie, Gnossiennes 1-3; Harold Budd/Brian Eno, The Plateaux Of Mirror; Derek O’Connell, Je mesure le son (first performance); John White, Sonata 95; David Power, Seven Paces Of Stillness (first performance); Erik Satie, Pièces Froides: No.2 Danses de travers; Federico Mompou, Cants Mágics; Howard Skempton, Well, Well Cornelius; Howard Skempton, Rumba; Howard Skempton, Quavers; Budd/Eno/Power mash-up, Remembered, and Erik Satie, Gnossiennes 4-5. Tickets: £5, or on the door.

In focus: Exhibition launch of the week: Pyramid Gallery, York, from 11am today

One of Linda Combi’s 52 Postcards, painted in 2023

FOUR exhibitions are opening simultaneously today at Pyramid Gallery: Gomery & Braganza, ceramics and painting; Linda Combi’s 52 Postcards; glassmaker Jo Kenny’s What Lies Beneath and Ringleaders’ contemporary handmade rings.

Di Gomery, Loretta Braganza, Linda Combi and Jo Kenny all will be attending the 11am to 2.30pm launch. “Come along to the opening and enjoy a glass of wine or soft drink with the artists,” says gallery owner and curator Terry Brett.

Di’s studio is at South Bank Studios, Southlands Methodist Church, in Bishopthorpe Road, York. Her paintings are lyrical responses to landscape, still life and the human form, painted primarily in oil on canvas or board, often large in scale. Her approach is one of playful energy with an underlying structure and solidity.

Di, who worked in the design industry for Courtaulds (England) and Jakob Schlaepfer couture fabric design (Switzerland), has exhibited previously at Pyramid Gallery, Partisan café, in Micklegate, York, HartLaw Solicitors, in Wetherby, Dean Clough Gallery, Halifax, and the Fronteer Gallery, Sheffield.

Paintings created specifically for this Pyramid exhibition explore edges and volume, make reference to other artists, and generally play with surface and colour combinations. Her artistic influences include the work of British and American women abstract expressionists.

Loretta was born in Mumbai, India, came to Great Britain in 1965 and lives and works in York. She began her practice as a ceramicist in 1990 via a career in dance, graphic arts, textile design and sculpture, as well as teaching drawing and painting at York College.

Loretta Braganza and Di Gomery

Her distinctive style comprising taut edges, clean lines and complex mark making swiftly earned her exhibitions and commissions, as well as awards from the Crafts Council and the Arts Council.

Artist and illustrator Linda Combi, raised in a California desert, now settled in York, returns to Pyramid Gallery, this time with 52 Postcards, a series of original collage paintings, print cards and booklets that reflect on migration.

“I was inspired to create 52 postcards around the theme of displacement,” she says. “I decided to create postcards as you’d typically send them when you’re on holiday to family and friends back home, but for refugees, they can have very different connotations. It’s grounded in the concept of refugees being in another place, writing a letter to home or to their former self.

“In many of my postcards I use birds as a symbol for people forced to flee. They’re innocent, and they’re on the move.”

Linda’s postcards are mixed media, primarily hand painted and printed papers, but also incorporating coloured pencil, pen, stickers and crayon. 

“Refugees and other displaced people have to endure so much,” she says. “Everyone should support refugees – not only do they enrich society, but more than anything, it’s just basic kindness and human empathy to understand how frightening it must be to be to have to flee.”

Glassmaker Jo Kenny at work in her studio

Fifty per cent of Linda’s sale proceeds will go to UNHRC, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees agency mandated to aid and protect refugees, and the Lemon Tree Trust, an organisation that works alongside displaced people to transform refugee camps through gardening.

Glassmaker Jo Kenny creates pieces at the furnace inspired by exploring the beaches at Whitby, where she now lives. Such a simple childhood pleasure revisited, she finds a contemplative quality in the act of poking around in rock pools. “I feel the joy and excitement of discovery under each pebble,” she says.

Her What Lies Beneath series encourages the viewer to “look a little deeper and maybe feel a little of that childlike excitement making their own discoveries”.

Awarded an Arts Council England grant, Jo was able to develop the series further in collaboration with Scottish master craftsman Gordon Taylor, who completed pieces with his cutting and polishing skills.

Jo splits her time between making and teaching. Her key themes are the effect of the passage of time, erosion, entropy, persistence of image and all things pertaining to the ocean.

Di Gomery and Loretta Braganza’s exhibition runs until March 11; Linda Combi’s 52 Postcards until March 9; Jo Kenny’s glass until March 7, at Pyramid Gallery, Stonegate, York. Gallery opening hours are: Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm; Saturdays, 10am to 5.30pm. The project can be viewed at Linda’s website,, from where purchases can be made too.

More Things To Do in York when a Yorkshireman’s favourite price is on offer. Hutch List No. 5 for 2023, from The Press

Hannah Davies: Poetic monologues at York Explore Library in Pilot Theatre’s Monoliths for York Residents’ Festival

THE best things in life are not always free, but plenty are this weekend for York residents. Charles Hutchinson also highlights the best value in theatre, music, art and comedy.  

Event of the week: York Residents’ Festival 2023, today and tomorrow

ORGANISED by Make It York, York Residents’ Festival 2023 combines more than 100 attractions, events and offers this weekend. Historical attractions such as York Minster, Jorvik Viking Centre, Fairfax House, York Castle Museum, Barley Hall and The Guildhall will be opening their doors for free to residents.   

Further highlights include wizard golf at The Hole In Wand; free river cruises with City Cruises; chocolate tours at York’s Chocolate Story; behind-the-scenes tours of York Theatre Royal and a virtual reality experience with Pilot Theatre’s Monoliths, featuring poetic monologues on city, country and coastal northern landscapes by Hannah Davies, Carmen Marcus and Asma Elbadawi  at York Explore Library. Restaurants, cafés and shops are taking part too. For full details, go to:

Fat chance…to see Sofie Hagen in her Fat Jokes show at Theatre@41

Comedy gig of the week: Sofie Hagen: Fat Jokes, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, Tuesday, 8pm

EDINBURGH Fringe comedy award winner Sofie Hagen presents Fat Jokes, a storytelling show bursting with big jokes, fat punchlines and unforgettable moments. “Come as you are and enjoy an actual fat person at the top of her game,” says the Danish-born, London-based comedian’s publicity blurb. Box office:

Travelogue of the week: Around The World In 80 Days, York Theatre Royal, Thursday, 2pm and 7.30pm; Friday, 7.30pm; Saturday, 2.30pm and 7.30pm

PRODUCERS Tilted Wig are teaming up with York Theatre Royal for a nationwide tour of Around The World In 80 Days in creative director Juliet Forster’s circus-themed version of Jules Verne’s story, first staged on York playing fields in 2021.

Original cast member Eddie Mann will be joined by Alex Phelps, Katriona Brown, Wilson Benedito and Genevieve Sabherwal, who each multi-role as the rag-tag band of travelling big-top performers embarks on a daring mission to recreate Phileas Fogg’s fictitious journey, interwoven with the true story of Nellie Bly’s globe-travelling deeds. Box office: 01904 623568 or

Anna Meredith: Genre-crossing composer and musician heading for The Crescent in Independent Venue Week. Picture: Gem Harris

Innovators of the week: Please Please You presents Rozi Plain and Mayshe-Mayshe, The Crescent, York, Tuesday, 7.30pm; Anna Meredith and Elsa Hewitt, The Crescent, York, Friday, 7.30pm

WINCHESTER singer-songwriter Rozi Plain showcases her fifth album, Prize, released on Memphis Industries on January 13. Highlights among its ten tracks include the blissful single Agreeing For Two, the synth explorations of Painted The Room and the woozy jazz inflections of Spot Thirteen.

Later in the week, in a special show for Independent Venue Week, The Crescent welcomes Anna Meredith MBE, the genre-crossing composer and producer whose work straddles contemporary classical, art pop, electronica and experimental rock. Guitar, drums, cello and tuba feature in her band. Box office:

Liam Brennan’s Inspector Goole in An Inspector Calls, on tour at the Grand Opera House, York. Picture: Tristram Kenton

Political thriller returns: An Inspector Calls, Grand Opera House, York, February 7 to 11, 7.30pm nightly plus 2.30pm Wednesday and Thursday matinees

PREMIERED at the Theatre Royal in 1989, Stephen Daldry’s radical take on Yorkshireman J B Priestley’s thriller An Inspector Calls returns to York next month with tour regular Liam Brennan once more in the role of Inspector Goole.

Written at the end of the Second World War and set before the First, Priestley’s time play opens with the Birling family’s peaceful dinner party being shattered by the inspector’s call and subsequent investigations into the death of a young woman as the dangers of casual capitalism’s cruelty, complacency and hypocrisy are highlighted. Box office:

Leroy Virgil: Teaming up with York band The Black Skies at The Crescent

Country gig of the week: Hellbound Glory & The Black Skies, The Crescent, York, February 7, 7.30pm

RENO resident and Hellbound Glory main man Leroy Virgil has single-handedly invented an outlaw country music sub-genre he affectionately calls “Scumbag Country”.

His stories from the seedy underbelly of the place he calls home in sunny Nevada are full of character observations and introspection, set to a soundtrack of folk and blues-laced Americana. His York gig will be one of only three on his debut British tour to promote latest long player The Immortal Hellbound Glory: Nobody Knows You.

Young York alt/rock band The Black Skies will be his backing band as well as playing their own set at this double bill of whisky-drenched, low-slung country and rock’n’roll from the American mid-west and Yorkshire. Box office:

The poster for York Ceramics Fair 2023

Going potty for pottery: York Ceramics Fair, York Racecourse, March 4, 10am to 5pm, and March 5, 10am to 4pm

AFTER a short break to find a new venue, York Ceramics Fair makes a March return indoors at York Racecourse for a fourth instalment with an “impressive line-up of ceramicists”, complemented by activities, events, talks and more besides.

A free shuttle bus will be running between York Racecourse, on Kavesmire Road, and the Memorial Gardens Coach Park, in Station Road, York. Tickets: via Eventbrite at

Nik Briggs: Directing York Stage in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie: Teen Edition

Looking ahead: Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Teen Edition, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, May 29 to June 3

YORK Stage will be holding the first round of auditions for the Teen Edition of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie today, seeking black, Asian and mixed-race performers aged 13-19 to fulfil Nik Briggs’s company’s commitment to represent the diverse community of Sheffield, the show’s setting, through his casting. A second audition day follows on February 4.

Dan Gillespie Sells and Tom MacRae’s coming-of-age musical follows the true-life story of 16-year-old Sheffield schoolboy Jamie Campbell as he overcomes prejudice and bullying to step out of the darkness to become a drag queen. Box office:

What’s happening at York Residents’ Festival 2023? Find out where to go here

YORK Residents’ Festival 2023 combines more than 100 attractions, events and offers this weekend.

Organised by Make It York, this annual event returns on Saturday and Sunday, when historical attractions such as York Minster, Jorvik Viking Centre, Fairfax House, York Castle Museum, Barley Hall and The Guildhall will be opening their doors for free to residents.   

They also can enjoy free wizard golf at The Hole In Wand, Coppergate Walk, free river cruises with City Cruises and free chocolate tours at York’s Chocolate Story, King’s Square. Theatre lovers can go behind the scenes at York Theatre Royal and experience virtual reality with Pilot Theatre’s Monoliths, featuring sweeping soundscapes and poetic monologues by Hannah Davies, Carmen Marcus and Asma Elbadawi at York Explore Library.  

Offers across York eateries and restaurants include 22 Yards Wine, Ambiente Tapas, Brew York, Forest and Trio Mezze Bar. Plus. Look out for retail offers exclusively for residents at Avorium, The Yorkshire Soap Company, Dean’s Garden Centre, The Hat Shop and more besides.   

For those preferring to explore the city on foot, plenty of free and discounted walking tours are available. York Photo Walks’ free walks provide the chance to learn and improve photography skills while learning more about the history of York. The Wizard Walk of York promises spellbinding family-friendly walks.

To participate in York Residents’ Festival, you must present a valid York Card, student card or identity card that proves York residency. If presenting an identity card, this must clearly state ‘York’ (such as a driving licence or older person’s bus pass). 

Sarah Loftus, Make It York’s managing director, says: “We’re delighted that we have more than 100 attractions, events and offers for Residents’ Festival weekend. This is a great opportunity for residents to rediscover some of the brilliant attractions, retail and food and drink offers on their doorstep. A huge thank-you to our Visit York members for their excellent offers and to our main sponsor, Grand Central.”  

Councillor Keith Aspden, leader of City of York Council, says: “I’m delighted that York Residents’ Festival is once again back this year. The weekend is a great way to enjoy our city and support our businesses. There is a lot explore and discover, with I hope something for everyone on offer during this fun-packed weekend of activities. 

“Our thanks go to all the partners around the city who have come together to make sure that more than 100 attractions, events and offers are available for residents.” 

The full list of offers for York Residents’ Festival can be found at: Please note, some venues require pre-booking. 

Alternatively, wade your way through this comprehensive guide!


Barley Hall, 2 Coffee Yard, off Stonegate, YO1 8AR 615505 

Saturday and Sunday, 10am – 4pm. Free entry after 2pm. 

Barley Hall is a medieval townhouse, tucked away down one of the oldest streets in York. The exhibition The Bard At Barley Hall features costumes worn by famous actors. Pre-booking is required online or by phone. Select the “Free Adult” or “Free Child” option or by calling 01904 615505. 

Bedern Hall Bartle Garth, St Andrewgate, York, YO1 7AL 

Saturday and Sunday, 10.30am to 3.30pm. Free entry. 

Discover one of York’s true hidden medieval gems – from butchers to bakers and pork pie makers, chorals to squirrels – as Bedern Hall continues its centuries-old tradition of good food, good friend, and good times. Pre-booking is not required. 

Beningbrough Hall, Gallery and Gardens, Beningbrough, YO30 1DD 472027 

Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 3.30pm.

Grab your calling cards as you explore the garden and uncover the fascinating stories of the people who shaped Beningbrough with never-been-told-before stories from the latest research, voices from the past, interactive elements and family trail. Pre-booking is not required. 

Black Swan Folk Club 23, Peasholme Green, York, YO1 7PR 679131  

Sunday only.

Winter Folk Day performances by folk musicians. Two sessions 2pm to 5.30pm and 7.30pm to 10.30pm in the Black Swan Inn’s Wolfe Room. Pre-booking is not required.   

Brew York, Unit 6, Enterprise Complex, Walmgate, York YO1 9TT 848448 

Saturday only. Free 30-minute brewery tour and tasting at 1pm and 2pm. 

Founded in Walmgate in 2016, Brew York boasts a £2million state-of-the-art production facility and global distribution. See where it all began with a mini-tour of the original brewery as you enjoy a fresh beer on them. Pre-booking is required via email. 

City Cruises, King’s Staith Landing and Lendal Bridge Landing 

Saturday and Sunday.  Free cruise. 

Set sail with City Cruises for a free cruise at 11am, 12 noon, 1pm, 2pm or 3pm. No pre-booking; first-come, first-served. 

Clifford’s Tower, Tower Street, York, YO1 9SA 646940 

Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 4pm. Free entry 

Immerse yourself in history at this iconic site and experience views over the city. A new roof deck, walkways and staircases have opened up parts of the tower, where a new interpretation brings the tower’s history to life. Pre-booking is not required. 

DIG: An Archaeological Adventure, St Saviour’s Church, St Saviourgate, YO1 8NN 615505 

Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 4pm. Free entry after 2pm.

Discover exciting artefacts from 2,000 years of York history at DIG. Children can grab a trowel and dig up the clues that show how people lived in Roman, Viking, medieval and Victorian times. Pre-booking is required online or by phone. Select the “Free Adult” or “Free Child” option or by calling 01904 615505 

Fairfax House, Castlegate, York, Y01 9RN 655543 

Saturday and Sunday, 11am to 2pm. Free entry. 

Numbers are limited and places need to be pre-booked online on a timed ticket basis to visit this furnished 18th century historic house museum.  

Get Cycling, 22 Hospital Fields Road, Fulford, YO10 4DZ 636812 

Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 4pm.

Free half-day bike hire (for five hours). One hire per person. Deposit necessary. Pre-booking is required via telephone or email quoting Residents’ Festival. 

Holgate Windmill, Windmill Rise, Holgate, York YO26 4TX.

For parking use YO24 4AE (Acomb Road). 151132 

Saturday and Sunday, 11am to 4pm. Free entry. 

Visit York’s only surviving windmill, built in 1770, now restored and in full working order. Stoneground wholemeal and spelt flour milled here is available for sale. Pre-booking is not required. 

Jorvik Viking Centre, Coppergate, YO1 9WT 615505 

Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 4pm. Free entry after 2pm. 

Discover York’s Viking legacy at the award-winning Jorvik Viking Centre. Meet a Viking of Coppergate, be up close with rare artefacts and take in the sights, sounds and smells of Viking York. Pre-booking is required online or phone. Select the “Free Adult” or “Free Child” option or by calling 01904 615505. 

LNER Community Stadium (York RLFC), Kathryn Avenue, Monks Cross Drive, Huntington, York, YO32 9AF 01904 670880 

Sunday only. Free tours at 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm (12 people maximum per tour) 

Head inside the inner sanctum of North Yorkshire’s premier rugby league teams. The LNER Community Stadium hosts the York Knights and Valkyrie, who offer residents the chance to join them on stadium tours, sharing the full matchday journey of the players and taking in the club’s history. Meet at the York RLFC club shop 15 minutes before your booked tour time. Pre-booking is required by filling out this form: 

Lost Earth Adventures, Brimham Rocks, Summerbridge, Harrogate, HG3 4DW 500094 

Saturday and Sunday. Free three-hour taster session. 

Try rock climbing and abseiling at Brimham Rocks. Suitable for all abilities and anyone aged 7+. All equipment included. Maximum two people per booking. Pre-booking is required via email. 

Merchant Adventurers’ Hall, Fossgate, York, YO1 8XD 654818 

Saturday, 10am to 4pm. Free entry. 

Fascinating tales, awe-inspiring architecture and intriguing, rare artefacts to be explored at this timber-framed building. The Merchants’ Coffee House will be open, serving food and drinks. Pre-booking is not required. 

Merchant Taylors’ Hall, Aldwark, York, YO1 7BX 624889 

Sunday, 10am to 4pm. Free entry. 

Merchant Taylors of the City of York members will be on hand to explain the many colourful facets and intriguing 600-year history of this medieval hall. Pre-booking is not required. 

National Centre for Early Music, St Margaret’s Church, Walmgate, York, YO1 9TL 658338 

Sunday, 2pm to 4pm. Free session. 

A Residents’ Festival weekend special taster for the NCEM’s monthly singing session, Cuppa & A Chorus. No experience necessary; only a willingness to sing. Hot drinks and cakes too. Pre-booking is required online. 

Pilot Theatre – Monoliths VR, at York Explore Library, Library Square, Museum Street, York YO1 7DS 635755 

Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 12:30pm and 1.30pm to 5pm. Free event. 

A chance to experience virtual reality with York company Pilot Theatre’s Monoliths, exploring three northern environments with sweeping soundscapes and poetic monologues, in an event sponsored by York BID. Monoliths is an arresting testament to the inextricable link between person and place.

The Guildhall, St Martin’s Courtyard, Coney Street, York, YO1 9QL 328431 

Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 4pm. Free entry. 

Residents will have access to all areas of The Guildhall, with a self-guided interactive tour of the 15th century medieval hall, historic council chamber and committee room. All cakes and coffees will have 10 per cent off at the Riverside Cafe for the weekend, and those who complete the quiz will be in with a chance of winning  a £20 voucher for the Cafe Lounge. The venue’s wedding coordinators will also be on hand to show any newly engaged couples around. York Gin will be running free gin tastings and talks for residents from 11am on both days. Pre-booking is not required. 

The Grand, York, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GD 380038 

Saturday to Monday. Free tour.  

Step inside York’s only five-star hotel, previously the head offices for the North Eastern Railway HQ, for a guided tour of bedrooms, old railway offices, event spaces. Even meet the resident bees! Pre-booking is required online via Eventbrite: 

The Hole In Wand, 14-16 Coppergate Walk, York YO1 9NT 890135 

Saturday and Sunday, ,3pm to 9pm. Free entry. 

Visit “the world’s most magical golf course” in the heart of York. This Wizard-style adventure will see you tackle a bubbling cauldron and become part of a giant picture while you search for Grobblenook! Entry only; excludes potion. Pre-booking is required online. Use code RESFEST2023. 

William’s Den, Castle Farm, Wold Hill, North Cave, East Riding, HU15 2LS 472230 

Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 4pm. Free entry (but small booking fee).

Custom-built family adventure playscape with indoor play areas, climbing ropes and zip lines, woodland walks and pizza dining. Pre-book your free tickets for William’s Den online using the promo code YKRES2829.  A booking fee of 50p is payable.  

York Army Museum, 3 Tower Street, York, YO1 9SB 461010 

Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 4pm. Free entry. 

Discover the regiments’ stories from 1685 to the present day. Trails, crafts and object-handling. While here, collect a free mini-sketch book (made from recycled coffee cups), pencil and sketching guide to sketch your favourite parts of York as you go around the city. Pre-booking is not required. 

York Art Gallery, Exhibition Square, York, YO1 7EW 687687 

Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 4pm. Free entry. 

The galleries of fine art and ceramics are free to enjoy. Discover a new display of treasures from the stores. See jewels of the collection in a new light plus rarely displayed works. Pre-booking is required online. Maximum group size of six. 

York BID – Reunion, St Sampson’s Square, York, YO1 8RR 

On show until February 6.

York’s winter nights are being brightened up by Kumquat Lab’s light art installation, Reunion. Brought St Sampson’s Square by York BID, this artwork represents connectedness and the act of gathering together. 

York Castle Museum, Eye of York, York, YO1 9RY 687687 

Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 5pm. Free entry. 

Immerse yourself in 400 years of York’s history, whether the Victorian street Kirkgate, infamous prisoners in the spooky cells or the Swinging Sixties. Pre-booking is required online. Maximum group size of six. 

York Cemetery, Cemetery Road, York, YO10 5AJ 221152  

Sunday, 10am to 4pm.

The Friends of York Cemetery will open the Pritchett Chapel for self-guided walking trails, catacomb tours, garden walks and much more. Discover the cemetery’s history and make a cone bird feeder, an activity ideal for children. Free tea/coffee and cake. Pre-booking is not required. 

York Cold War Bunker, Monument Close, York, YO24 4HT 797935 

Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 4pm. Free entry. 

York Cold War Bunker uncovers the secret history of Britain’s Cold War. Enter the blast-proof doors and investigate the more unusual side of York’s heritage. In active service from the 1960s to the 1990s, the bunker was designed as a nerve-centre to monitor fallout in the event of a nuclear attack. Pre-booking is required online. Use code RESFES101 

York’s Chocolate Story, King’s Square, York, YO1 7LD 527775 

Saturday and Sunday, 9am to 6pm. Free entry for the first four tours each day.

This offer is for walk-ins only. Residents also will receive 20 per cent off the guided tours for the whole weekend. Pre-booking is not required. 

York Dungeon, 12 Clifford Street, York, YO1 9RD or 01904 632599 

Saturday to Tuesday (31/1/2023). Free entry before 12 noon.  

Limited availability. Tickets must be pre-booked online using the promotional code ydresfest23. Prebooking is required online via:  

York Explore Library: Map Attack! – Lego City of Wonder, Library Square, York, YO1 7DS 552828 

Saturday, 10am to 2pm.  

Drop in to use a range of Lego and Duplo to build the wonderful city of York. Take inspiration from historic maps of York from the city’s archives. What will you create? Pre-booking is not required. 

York Explore Library: Mapping Historic York Exhibition, Library Square, York YO1 7DS 552828 

Saturday, 10am to 4pm. 

Explore the history of York’s built environment. Learn about York as it was, as it is, and as it might have been in this display of original material from the city’s archive. Pre-booking is not required. 

York Mansion House, St Helen’s Square, York, YO1 9QL 01904 553663 

Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 5pm (last admission 4pm). Free entry. 

Walk in the footsteps of lords and ladies, cooks and butlers. Explore four floors, from the authentic Georgian kitchen below stairs to the 18th century splendour above, steeped in 300 years of scandal, secrets and superstition. Pre-booking is not required. 

York Medical Society, 23 Stonegate, York, YO1 8AW 849821 

Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 3pm 

York Medical Society has its own rooms within a beautiful Grade II listed building in Stonegate, providing a location for topical lectures, events and wedding receptions. Explore the building; refreshments will be available, with proceeds supporting York Foodbank. Pre-booking is not required. 

York Minster, Deangate, York, YO1, 7HH 557200 

Saturday and Sunday.

Experience panoramic views of York from the highest point in the city: York Minster’s Central Tower. See medieval stonework and gothic grotesques as you climb 275 steps to the top. You must be aged 8+ to climb the tower.

Trips run every 45 minutes, starting at 10.15am on Saturday, with the last taking place at 3.30pm. On Sunday, the first trip begins at 1.15 pm; the last at 2.45pm. Trips can only be booked in person on the day, are weather dependent and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Health and safety conditions apply; see website for details. 

York Steiner School, 33 Fulford Cross, York, YO10 4PB 654983 

Sunday. Tours at 9am, 10.30am, 12 noon or 1.30pm. 

A warm welcome awaits all York families at the seasonal craft day and tour. Experience the magic of a Steiner education over a hot drink in the cosy community room and find out why parents rate them so highly! Pre-booking is required via email or telephone. Numbers are limited to four families per session. 

Yorkshire Heart Vineyard & Brewery, The Vineyard, Pool lane, Nun Monkton, York, YO26 8EL 330716 

Sunday, 10am to 3.30pm. Free vineyard tour and wine tasting

Yorkshire Heart are offering wine tasting in their Winehouse café and a short vineyard and winery tour on the hour every hour from 11am until 2pm. Pre-booking is not required. 

Yorkshire Museum, Museum Gardens, Museum Street, York, YO1 7FR 687687 

Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 4pm. Free entry. 

Home to some of the greatest archaeological and geological finds in Britain. Explore York’s Roman, Viking and medieval past through a range of artefacts and meet our prehistoric predecessors in Yorkshire’s Jurassic World! For all the family. Pre-booking is required online. Maximum group size of six. 

York Theatre Royal, St Leonard’s Place, York, YO1 7HD 623568 

Sunday. Free tour.

Find out more about the fascinating history of the Theatre Royal, discover secrets about the backstage world and learn more about the building. Pre-booking is required via the box office. 


Mountain Goat Tours, Duncombe Place, York 445161 

Saturday and Sunday.

York residents will receive a 50 per cent discount. Pre-booking is required online using the promo code “YORK50”. 

York’s Hidden History, York city centre 040647 

Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 11am; 2pm to 3pm. 

Join York’s Hidden History and uncover the city’s ancient, natural and scientific secrets on their guided walks. For the Residents’ Festival, they will be offering a York Ice Walk in the morning and a Micklegate Meander in the afternoon. Pre-booking is required via the events section of their Facebook page: 

York Photo Walks

Meet outside York Art Gallery. 882794 

Saturday, 10am to 4pm. Free walk. 

The photo walks involve learning and developing photography knowledge, while exploring York’s rich history, people, nature and architecture. The aim is to inspire you to stretch your creative legs when out and about with your camera. Walks will take two hours. Pre-booking is required via email or phone.  

Wizard Walk of York, Shambles, by the railings of St Crux Church, York. 

Saturday, 4pm. Free tour. 

Join The Wizard of York for family fun with spellbinding magic, comedy and a dash of history. Ideal for ages five to ten and their families. Pre-booking is required via email. Please include details of the total number of adults and children. 


All Saints’ Church, North Street, York, YO1 6JD 191400 

Friday and Saturday, 10am to 4pm. 

All Saints’ Church has two days of events, with a coffee morning and church history talk on Friday,  followed by tours of the stained glass and anchorhold, fun family activities, and illuminated evensong and benediction on Saturday. All welcome. Pre-booking is not required. 

Central Methodist Church, St Saviourgate, York, YO1 8NQ 612171 

Saturday, 11am to 4pm. 

This Grade II-listed building, built in 1840, is one of the few chapels of its period still intact. See the horseshoe-shaped interior with gallery and box pews and listen to the organ, one of the finest in York. Pre-booking is not required. 

St Denys Church Welcome Day, Walmgate, York, YO1 9QD 246312 

Saturday, 10am to 4pm.

A warm community welcome is extended to allcomers with tea, tours, talks and entertainment under the theme of “Eat-Pray-Love…”, telling the history and ambition of St Denys Church, alongside refreshments both bodily and spiritual, while celebrating the refurbished church fabric and fabulous ‘Henry’ organ installation. 

Trinity Church York, St Anthony’s Hall, Peasholme Green, York, YO1 7PW 651726  

Saturday and Sunday.

Visit the medieval hall to see timber bracing, 15th century carvings and the home of a thriving church. Mini-lectures at 10am, 11am and 1pm on Saturday on Medieval Motherhood, How York Became Christian and The York Conservation Trust. Pre-booking is required via email. 

For Food and Drink and Retail offers, go to:

Later in the year 

Goddards, 27 Tadcaster Road, York, YO24 1GG 472027 

March 4 and 5, 11am to 4pm. 

Explore the garden where the Terry chocolatier family lived on its opening weekend for 2023. Five acres of garden rooms surround their former home. Discover fragrant borders, wildlife areas and glasshouse, alongside a more formal pond and lawn. Pre-booking is not required. 

Treasurer’s House, Minster Yard, York, YO1 7JL 624247 

April 23 and 24, 11 am to 4pm. 

Behind York Minster, discover this intriguing house on a tour. See the collection of fine antiques, art and furniture created by the wealthy, eccentric Industrialist Frank Green, who gave it to the National Trust in 1930. Pre-booking is required online via the website. Select National Trust member option and type RESFEST when asked for a membership number. Bring valid York Card or residency ID on the day. 

More Things To Do in York and beyond, as York welcomes York to York for the weekend. List No. 67, from The Press

Enjoy free admission to York Art Gallery’s Young Gainsborough: Rediscovered Landscape Drawings exhibition as part of York Residents’ Festival. Booking required. Picture: Charlotte Graham

YORK attracts 8.4 million visitors, but this weekend you are invited to be a tourist in your own city, as Charles Hutchinson highlights.

Festival of the week: York Residents’ Festival, today and tomorrow

MORE than 70 events, attractions and offers make up this weekend’s York Residents’ Festival, with the offers continuing all week.

Organised by Make It York, this annual festival invites all York residents with a valid YorkCard to “explore the city and be a tourist for the weekend”, one card per person. 

Pre-booking is required for some highlights of a festival that takes in museums, theatres, galleries, churches, hidden gems, historic buildings, food and drink and shops.  For more details, visit:

Tall storey in Tall Stories’ The Smeds And The Smoos at York Theatre Royal this weekend

Children’s show of the week: The Smeds And The Smoos, York Theatre Royal, today, 2.30pm and 4.30pm; tomorrow, 10.30am and 1.30pm

SOAR into space with Tall Stories’ exciting new stage adaptation of writer Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler’s joyful tale of star-crossed aliens.

On a far-off planet, Smeds and Smoos cannot be friends. Nevertheless, when a young Smed and Smoo fall in love, they promptly zoom off into space together.

How will their families get them back? Find out in an interplanetary adventure for everyone aged three upwards, full of music and laughter, from the company that delivered The Gruffalo and Room On The Broom on stage. Box office: 01904 623568 or at

Bedtime story: Ian Ashpitel and Jonty Stephens as Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise in Eric & Ern

Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be; it’s better in: Eric & Ern, York Theatre Royal, Tuesday and Wednesday, 7.30pm

IAN Ashpitel and Jonty Stephens bring you sunshine in their uncanny portrayal of comedy duo Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise in a show that has been touring for more than five years.

Combining renditions of famous comedy sketches with contemporary references, Eric & Ern contains some of the first new writing in the Morecambe & Wise  style in more than in 30 years. Box office: 01904 623568 or at

Abstract collage, by Peter Schoenecker, at Pocklington Arts Centre

Exhibition of the week outside York: Peter Schoenecker, A New Way Of Looking, Pocklington Arts Centre, until February 19

PETER Schoenecker’s mixed-media artworks open Pocklington Arts Centre’s 2022 season of exhibitions in the studio.

On show are watercolours, acrylics and lino prints by the Pocklington artist, a former graphic designer, who is inspired by the landscape and seascape textures and lighting in and around his Yorkshire home.

“My aim is usually to create a mood or atmosphere using colour or black and white,” he says. “Switching between media keeps me interested and innovative, hopefully bringing a freshness to the work.”

Echo & The Bunnymen’s Ian McCulloch and Will Sergeant: From Liverpool to Leeds on Wednesday

Gig of the week outside York: Echo & The Bunnymen, Leeds O2 Academy, Wednesday, doors, 7pm

AHEAD of the February 18 vinyl reissue of their 1985 compilation Songs To Learn & Sing, Liverpool legends Echo & The Bunnymen play plenty of those songs and more besides in Leeds (and at Sheffield City Hall the night before).

Available for the first time since that initial release, the “Best Of” cherry picks from their first four albums with the single Bring On The Dancing Horses as the icing on top. On tour, vocalist Ian McCulloch and guitarist Will Sergeant will be leading a band now in their 44th year, still too cool to be called a heritage act. Box office:

Granny (Isabel Ford) and Ben (Justin Davies) in the Crown Jewels-stealing scene in Birmingham Stage Company’s Gangsta Granny

Family show of the week: Birmingham Stage Company in Gangsta Granny, Grand Opera House, York, February 3 to 5, 2.30pm and 7pm; February 6, 11am and 3pm

IN David Walliams’s tale, Friday night means only one thing for 11-year-old Ben: staying with Granny, where he must put up with cabbage soup, cabbage pie and cabbage cake.

Ben knows one thing for sure – it will be so, so boring – but what Ben doesn’t know is that Granny has a secret. Soon Friday nights will be more exciting than he could ever imagine, as he embarks on the adventure of a lifetime with his very own Gangsta Granny, in Neal Foster’s touring production, back in York next week for the first time since 2016. Suitable for age five upwards. Box office: 0844 871 7615 or at

Two out of Seven: Shed Seven’s Rick Witter and Paul Banks to perform as a duo in Scarborough

Compact Sheds: Rick Witter and Paul Banks, Scarborough Spa Theatre, April 17, 7.30pm

SHED Seven shed three when frontman Rick Witter and lead guitarist Paul Banks “go where no Shed has gone before” to play Scarborough over the Easter weekend.

Mr H Presents promoter Tim Hornsby says: “Expect a special night of classic Shed Seven material and a few surprises”.

“You already know this whites-of-their-eyes show is going to sell out, so don’t get bothered with the regular unholy last-minute scramble for tickets and purchase early for a holler-along to some of the best anthems ever,” he advises. Box office:

James Swanton as Lucifer with cast members of The Last Judgement when plays from the 2018 York Mystery Plays were staged in the Shambles Market. Picture: Lewis Outing

Looking ahead to the summer: 2022 York Mystery Plays, York city centre, June 19 and 26

HERE come the wagons, rolling through York streets on two June weekends, as the Guilds of York maintain their four-yearly cycle of York Mystery Plays set in motion in 1998.

As in 2018, Tom Straszewski is the artistic director for a community production involving nearly 600 people creating hours of drama, performed for free, on eight wagons at four locations, including St Sampson’s Square, St Helen’s Square and King’s Manor.

“The plays will cover the creation of the world, floods, last meals together and resurrections,” says Strasz. “We’re still seeking directors, performance groups and actors, who should email to apply.”