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Star gazing, trail racing: reach for the skies and pump up the action this autumn in Ryedale

The sky’s the limit in Ryedale this autumn, where events make the most of nature’s seasonal wonders including the Milky Way, 250-year-old orchards, colourful woodland trails and illuminated train tracks.

Malton Food Markets. Saturday 9 October and Saturday 13 November. 9am-3pm Malton Market Place. Free Entry.

From exquisite patisserie to micro-brewing, from the country’s top gelaterie to Yorkshire’s best bread, from fishmongers to greengrocers, visitors to Yorkshire’s Food Capital, Malton, will find all this and more at the popular monthly food markets, known for their specialist stalls and street food.  Malton is also full of independent retailers and boasts award-winning cookery and gin schools.

Fungi Foray at the Yorkshire Arboretum. Tuesday 12 October 2021. 1.30pm-3.30pm

Join in the hunt for fungi around the Yorkshire Arboretum’s 120-acre garden of trees and have your finds identified by the resident expert.  Whilst there, pick up a copy of the tree trails map and discover interesting and beautiful trees such as Sorbus caloneura (Chinese Mountain Ash), which was grown from original seed collected in 1985 on an expedition to an isolated mountain in China. 

Dark Skies Fringe Festival. October 22–31 

Star gazing with a stellar line-up of speakers, including top astronomers and scientists, in a newly designated International Dark Sky Reserve, one of only five in the UK, makes for a luminary outing! 

The North York Moors National Park has some of the darkest skies in the country, with thousands of stars, meteors and the Northern Lights visible because of low levels of light pollution. 

Apple Weekend Helmsley Walled Garden. Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 October. From 10am

The story of how the apple came to Britain, along with pruning demonstrations, apple tastings, an apple-facts trail, quizzes and activities for all the family make up this annual celebration of ‘all things apple’ in the beautiful surroundings of Helmsley Walled Garden, one of the locations for the 2020 film version of The Secret Garden featuring Colin Firth and Julie Walters.  These 250-year-old gardens span five acres, and once provided fresh produce and flowers for Duncombe Park, but now supply the tea-room.  Cost: Adults £8.00 (Gift Aid £9.00) pre-booking; £8.50 (£9.50 Gift Aid) at the gate.

Light Spectacular, North Yorkshire Moors Railway, Pickering Station. Saturday 23–31 October

A megawatt display by one of the busiest steam heritage lines in the world is set to shine a light on passengers this half term.  The heritage carriages of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway will be illuminated by thousands of lights, before departing for an hour-long round journey with on-board narration and music. Everyone embarking on the trip will be given an interactive LED wristband synchronised to the music so they become part of the show.  Departs from Pickering Station for Levisham Station every evening at 6pm and 7.45pm from 23 to 31 October.  Adult/Child fare is £25 per person.

Mini Shredders and Rippers Time Trails. Saturday 30 October (Halloween fancy dress)

Budding mountain bikers can test their skills on the new pump track and cyclocross course at Sutton Bank, in the heart of some of the best traffic-free cycling in England.  New for this year, the Rippers time trial has courses for 8-10-year-olds and 10-12-year-olds. Registration and practise from 9am-10am. Event starts at 10:30am. £12 per entry.  Mini Shredders is perfect for balance bikes and children up to 8-years-old. Registration and practise from 12.30pm-1.30pm.  Event starts at 2pm. Cost is £8.  Prizes and certificates for 1st, 2nd and 3rd boy and girl and a prize for the best fancy dress (Halloween) plus sweets!

Phillip Spurr, Programme Director for Economic Development at Ryedale District Council, says:

“Ryedale is one of the best places in the UK to experience nature’s magnificent autumnal spectacle, with its abundant native woodland.  There are more ancient trees here than anywhere else in the North of England, with one of the country’s most wooded national parks in the North York Moors, so the backdrop for days out is stunning.”

Visitor information

Information about where to go and what to do in Ryedale is available at – part of the destination development initiative from Ryedale District Council.

Notes to editors

Notes to editors

Ryedale District Council’s destination development project supports the growth of responsible tourism in the district, and helps to attract seven million visitors annually, and a £281 million total visitor spend. 

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