Events to look forward to in York in 2020

Posted January 17, 2020

Louise – Astor York

The decorations are away, the tree is down, turkey & tinsel a distant memory. So, before the January blues kicks in… what exciting events can York look forward to in 2020?


Ice Trail –  Feb 1st & 2nd

Over 40 perfect, frozen works of art will appear around the city. The theme this year is Fantasy fiction & Fairy tales, so expect Star Wars, Wizards & Ice Queens on this stunning trail. There will be live ice carving & a chance to have a go for yourself.

Wrap up warm, grab yourself a hot chocolate from the Shambles Market & fingers crossed for a sprinkling of snow, the icing on the weekend.


Jorvik Viking festival – Feb 15th – 23rd

A noisy, fun & immersive festival staged across the whole city; this is the largest event of its kind in Europe. You will find a Viking encampment, workshops, competitions, including “Most Glorious beard contest” daily events & re-enactments. Huge, hairy & scary Vikings are everywhere you look.

Follow their great march through the city, which ends with a dramatic battle at the foot of Clifford’s Tower. Round off your day with a glass of Mead at Valhalla bar. “Skol”


York Chocolate Festival – April 9th – 13th

Conveniently timed to coincide with Easter, brace yourself for a Chocolate overload. The festival takes place in Parliament Street & the Shambles Market, a foodie’s heaven of stalls, tastings & demonstrations.

Be sure to visit the York Chocolate Story, there’s a long history of Chocolate making here in the City, it’s the original home of some of your old favourites: KitKat, Yorkie Bar, Chocolate Orange & Smarties, to name just a few.

Explore York Cocoa House on Sunday & treat yourself to the Afternoon Chocolatada, a full-on selection of sweet & savoury chocolate delights. Go on, spoil yourself!


York Races –  May & October

Known locally as Ascot of the North, York Racecourse is only 10 Minutes’ walk from Astor York Hostel. Summer racing at its finest, you can go all out in the County Stand & Champagne bars, wear your fancy hat & dress to impress! Astor suggests: please bet responsibly.

Alternatively, for those on a budget simply pack up a picnic & a couple of beers and head to the Knavesmire to watch the horses, up close & for free.


Balloon Fiesta – September 27th-29th

One of our favourite weekends in York, daily balloon launches fill the skies with a mass of colourful hot air balloons. There is a huge funfair taking place, food and drink stalls, a music stage with live music & performances day & night.

Each evening the balloons are tethered & illuminated for the night glow, a show not to be missed! This is followed by a spectacular fireworks & laser show. All for FREE.

Whether it’s Food, Sport, Music or Culture, take it from us, York has exactly what you’re looking for.  Need accommodation? Get 35% off your booking at Astor York! 

Featured image source: Jorvik Viking Festival