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How to Make the Most of July Clockwise from top left; Screen on the Green, Yorkshire Dales Food & Drink, Acomb High House, Yorkshire Sculpture Park
What's on
June 2023
Reading time 4 Minutes

From food festivals to a whole host of sporting fixtures and spectacular open-air cinema shows, this is what you'll want to do this July

Here's everything you need to see and do this July.
Screen on the Green Screen on the Green

On the big screen…

NE1’s hugely popular open-air cinema Screen on the Green returns for the summer on 3rd July taking up its usual residence in Old Eldon Square. Screen on the Green kicks off the activities with three weeks of international sporting action, with the Wimbledon tennis championships as well as 15 movies showing each week. A new addition for this year is Toddler Takeovers on Tuesdays at Screen on the Green. Starting on 25th July, the National Centre for Children’s Books Seven Stories will host a weekly interactive and immersive session featuring a toddler-friendly short film, accompanied by a Seven Stories story-teller reading the book as an accompaniment.

Celebrate the coast…

Kick off the month in style with the annual extravaganza that is South Tyneside Parade. Taking place Saturday, 1st July, the parade – part of This Is South Tyneside Festival – will make its way from the Town Hall to Bents Park on the seafront for an afternoon packed with entertainment. To celebrate the Year of the Coast, a number of floats will travel along the route, with community groups, schools and organisations all joining in the fun having created their own costumes and special routines for the day. The South Tyneside Festival concerts take place in Bents Park throughout July, with the The Vamps, Jason Donovan, Bjorn Again and Boyzlife all performing.

Best in show… 

Taking place over four days from 11th–14th July, the Great Yorkshire Show is back for its 164th show and there’s something for everyone. Celebrating agriculture, food, farming and the countryside, it’s returning with all our favourites including cookery demos in the Food Hall, national and regional livestock competitions, exciting show jumping and of course shopping. Living North will be there too so make sure to come and say hi, pick up a magazine and enter our great competition! Foodies in Yorkshire are well fed this month as the Yorkshire Dales Food & Drink festival takes place at Funkirk Farm in Skipton (21st–23rd July). With a line-up of celebrity chefs, live music, workshops and masterclasses, and more than 250 delicious street food and drink stalls we caught up with organiser Rachael Higgins to find out what we can expect from this year’s festival. Read all about it here.

Acomb High House

All the world’s a stage…

To celebrate the 400th Anniversary of the publication of the complete works of Shakespeare, Elysium Theatre Company is bringing Durham its very own Shakespeare Festival this July. From the 8th–30th, the company is performing a powerhouse season of two of Shakespeare’s most famous and popular plays, Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Performed with a company of 13 actors in the historic heart of Durham, with special one-off performances at Ushaw: Historic House, Chapels & Gardens and Bishop Auckland Town Hall, Elysium bring Shakespeare to the county with a bang. Living North’s Arts Editor Faye Dixon discovered the remarkable story of the stolen First Folio, and found out more about what to expect from the Shakespeare festival here.

Back and better than ever…

After a major redevelopment project, Hyde Park Picture House will be officially reopening its doors on Friday 30th June and you can be one of the first to watch a film there this July. The cinema’s opening film will be the new Wes Anderson feature Asteroid City on screen from 30th June–6th July. The cinema is also launching a variety of different branches of film, including the launch of documentaries on Tuesday 4th July, when they'll be screening Shabu with a special Q&A, while Brassed Off will launch reRUN, their historical cinema offering, on 30th July. They’ll also be running a series of open days in July, inviting the public to come and explore the building. We found out more about the cinema’s restoration and how they’re aiming to be the place to experience film in Leeds, and you can read all about it here.

Get out in the garden(s)…

Open Gardens are a great way to see some of the beautiful spaces around you, find inspiration for your own garden, and also give back to worthwhile causes. Some of the North East and Yorkshire’s most beautiful gardens will be on display this month including Adderstone House, Capheaton Hall, Acomb High House, Myton Grange and Saltmarshe Hall to name just a few. All money raised though admissions, tea and cake will be donated to nursing and health charities such as Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie and Hospice UK, so there’s never been a more worthwhile reason to go and have a look at these normally private spaces. To find out more about the gardens open near you, head to the National Open Garden scheme website.

Watch legends come to life… 

End the month on a high by being one of the first people to see Kynren - An Epic Tale of England as it returns to Bishop Auckland for 2023. The first of these spectacular performances takes place on Saturday 29th July and the 90-minute show is a truly unique experience not available anywhere else in the UK. Performed by a 1,000-strong cast and crew on a 7.5-acre outdoor stage, this multi-award-winning live action spectacular delights and dazzles, with its mix of hand-to-hand combat, daring stunts, incredible horsemanship, stunning pyrotechnics and amazing special effects. Kynren is an unforgettable experience, taking audiences on a thrilling adventure through 2,000 years of history. 

Bamburgh Castle

Support your sport…

There’s a whole host of activity going on in the sporting world this month, from Hull FC taking on Catalans Dragons in Rugby League on 1st July, to the ninth Sheffield Grand Prix on 19th July, and you can watch Yorkshire go up against Durham on 25th July for the cricket County Championship. There’s also a whole host of horse racing across the region throughout July but a big one for the sporting calendar this month is of course Ladies Day at Newcastle Racecourse. Taking place on 29th July, Ladies Day is a highlight of the North East social calendar, renowned for the fashion as much as the racing. This year’s raceday will be even better, as the races will be followed by a performance by Boyzone legend Ronan Keating and tickets are still available.

Find the truth…

Erwin Wurm is one of Austria’s most prominent artists and his brand new exhibition at Yorkshire Sculpture Park is well worth a visit this month. Erwin Wurm: Trap of the Truth is a mountain of an exhibition featuring more than 100 works including 55 sculptures indoors, 19 sculptures in the YSP landscape, paintings, photographs, videos and drawings created over Erwin Wurm’s 30-year career. Many of these works will be shown for the first time so you can be one of the first to witness them up close. Plus, the exhibition will be accompanied by a programme of engagement activities, centred around play, exploration of materials and experimentation, making it a great day out for all the family.

Live like a Viking…

This July Bamburgh Castle has a whole host of ways for kids (and adults!) to try living like a Viking. Follow in the footsteps of Uhtred the Bold, who defended his home of ‘Bebbanburg’ and managed to climb the ladder of power to the point where he was allies with both Vikings and the King of England. During the tour, compare the fantasy of the famous Last Kingdom Netflix series to the real history. If you fancy yourself as a fighter, head to the school of warriors where kids will be asked to name their sword, think of their own battle cry and have their photo taken with Ragnar, as well as learn sword technique. They will learn how to follow Ragnar’s instructions, and learn how things can go wrong when you don’t listen!

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