Culture & heritage in Yorkshire & Humber

You couldn’t ask for more to see and do than in Yorkshire & Humber! Let us take you on a whistle-stop tour...


You’ll discover here a region steeped in its Roman, Viking and Norman pasts—head for York for example, for a step back in time.

You can also view fascinating films, background information and images showcasing Yorkshire's rich heritage on the Yorkshire Film Archive (YFA) website. YFA is supported by Yorkshire Forward and Screen Yorkshire (which is also part funded by Yorkshire Forward).


Yorkshire and Humber’s stadiums, arenas and open-air parks attract some of the world’s biggest and most exciting events, with its festivals encompassing the digital arts, film, antiquarian books, jazz, comedy and music. The Bradford Mela is the most important Asian cultural festival outside Asia, and each year the Leeds Festival attracts 70,000 contemporary music fans, with a further 30,000 coming together for the O2 Wireless Festival at Harewood House. Over 100,000 people have been known to get together for open-air concert in Leeds’ Roundhay Park.

Theatre, opera and dance

We have one of the best theatre infrastructures outside London, with 6 major theatres and over 300 performance venues attracting world-class artistes to Yorkshire & Humber. Leeds’ West Yorkshire Playhouse now stages more productions than any other theatre outside London, and internationally ranked playwright Sir Alan Ayckbourn premieres all his plays at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough. Other nationally acclaimed companies include Opera North, Hull Truck Theatre Company and Phoenix Dance Theatre.


Yorkshire & Humber can boast 180 galleries and museums. These include Leeds City Art Gallery (arguably the best centre of 20th-century British art outside London, and home to the Henry Moore Institute). We also have the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, one of Europe’s leading open-air galleries, with contemporary art spread over 500 acres of beautiful parkland. Sheffield’s Millennium Galleries is an outstanding venue for the visual arts, craft and design, with frequent visiting collections from places like the Tate and Victoria & Albert Museum.


Leeds’ Royal Armouries is home to a major part of the national collection of arms and armour, and also hosts a constant stream of exhibitions, displays and interactive workshops featuring arts and crafts. We have Bradford’s award-winning National Media Museum; York’s National Railway Museum and Jorvik Viking Centre; and EUREKA! at Halifax, Britain’s first discovery centre for children. Hull’s award-winning The Deep is one of the most spectacular aquariums in the world. You’ll also find monuments and museums dedicated to the region’s most famous progeny—such as the Brontë sisters, abolitionist William Wilberforce, author and playwright Alan Bennett, artist David Hockney, and vet and author James Herriott.

Classical music

Harewood House hosts the Classic Proms and regular open-air events, and the world-renowned annual Leeds International Pianoforte Competition receives applicants from around 40 countries.

Come to the races

There are some very famous racecourses in our region—at Beverley, Catterick, Doncaster, Pontefract, Ripon, Thirsk, Wetherby and York. Each is fantastically charged with atmosphere during meets, and offers a great day out for all the family.