The 2018 Yorkshire bucket list: The events not to miss in the next 12 months

Windrush: A Movement of People will be performed by Phoenix Dance in February.

With Hull having been awarded the UK City of Culture title for 2017, in the last 12 months it was hard to move for top theatre productions, art exhibitions and street performances. The curtain might have come down on Hull’s year in the spotlight, but there is still much to look forward to and to help you make the most of the next year, we have compiled the 2018 Yorkshire bucket list.

Arts: Record a 60-second soap box speech

Watch Yorkshire compete for the Specsavers County Championship from April.

As part of its new exhibition, Revolt and Revolutions, which celebrates the role art and music has played in the protest movement, Yorkshire Sculpture Park is asking visitors to record their own manifesto for how they would make the world a better place. If you are struggling for inspiration have a go on Ruth Ewan’s jukebox, one of the highlights of the exhibition, which only plays songs written about social issues. January 6 to April 15.

Food and drink: Dine out at The Ivy in the North

Back in the early 1990s The Ivy was the one London restaurant every celebrity worth their salt had to be photographed falling out of. Now its moving north and two of its brasseries opened in Harrogate and York towards the end of last year. A third will open in Leeds’s high end Victoria Quarter development and while the trio are not quite the carbon copy of the London one, the restaurant’s signature Shepherd’s Pie is exactly the same.

Arts: Watch comedy in the dark

The Magpie Cafe has just reopened.

The good people behind Yorkshire’s Deer Shed Festival are about to stage Comedy in the Dark, where stand-ups take on the challenge of performing in the pitch black. The line-up is just being firmed up, but the first event will be held in Robin Hood’s Bay’s Secret Seaview, a former Wesleyan Methodist Chapel which dates back to the 1700s. It’s the first time the format has been staged in Yorkshire and apparently laughing in the dark heightens the senses. January 27,

Arts: Embrace your inner Brontë

It’s another year, so that can only mean another Brontë anniversary. After the bicenentaries of Charlotte and Branwell comes the 200th anniversary of Emily’s birth. The Brontë Parsonage Museum has already drafted in actress, model and Wuthering Heights superfan Lily Cole as creative partner. Folk group The Unthanks, along with writer in residence Patience Agbabi and artist Kate Whiteford will all play a role in the year-long programme of events which begins with the Making Thunder Roar exhibition on February 1.

Outdoors: Scale the UK’s highest climbing wall

See brass bands competing in March. Picture: Lorne Campbell / Guzelian''Cornet player Sam Gibson rehearses in the band room of the world famous Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band. It is 40 years since the West Yorkshire band, made it to number two in the charts with `The Floral Dance'. The song was further popularised when Terry Wogan added his singing to the tune. 'PICTURE TAKEN ON MONDAY 20 MARCH 2017'WORDS BY GUZELIAN''A conductor who helped resurrect a popular 1911 song by Katie Moss and turned it into a chart hit will perform with former members of his brass band to celebrate 40 years since its success. ''Derek Broadbent, of Bradford, West Yorkshire, is responsible for the Brighouse & Rastrick Band's arrangement of The Floral Dance, which charted in at number two back in December 1977.''Mr Broadbent will be reuniting with his former players and current members of the band on Saturday, March 25, at Huddersfield Town Hall, to conduct a special concert to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the hit.

Yorkshire has many claims to fame, but one of the most recent on the list is the fact it is home to the UK’s highest outdoor climbing wall. Built on the side of an old grain silo in Brighouse, at 118ft, ROKTFACE is a little taller than the Angel of the North. The 21 different routes were designed and tested by Team GB climber Luke Murphy and there are also taster sessions for total novices. All you need is to be over five years old and have a head for heights.

Arts: Immerse yourself in dance

In 2017 Northern Ballet unveiled three world premieres. The Leeds-based company is back this year with a revival of Jane Eyre and The Three Musketeers, both of which would be worth a watch, but our must-see recommendation for 2018 goes to Phoenix Dance’s Windrush: Movement of the People. Inspired by the first generation of Caribbean immigrants who boarded the SS Empire Windrush, which brought 492 people from the Caribbean to the UK in 1948, the company recently unveiled a sneak preview of what they have planned and it is looking good. West Yorkshire Playhouse, February 7.

Event: Go on the Thomas Chippendale trail

This year will see a nationwide programme of events celebrating the 300th anniversary of one of Yorkshire’s most famous sons. Born in Otley in 1718, Thomas Chippendale went onto become one of the world’s most famous furniture makers. Mystery surrounds his rise to fame and no one quite knows how he went from here to swanky premises in London, but a new exhibition at Leeds City Museum hopes to at least shed some light on the man behind the myths. February 9 to June 6.

Event: Spend a night gazing at stars and galaxies

The North York Moors and the Yorkshire Dales are two of the darkest places in England and there will be a chance to celebrate their astronomical wonders in next month’s Dark Skies Festival. There are events for families, first-time stargazers and those wishing to expand their knowledge or astrophotography skills further. February 9 to 25. Music: Listen to a brass band

If there was a sound which best summed up Yorkshire, it would have to be a brass band. Over one weekend in March more than 50 of them will be competing at Huddersfield Town Hall for the honour of representing Yorkshire at the finals of the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain. With some of the finest Bands in Britain such as Black Dyke, Brighouse and Rastrick, Grimethorpe Colliery, Rothwell and many others all competing in the Championship Section, few contests are so fiercely competitive. March 3 to 4,

Sport: Book a date at the Arena for darts

Let’s first set aside that age old debate as to whether darts should be classified as a sport or a pastime. It doesn’t matter. What we do know is that it is one of the best – and most raucous – ways to spend an afternoon or evening. In March the world’s leading darts players will return to Leeds’ First Direct Arena for the third year running. Featuring the likes of World Champion Michael van Gerwen and Peter “Snakebite” Wright, grab a fancy dress costume , a pint of beer and prepare to witness a very British sport. March 8,

Outdoors: Swim an ice mile

Not one for the faint-hearted. An Ice Mile swim – a one mile swim in water under 5C – is perhaps one of the most difficult endurance challenges in the world of sport, but its one that is growing in popularity. In Yorkshire there are a growing number of Ice Milers who are helping others achieve their ambition at Harthill Reservoir in South Yorkshire.

Sport: Watch a county cricket match

With attendance numbers dwindling for the County Championship matches, most cricket clubs are facing uncertain times. However, in Yorkshire the game is almost a religion and if you want to help give it a future, then book some tickets for next season. Opening on April 13, the first game of 2018 will see the side take on Essex at Headingley, followed by Nottingham a week later.

Food and drink: Have a night at a microbrewery

The rise in the number of micro-breweries which have set up home in Yorkshire has been impossible to miss. Now as well as brewing up new ranges of cask ales some of them are also opening their doors to the public. BrewYork is one of the newest – and the best. Tucked away in Walmgate within the historic city walls, there are seven cask beers on rotation as well as nine keg beers and three ciders.

Outdoors: Walk the Three Peaks

The Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge takes in the peaks of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough, usually in that order. While the route itself might only be 24 miles long it ascends more than 5,200ft in total, so you will need a reasonable level of fitness as the aim is to complete it under 12 hours. Organised events begin April 14.

Outdoors: Try going underground

Yorkshire boasts some of the best cave networks in the country and to see what lies beneath the rolling hills make a date in your diary for the Overground Underground Festival. Based in and around Ingleborough, the event is the perfect introduction
to what lies beneath the rolling hills, with expert climbers on hand to help you explore deeper into the
caves below. May 1 to September 1.

Music: Watch a gig at Hebden Bridge Trade Club

The 90-year-old club began life as a union hall for local weavers working in the town’s once-thriving cotton industry. It regularly makes it on to the list of the country’s best small venues and with good reason. Not only are the acoustics pretty impressive, but there is also something about the atmosphere of the place which has attracted the likes of everyone from Edwyn Collins to Martha Wainwright and Paul Weller.

Food and drink: Eat fish and chips

It was an eventful 12 months for one of Yorkshire’s most famous restaurants. In May, Whitby’s Magpie Cafe caught fire twice in 24 hours leaving the owners of the building, believed to date back to 1750, with no option but to shut their doors for a while. With significant damage to repair, the fish and chip restaurant was closed throughout the summer, but it reopened towards the end of last year and while it’s hard to believe, it might just be even better than it was before.

Arts: Watch Shakespeare at the Rose Theatre

Ambitious plans were recently unveiled to transform part of the car park at York’s Clifford’s Tower into a Shakespearean village, complete with an Elizabethan-style theatre modelled on the one that preceded the Globe. The Rose Theatre is due to open its doors in June and tickets are already on sale for the four productions – Romeo and Juliet, Richard III, Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The four will be performed over the summer by two different companies of actors. June 25 to September 2.

Event: Head to the Great Yorkshire Show

It’S long been a highlight of Yorkshire’s rural calendar, but if you have never been, this is the year to right the wrong. The Great Yorkshire Show will notch up its 160th event in 2018 and it promises to be spectacular. For three days a small town effectively springs up on the Harrogate showground site, attracting more than 130,000 visitors and 8,000 an animals. There will be the usual livestock classes, sheep shearing demonstrations and cookery events, but watch this space for some special anniversary activities. July 10 to 12.

Books: Take a peak inside Leeds Library

between the Co-operative Bank and Paperchase in Leeds city centre is a doorway. It leads to the country’s old surviving subscription library. Essentially a private members club, only with books rather than cigars and cognac, Leeds Library celebrates its 250th anniversary this year and with a full programme of events due to be unveiled soon, it will mark the milestone by opening up its impressive collections so that book lovers can get a glimpse of its hidden treasures.

Comedy: Bag tickets for The League of Gentlemen

They met while studying at the now defunct Bretton Hall college, near Wakefield and went onto to be one of the country’s most successful – and surreal – comic partnerships. Reece Shearsmith, Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton, Jeremy Dyson reunited as the League of Gentlemen on TV and in 2018 will return to the stage for their first UK tour in more than 12 years with their brand new live show. Stopping off at the First Direct Arena in Leeds, the quartet will bring their dark and unhinged fictional village of Royston Vasey to life. September 15,

Arts: Get in touch with our wealth of sculpture

in 2016, The Hepworth Wakefield launched the first major art prize for sculpture. Helen Marten, who also took that year’s Turner Prize, was a memorable winner, not least for her acceptance speech in which she promised to share the £30,000 cheque with her fellow nominees. The biennial prize returns this year, with five artists being shortlisted in the autumn. If it’s as good as two years ago, the exhibition of their work is a must and the winner will be announced in the November.

Outdoors: Run the Yorkshire Marathon

As senses of achievement go, few can rival completing a marathon. While London may be the most high profile event, Yorkshire’s own 26-miler has the added advantage that it’s a little flatter and most of your training will be through the summer months. Starting in York and heading out to Stamford Bridge before looping back into the city, the route is picturesque, the crowds are always supportive and with 10 months to go, the training is feasible. October 14,

Arts: Spend the weekend at Aesthetica Short Film Fest

There are a number of film festivals in Yorkshire, from Sheffield’s DocFest to the Leeds International Film Festival. One of our favourites though is this one in York. Taking over various venues in the city centre, the short films (most last between 10 and 20 minutes) are screened in genres, from thriller to comedy, drama and experimental. There is also a strand for little ones, along with various masterclasses for those with aspiration to be behind the camera. November 7 to 11.

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