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Top Days out for Year of the Coast 2023!

From roaring air shows to intimate art trails, beach yoga to beer fayres, England’s Coast blazes with action year-round. Here we pick some of lesser-known events alongside the bigger names and new launches to celebrate a coast for all seasons in 2023.

Explore somewhere new every month of 2023

From chilly New Year dips to new art trails and soul weekends, make the Year of the Coast the time to make new friends and celebrate your passion. 

Scarborough: New Year’s Day Dip – January 
Immerse yourself in the New Year with a bracing dip to tingle all the senses. New Year’s dips take place all around the coast but on the Yorkshire Coast at Scarborough it’s attended by thousands witnessing hundreds of swimmers, often in fancy dress, raising funds for charity. Prizes are awarded for best team, individual and children under 11 in fancy dress. So, what’s stopping you?  

Charity Pancake Olympics Littlehampton – February 
Teams of Pancake Olympians battle it out for the gold medal and £100 for their chosen charity at the charming resort of Littlehampton in West Sussex. Teams of adults and children take part in a series of Olympic inspired events including pancake curling and traditional pancake flipping! 

New exhibition at Turner Contemporary Margate - March 
The marvellously quirky seaside resort of Margate offers a new art exhibition at the Turner Contemporary’s Sunley Gallery. Vast paintings and three-dimensional cut-outs by local artists Sophie von Hellermann and Anne Ryan will be displayed inspired by the town’s ‘energy, people, seascapes and light’ evolving and changing throughout the exhibition. 

Get lost in Deep Time - April 
Cumbria’s wonderfully rugged coastline is the setting for a new public art installation Deep Time. Six permanent artworks by international artists will shine a spotlight on this relatively lesser-known coastal stretch from Millom in the south to Whitehaven in the north. Why not strike out along this coastline and put a spring in your step? 

Christchurch Food Festival – May 
With its 11th century Priory as a backdrop, this delightful Dorset town bursts with bountiful stalls of cheeses, artisan breads, ciders and lashings of good cheer. Enjoy chef demos, tastings, music and excellent local produce. 

Northern Soul Weekender 2023 - June
If you’re a fan of soul and Mowtown, book your place at the Northern Soul Weekender in Bridlington, East Yorkshire. Now in its 16th year, it’s one of the biggest soul events in the region with more than 60 DJs spinning rare and classic 45s. 

 Top Days out for Year of the Coast 2023!  Top Days out for Year of the Coast 2023!
 Top Days out for Year of the Coast 2023!

Plan a trip off season – hot chocolate by the beach hut? Nothing beats it!

Family summer fun, fireworks across the bay and festivals galore right up to Christmas itself, nowhere guarantees more fun than a get-together on the coast 

Dartmouth Shakespeare Week – July 
Visit Dartmouth, Devon, for Shakespeare Week,  beautifully located in historic Dartmouth Castle. The Inn Theatre Company hosts a number of open-air Shakespearean performances. Where better to spend a summer evening enlivened by the Bard’s interwoven stories and characters.  

British Fireworks Championships – August 
Six of the top pyrotechnic companies in the UK compete to be crowned British Firework Champion at this dazzling display above Plymouth’s stunning waterfront, providing a spectacular natural amphitheatre for the show at the height of summer. Perfect for all the family and a must for firework fans. 

Whitby Fish & Ships – September
Known for its impressive fishing heritage (and excellent fish and chips) this Yorkshire coast festival celebrates its maritime history with live cookery demos on Endeavour Wharf and seafood aplenty! Whitby Sea Festival provides plenty of entertainment with sea balladeers, shantymen, local bands and concerts. 

 Top Days out for Year of the Coast 2023!
 Top Days out for Year of the Coast 2023!  Top Days out for Year of the Coast 2023!

Moving into the winter season there are still events happening, this is a great time to explore as it's a little quieter on the coast, and you can get cosy in the pub afterwards!

Dark Sky Gazing in the North York Moors - October
The North York Moors National Park are breath-taking anytime but at night the huge sky panorama is a revelation. Thanks to low pollution levels, this is one of the best places to star-gaze, you can spot up to 2,000 at any one time. Head here for half term and get the kids and the binoculars out! 

Christmas Tree Wonderland - November
Bournemouth’s Lower Gardens in November and December are transformed into a dazzling 60-foot trail of glittering trees leading down to the seafront. Let the kids enjoy the outdoor ice rink and meet friends at the Alpine Bar. 

The Alnwick Garden Christmas Market - December
One of the starriest Christmas markets by the coast is in lovely Alnwick Garden, which is decked out with handmade artisan gifts and festive nibbles. There’s live carolling and an enchanting lantern parade tour through the gardens before it halts in front of the Grand Cascade. Just magical!