On this month: Cars, guitars & bobbies on the beat

Rev up your vintage engines

This weekend sees one of Otley’s biggest events of the autumn season, the Otley Vintage Transport Extravaganza.

Taking place this Sunday (September 9) from 10am-4pm on Knotford Nook, Pool Road, the festival will feature a host of classic cars, motorcycles and steam engines, as well as farm, military and commercial vehicles.

You don’t have to be a petrolhead to join in the fun either. Other attractions at the festival, held on a pretty site by the River Wharfe, include fairground organs, brass bands, terrier racing, a Punch & Judy show and swooping displays by birds of prey. For those feeling a little peckish, there’s always the chance to tuck into some top local produce at the various food stalls around the site.

Otley Vintage Transport Extravaganza, Knotford Nook, Pool Road, Otley LS21 1EA. Sunday September 9, 10am-4pm, £4 adults/£3.50 concs/free to children under 14 with an adult. See here for more.

Otley Folk Festival lands a legend

When Bob Dylan describes someone as “the single most important figure in English folk-rock” it’s time to sit up and listen…. which is why having the Black Sheep Otley Folk Festival headlined by Ashley Hutchings is such a coup for this magnificent event held over the weekend of September 21-23.

Bass player Hutchings was instrumental in forming some of the greats of British folk-rock including Fairground Convention, Steeleye Span and The Albion Band. Despite now being in his 70s, he still regularly performs with The Rainbow Chasers and The Origins of Fairport Convention.

Hutchings will be appearing at the festival on Friday night (September 21), with other notable appearances over the weekend including the like of Granny’s Attic and Steve Tilston. Gigs are held at The Black Horse, All Saints Parish Church, the Methodist Hall, the Labour Rooms, Otley Courthouse and The Woolpack Music & Art Studios. Camping is available in fields just outside town.

Black Sheep Otley Folk Festival, Friday September 21-Sunday September 23, times vary, tickets from £21. The full programme of events can be seen here.

From the beat of drums to the bobbies’ beat

September sees the return of Heritage Open Days, where historically significant buildings throw open their doors to the public – and this year there’s the chance to get a very different look at an Otley gem.

Otley Courthouse‘s open day (Friday September 8, 10am-4pm, free entry) will not only give guided tours of the Victorian police house, cell block and magistrates’ court, but there will also be two ‘beat walks’ on offer, following the route used by police officers in the town from 1956 to 1968. The walks last an hour and are 1.5 miles long. There are two sessions at 11am and 2pm, with group sizes limited to 15. Call 01943 467466 to pre-book a space and ensure you don’t miss out.

Otley’s Grade-I listed All Saints Parish Church is also hosting three open days on Friday September 14 (10am-4.30pm), Saturday September 15 (10am-4.30pm) and Sunday September 16 (noon-4.30pm).

Visitors will be able to learn about the life of Thomas Chippendale (baptised in the church 300 years ago this June), see Saxon crosses and take part in guided tours. See here for full details.

Other events this month include classical concerts, our regular farmers’ market, a poetry competition, films and talks.

And there’s more…

From our magnificent Chevin to Wharfemeadows Park, from boating on the river, to sampling a brew in one of our brilliant pubs, there’s always something to do in Otley.

See our Visit Otley events guide for more ideas