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Friday, 31 October 2014

What's on in the Lake District?

We have a list of what's on in the Lake District that includes festivals, theatre, family fun, days out ideas and adventure around Cumbria's' mountains and lakes.

If you're looking for things to do in the Lake District National Park you might head to towns like Keswick, Bowness, Windermere and Cockermouth or seek out the charm and beauty of traditional Lakeland settings. But whether it's the honeypot towns of the Lake District or its quieter villages and countryside you're sure never to be far away from interesting events and family activities.

It’s not surprising that many of the biggest events are held over the summer months. If you fancy watching some Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling, or seeing traditional breeds of sheep and cattle – and much more besides – then there are plenty of fairs and shows on, and not only in or near the larger towns. Check out those held at Loweswater, Ullswater (Patterdale), Coniston, Hesket Newmarket and the Lakeland Country Fair at Torver.

Other fairs and shows include sheepdog trials, such as the Rydal Sheepdog trials and Hounds Show (August). And at the end of August one of the oldest shows in the calendar takes place: the Grasmere Sports and Show. Now in its 162nd year, this show includes fell races, mountain bike races and activities for children.

Newer events which have proved immensely popular include the Lakeland Trails series of trail runs, which have expanded to include a variety of distances. These are held at varying locations throughout the Lake District, such as Staveley and Coniston. Similarly the Lakeland 50 and 100 ultramarathons, which take place at the end of July, are now at capacity, and if you want to enter you need to do so within days of applications opening. All have a great festive feel, with children's events and activities running along side those for adults. On-road the annual Brathay Windermere marathon, one of the most scenic road races in Britain, is always popular and has associated events for all the family: and there are plenty of triathlons to choose from if you want to swim and cycle as well as running.

Similarly with an increase in the popularity of open water swimming, the Great North Swim which takes place in Windermere each year, has increased to include races of different lengths and for different abilities over an entire weekend. Wild swimming weekends and courses are also run elsewhere around the Lake District as are, not surprisingly, all sorts of outdoor and adventure-based activities.

But perhaps one of the most intriguing competitions is the World’s Biggest Liar competition which takes place in the Bridge Inn at Santon, Wasdale each November and attracts visitors and participants from around the globe. The winner is the person who can tell the most convincing lie within an allocated time of 5 minutes. Other superlatives surround the pub: England’s highest mountain (Scafell Pike), deepest lake (Wastwater) and smallest church (St. Olaf’s).

If all this activity is making you feel like putting your feet up, then opportunities to do so in the Lake District also abound. Try Ireby (folk) Music Festival, in the less well-known but beautiful area of the Caldbeck Fells ‘back of Skiddaw’. Hawkshead holds a ‘party in the park’ each summer where you can go to listen to live music. And in early August the Lake District Summer Music Festival attracts classical musicians from all over the globe, to perform at various village and church halls in these most beautiful of surroundings. Zeffirellis in Ambleside complements the programme with live streaming of opera and ballet from some of the world’s most prestigious theatres.

With so much going on in the Lake District, the only problem is choosing when to visit and which event to go to. It could take a lifetime to try them all out: why go anywhere else?!
 

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Events listings

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EVENTVENUEDATE/TIMECATEGORY
Crawl At The HallAbbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal 31 Oct 2014 , 10:30 - 11:30Children's and family events
Grizedale Arts at Lakeland ArtsAbbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal 31 Oct 2014 , 10:30 - 17:00Art exhibitions
The Great War in ComicsAbbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal 31 Oct 2014 , 10:30 - 17:00Art exhibitions
The Nuisance of Landscape: Grizedale - The SequelAbbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal 31 Oct 2014 , 10:30 - 16:00Art exhibitions
Little Monster CraftsAllan Bank, Grasmere31 Oct 2014Children's and family events
Woodland Pumpkin TrailAllan Bank, Grasmere31 Oct 2014Children's and family events
Halloween in the Fab LabBEC Fab Lab, Cockermouth31 Oct 2014 , 09:00 - 17:00Children's and family events
After Ford 151 - Blackwell's Dark PlaceBlackwell, The Arts & Crafts House, Bowness-on-Windermere31 Oct 2014 , 10:30 - 16:00Art exhibitions
Glasgow Style: Arts & Crafts 1890-1930Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House, Bowness-on-Windermere31 Oct 2014 , 10:30 - 17:00Art exhibitions
Kids' Halloween Party NightsBrockhole, Windermere31 Oct 2014 , 15:00 - 18:00Children's and family events
Dove Cottage PoetsDove Cottage, Grasmere31 Oct 2014 , 14:30 - 16:30Talks and Lectures
Onside Sports CoachingDowdales School, Dalton-in-Furness31 Oct 2014 , 10:00 - 15:00Sport and Adventure
Family Arts Festival: The Big DrawFlorence Arts Centre, Egremont31 Oct 2014Children's and family events
In the Dark IlluminationG1Art Gallery, Windermere31 Oct 2014Art exhibitions
Halloween Party - Macmillan CancerGreyhound Inn, Wigton31 Oct 2014 , 20:00Live music
Family Arts Festival: family halloween activity dayHaig Pit, Whitehaven31 Oct 2014Children's and family events
Bread of HeronHeron Corn Mill, Milnthorpe31 Oct 2014 , 13:30Food and drink
Halloween at Holker HallHolker Hall, Cark-in-Cartmel31 Oct 2014Children's and family events
Hoops Halloween Basketball CampHoops Basketball Centre, Barrow-in-Furness31 Oct 2014 , 10:00 - 12:30Sport and Adventure
Ambleside Players Production: Building BridgesKelsick Centre, Ambleside31 Oct 2014 , 20:00Theatre
Kendal Farmers MarketKendal Market Place, Kendal31 Oct 2014 , 9:30 - 15:30Food and drink
Family Film: Maleficent (PG)Kirkgate Centre, Cockermouth31 Oct 2014 , 14:00Children's and family events • Film
Halloween week at Lakeland Motor MuseumLakeland Motor Museum, Ulverston31 Oct 2014 , 09:30 - 17:30Children's and family events
Family Halloween PartyLaurel and Hardy museum , Ulverston 31 Oct 2014 , 17:00 - 20:00Children's and family events
Halloween Special Open Mic NightMillom Palladium, Millom31 Oct 2014 , 19:30 - 00:00Comedy • Community events • Live music • Pubs events • Theatre
Muncaster Castle - Halloween WeekMuncaster Castle, Muncaster31 Oct 2014Children's and family events • Days out
First World War Centenary: From Fells to FlandersMuseum of Lakeland Life and Industry, Kendal31 Oct 2014Art exhibitions
Postman Pat: From Kendal to HollywoodMuseum of Lakeland Life and Industry, Kendal31 Oct 2014 , 10:30 - 17:00Art exhibitions
Derwen Water Family Adventure TrailNational Trust Lakeside Shop, Keswick31 Oct 2014 , 11:30 - 15:30Children's and family events • Walks
Ghost TrainRavenglass & Eskdale Railway, Ravenglass31 Oct 2014 , 18:00Children's and family events
Cumbria Live listings