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Saturday, 25 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?!


Events listings

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Grizedale Arts at Lakeland ArtsAbbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal 25 Oct 2014 , 10:30 - 17:00Art exhibitions
The Great War in ComicsAbbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal 25 Oct 2014 , 10:30 - 17:00Art exhibitions
The Nuisance of Landscape: Grizedale - The SequelAbbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal 25 Oct 2014 , 10:30 - 16:00Art exhibitions
Little Monster CraftsAllan Bank, Grasmere25 Oct 2014Children's and family events
Woodland Pumpkin TrailAllan Bank, Grasmere25 Oct 2014Children's and family events
After Ford 151 - Blackwell's Dark PlaceBlackwell, The Arts & Crafts House, Bowness-on-Windermere25 Oct 2014 , 10:30 - 16:00Art exhibitions
Glasgow Style: Arts & Crafts 1890-1930Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House, Bowness-on-Windermere25 Oct 2014 , 10:30 - 17:00Art exhibitions
Eddi Reader plays Brewery Arts Centre Kendal 25OctBrewery Arts Centre, Kendal25 Oct 2014 , 19:30 - 22:00Live music
Family Arts Festival: The Universe Within - The Art of Doug BraithwaiteBrewery Arts Centre, Kendal25 Oct 2014Children's and family events
In the Dark IlluminationG1Art Gallery, Windermere25 Oct 2014Art exhibitions
LAST TANGO IN GRIMLEY & LAST PANTO IN GRIMLEYKirkgate Centre, Cockermouth25 Oct 2014Theatre
Halloween week at Lakeland Motor MuseumLakeland Motor Museum, Ulverston25 Oct 2014 , 09:30 - 17:30Children's and family events
Mervyn StutterLoweswater Village Hall, Cockermouth25 Oct 2014 , 19:30Comedy
First World War Centenary: From Fells to FlandersMuseum of Lakeland Life and Industry, Kendal25 Oct 2014Art exhibitions
Postman Pat: From Kendal to HollywoodMuseum of Lakeland Life and Industry, Kendal25 Oct 2014 , 10:30 - 17:00Art exhibitions
Derwen Water Family Adventure TrailNational Trust Lakeside Shop, Keswick25 Oct 2014 , 11:30 - 15:30Children's and family events • Walks
HIGHLIGHTS: Macrobert Arts Centre - Education RonnieOrton Market Hall, Orton25 Oct 2014 , 19:30Theatre
C-ART AT RHEGED - POCKET EXHIBITION AND SCULPTURE TRAILRheged, Penrith25 Oct 2014 , 10:30 - 16:30Art exhibitions • Days out
D Day Normandy 1944 3D Imax Style MovieRheged, Penrith25 Oct 2014Film
Julia Donaldson Triple Bill - Room on the Broom, The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's ChildRheged, Penrith25 Oct 2014Film
Peter Sidwell Cookery School - Simply Good Autumn party dishesRheged, Penrith25 Oct 2014 , 10:00 - 16:30Food and drink
THE ART OF REMEMBERINGRheged, Penrith25 Oct 2014 , 10:30 - 16:30Art exhibitions
THE WAINWRIGHT MEMORIAL LECTURE WITH ALISON O'NEILLRheged, Penrith25 Oct 2014 , 16:00Talks and Lectures • Walks
ShocktoberSizergh Castle , Kendal25 Oct 2014 , 11:00 - 16:00Children's and family events
The English GameThe Old Laundry Theatre, Windermere25 Oct 2014Theatre
Telling TalesThe Rum Story, Whitehaven25 Oct 2014 , 11:00 - 16:00Children's and family events • Theatre
Old TimesTheatre By The Lake, Keswick25 Oct 2014Theatre
The Comedy of ErrorsTheatre By The Lake, Keswick25 Oct 2014Theatre
The Peter Rabbit AdventureWray Castle, Ambleside25 Oct 2014Children's and family events • Days out
Little Monster CraftsAllan Bank, Grasmere26 Oct 2014Children's and family events
Cumbria Live listings