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Saturday, 18 April 2015

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 2015 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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Face Value: Portraiture from the Arts Council CollectionAbbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal 18 Apr 2015Art exhibitions
Gallery TalksAbbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal 18 Apr 2015 , 14:00Talks and Lectures
The Aegean Suite by Barbara HepworthAbbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal 18 Apr 2015Art exhibitions
WG CollingwoodAbbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal 18 Apr 2015Art exhibitions
CNC for Furniture MakingBEC Fab Lab, Cockermouth18 Apr 2015 , 09:00 - 17:00Craft events • Workshops
ONE-TO-ONE: NEW WORK BY MARTIN GREENLANDBrantwood, 18 Apr 2015Art exhibitions
PENELOPE RETOLDBrewery Arts Centre, Kendal18 Apr 2015 , 20:00Theatre
Flookburgh Brass, Voce and FriendsCoronation Hall, Ulverston18 Apr 2015Live music
Ulverston Society of Artists Spring Art ExpoCoronation Hall, Ulverston18 Apr 2015Art exhibitions
Lakes IgniteCumbria, Cumbria18 Apr 2015Art exhibitions • Days out
An introduction to the "Wordsworth, War and Waterloo" exhibitionDove Cottage, Grasmere18 Apr 2015 , 16:00 - 17:30Art exhibitions • Talks and Lectures
Wordsworth, War & WaterlooDove Cottage, Grasmere18 Apr 2015Art exhibitions
Steve Ignorant + Slice of LifeElliots , Workington18 Apr 2015 , 18:00 - 22:00Live music • Talks and Lectures
With Cruel Times In BetweenGosforth Public Hall, Gosforth18 Apr 2015 , 19:30Theatre
Mama MiaJohn Peel Theatre, Wigton18 Apr 2015 , 19:30 - 21:30Film
Kendal Easter Activities for kidsKendal Leisure Centre, Kendal18 Apr 2015Children's and family events • Sport and Adventure
The Grandest Views: Models of Lakeland from Victorian Times to the Present DayKeswick Museum and Art Gallery, Keswick18 Apr 2015Art exhibitions
Twentieth Century FashionMuseum of Lakeland Life and Industry, Kendal18 Apr 2015Art exhibitions
Top Midlands band, Slowburner, come to MaryportNetherhall Rugby Club, Maryport18 Apr 2015 , 21:00 - 23:45Live music
Great Langdale Road Races St Georges 10K RunNew Dungeon Ghyll Hotel, Ambleside18 Apr 2015 , 11:00 - 14:00Community events • Fitness • Sport and Adventure • Walks
Blithe Spirit at Penrith PlayersPenrith Playhouse, Penrith18 Apr 2015 , 19:30Theatre
Herdwick: A Portrait of LakelandRheged, Penrith18 Apr 2015 , 10:30 - 16:30Art exhibitions
Herdwick: A Portrait of Lakeland - A Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) LectureRheged, Penrith18 Apr 2015 , 17:00 - 21:00Art exhibitions • Talks and Lectures
Cumbrian AlchemyThe Beacon, Whitehaven18 Apr 2015Art exhibitions
Alan MillerThe Filling Station Cafe Bar, Keswick18 Apr 2015 , 20:30 - 23:00Live music
Dominic Kirwan & Mary Duff - Together in ConcertThe Wave Centre, Maryport18 Apr 2015 , 19:30Live music
TwoTorpenhow Village Hall, 18 Apr 2015 , 19:30Theatre
La bycicleta cafe, exhibition by D C HillWilf's Cafe, Kendal18 Apr 2015Art exhibitions
ONE-TO-ONE: NEW WORK BY MARTIN GREENLANDBrantwood, 19 Apr 2015Art exhibitions
Lakes IgniteCumbria, Cumbria19 Apr 2015Art exhibitions • Days out
Cumbria Live listings