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Saturday, 20 December 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
Grizedale Arts at Lakeland ArtsAbbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal 20 Dec 2014 , 10:30 - 17:00Art exhibitions
Carols Around The TreeAllan Bank, Grasmere20 Dec 2014 , 14:00Children's and family events • Days out
Christmas Party With Live MusicAskham Hall Gardens and Cafe, Penrith20 Dec 2014 , 18:30Live music • Others
Glasgow Style: Arts & Crafts 1890-1930Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House, Bowness-on-Windermere20 Dec 2014 , 10:30 - 17:00Art exhibitions
Printfest Winter Edition 2014Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal20 Dec 2014Art exhibitions
The Albion Christmas BandBrewery Arts Centre, Kendal20 Dec 2014 , 19:30Live music
Thumbelina's Great Adventure - The Brewery Christmas ShowBrewery Arts Centre, Kendal20 Dec 2014Children's and family events • Theatre
Lines of AscentHeaton Cooper Studio, Ambleside20 Dec 2014Art exhibitions
Santa Special WeekendsLakeside & Haverthwaite Railway, Haverthwaite20 Dec 2014Children's and family events • Days out
Christmas Special Organised by the MUFF WIGSLive Lounge 41, Workington20 Dec 2014 all day Live music
SMALL and beautifully affordableMill Yard Studios, Kendal20 Dec 2014 , 11:00 - 16:00Art exhibitions
Penrith Winter FestivalPenrith, Penrith20 Dec 2014Days out
Penrith Winter Festival: Festive Family Fun, with Churches Together and community groups.Penrith, Penrith20 Dec 2014Children's and family events • Days out • Festival
Santa ExpressRavenglass & Eskdale Railway, Ravenglass20 Dec 2014Children's and family events
CHRISTMAS IN MASQUERADERheged, Penrith20 Dec 2014 , 19:00Dance • Food and drink
D Day Normandy 1944 3D Imax Style MovieRheged, Penrith20 Dec 2014Film
Frozen 3D and Frozen SingalongRheged, Penrith20 Dec 2014Children's and family events • Film
KENDAL MOUNTAIN FESTIVAL ADVENTURE AND TRAVEL FILMSRheged, Penrith20 Dec 2014Festival • Film • Sport and Adventure
LAKE ARTISTS SOCIETY WINTER EXHIBITIONRheged, Penrith20 Dec 2014 , 10:30 - 16:30Art exhibitions • Sales and Car Boot
LUNCH WITH SANTARheged, Penrith20 Dec 2014 , 12:00Children's and family events • Film • Food and drink
PETER SIDWELL COOKERY SCHOOLRheged, Penrith20 Dec 2014 , 10:00 - 16:30Food and drink
SANTA'S COTTAGERheged, Penrith20 Dec 2014Children's and family events
A Present for SantaTheatre By The Lake, Keswick20 Dec 2014Christmas • Children's and family events • Theatre
Peter PanTheatre By The Lake, Keswick20 Dec 2014Theatre
Puss in BootsUp-front, Penrith20 Dec 2014Children's and family events • Theatre
Santa Special Cruise on WindermereWindermere Lake Cruises, Bowness-on-Windermere20 Dec 2014Children's and family events
Glasgow Style: Arts & Crafts 1890-1930Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House, Bowness-on-Windermere21 Dec 2014 , 10:30 - 17:00Art exhibitions
Printfest Winter Edition 2014Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal21 Dec 2014Art exhibitions
Thumbelina's Great Adventure - The Brewery Christmas ShowBrewery Arts Centre, Kendal21 Dec 2014Children's and family events • Theatre
Lines of AscentHeaton Cooper Studio, Ambleside21 Dec 2014Art exhibitions
Cumbria Live listings