Sunday, 30 August 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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Beyond St IvesAbbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal 30 Aug 2015Art exhibitions
Portrait of Melvyn BraggAbbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal 30 Aug 2015Art exhibitions
Taking Flight: St Ives in the 1950sAbbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal 30 Aug 2015Art exhibitions
Baldwin, Britton And Rena: Traditions Of UseBlackwell, The Arts & Crafts House, Bowness-on-Windermere30 Aug 2015Art exhibitions
Evelyn De Morgan: Artist of PeaceBlackwell, The Arts & Crafts House, Bowness-on-Windermere30 Aug 2015Art exhibitions
Windermere WeekenderBlackwell, The Arts & Crafts House, Bowness-on-Windermere30 Aug 2015 , 10:30 - 17:00Children's and family events • Festival
"PEAT MATTERS: Art, Climate Science and the Weather"Brantwood, 30 Aug 2015Art exhibitions
Children's Activity Trail Around the GardensBrantwood, 30 Aug 2015Children's and family events
Glen Fender Meadows: photographs by John FordBrantwood, 30 Aug 2015Art exhibitions
Guided Garden WalksBrantwood, 30 Aug 2015 , 14:15Walks
Jeramiah Ferrari (Summer Sundays)Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal30 Aug 2015 , 13:00Children's and family events • Days out • Live music
The Great British Food FestivalDalemain Mansion & Historic Gardens, Penrith30 Aug 2015Days out • Festival • Food and drink
Heroes and Villains Summer TrailDove Cottage, Grasmere30 Aug 2015Children's and family events
Wordsworth, War & WaterlooDove Cottage, Grasmere30 Aug 2015Art exhibitions
Heroes and Villains Summer TrailDove Cottage and Wordsworth Museum, Grasmere30 Aug 2015 all day Children's and family events • Community events • Days out • Workshops
Grasmere Sports and ShowGrasmere Sports Field, Ambleside30 Aug 2015Country shows • Days out • Sport and Adventure
Kool 4 Kids This SummerK Village, Kendal30 Aug 2015 , 11:00 - 17:00Children's and family events
Wainwright: A Love Letter to the Lakeland FellsKeswick Museum and Art Gallery, Keswick30 Aug 2015Art exhibitions
Living History WeekMuncaster Castle, Muncaster30 Aug 2015Children's and family events
Sherlock's Last CaseOld Laundry Theatre, Windermere30 Aug 2015Theatre
Prom ArtProm Art, Grange over Sands30 Aug 2015Art exhibitions • Children's and family events • Craft events
100th Anniversary CelebrationsRavenglass & Eskdale Railway, Ravenglass30 Aug 2015Children's and family events • Community events • Days out
Make It! With Minecraft - Curated by Adam Clarke, the UKs Leading Minecraft Artist and EducatorRheged, Penrith30 Aug 2015 , 10:00 - 17:00Art exhibitions • Children's and family events
The Boxtrolls 3D (PG)Rheged, Penrith30 Aug 2015Children's and family events • Film
SolfestTarnside Farm, Aspatria30 Aug 2015Festival • Live music
Lake Artists Society Summer ExhibitionThe Hall, Grasmere30 Aug 2015Art exhibitions
Gig in the GardenThe Old Friends, Ulverston30 Aug 2015 , 13:00Live music
Abigail's PartyTheatre By The Lake, Keswick30 Aug 2015Theatre
East: Insieme (Together)Theatre By The Lake, Keswick30 Aug 2015 , 19:30Live music
EnlightenmentTheatre By The Lake, Keswick30 Aug 2015Theatre
Cumbria Live listings