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Tuesday, 31 March 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?!
 

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Events listings

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EVENTVENUEDATE/TIMECATEGORY
Face Value: Portraiture from the Arts Council CollectionAbbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal 31 Mar 2015Art exhibitions
The Aegean Suite by Barbara HepworthAbbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal 31 Mar 2015Art exhibitions
WG CollingwoodAbbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal 31 Mar 2015Art exhibitions
Containers of Light and DarknessBlackwell, The Arts & Crafts House, Bowness-on-Windermere31 Mar 2015Art exhibitions
Emilie TaylorBlackwell, The Arts & Crafts House, Bowness-on-Windermere31 Mar 2015Art exhibitions
ONE-TO-ONE: NEW WORK BY MARTIN GREENLANDBrantwood, 31 Mar 2015Art exhibitions
Ulverston Society of Artists Spring Art ExpoCoronation Hall, Ulverston31 Mar 2015Art exhibitions
Easter Egg HuntDove Cottage, Grasmere31 Mar 2015Children's and family events
Wordsworth, War & WaterlooDove Cottage, Grasmere31 Mar 2015Art exhibitions
Kendal Easter Activities for kidsKendal Leisure Centre, Kendal31 Mar 2015Children's and family events • Sport and Adventure
Easter Fun at Kendal MuseumKendal Museum , Kendal31 Mar 2015 , 10:30 - 17:00Art exhibitions • Children's and family events
The Grandest Views: Models of Lakeland from Victorian Times to the Present DayKeswick Museum and Art Gallery, Keswick31 Mar 2015Art exhibitions
Paddington (PG)Kirkgate Centre, Cockermouth31 Mar 2015 , 14:00Children's and family events • Film
Pinnies & Posh Frocks WorkshopKirkgate Centre, Cockermouth31 Mar 2015 , 10:00 - 15:00Craft events • Workshops
THE GIANT EASTER EGG HUNTLowther Castle and Gardens, Penrith31 Mar 2015Children's and family events • Days out
Twentieth Century FashionMuseum of Lakeland Life and Industry, Kendal31 Mar 2015Art exhibitions
Herdwick: A Portrait of LakelandRheged, Penrith31 Mar 2015 , 10:30 - 16:30Art exhibitions
Storytelling with Creation StationRheged, Penrith31 Mar 2015Children's and family events
Watch Easter Eggs HatchRheged, Penrith31 Mar 2015Children's and family events
Wildlife Photographer of the YearRheged, Penrith31 Mar 2015Art exhibitions
Cumbrian AlchemyThe Beacon, Whitehaven31 Mar 2015Art exhibitions
Easter: Open every dayThe Senhouse Roman Museum, Maryport31 Mar 2015Children's and family events
TwoTheatre By The Lake, Keswick31 Mar 2015Theatre
National Trust: Taste of TownendTownend, Windermere31 Mar 2015 , 13:30 - 16:00Food and drink
National Trust: Spooky stories by the fireWordsworth House and Garden, Cockermouth31 Mar 2015Talks and Lectures
Face Value: Portraiture from the Arts Council CollectionAbbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal 1 Apr 2015Art exhibitions
The Aegean Suite by Barbara HepworthAbbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal 1 Apr 2015Art exhibitions
WG CollingwoodAbbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal 1 Apr 2015Art exhibitions
National Trust: Wild WednesdaysAcorn Bank, Penrith1 Apr 2015 , 13:00 - 15:00Children's and family events
Containers of Light and DarknessBlackwell, The Arts & Crafts House, Bowness-on-Windermere1 Apr 2015Art exhibitions
Cumbria Live listings