The snow drops have bloomed and the daffodil bulbs have pushed through the frozen ground, ready for their brilliant display in the next few weeks. February in the Lake District sees the gap bridged between winter and spring. Snow can still feature, especially on the higher fells, but all around there are signs of the warmer months that are ahead of us, with some lambs taking their first steps in the fields that surround the lakes.

February is the perfect time to book a romantic getaway in one of our cosy boltholes as Valentine’s Day falls in the middle of the month. Towards the end of the month, the school half term holidays sees many attractions putting on special child friendly events.

February at the Rheged Centre, Near Penrith

February 2019 at the Rheged Centre

February’s weather can be unpredictable but respite can be found in the Rheged Centre near Penrith. The indoor attraction is hosting numerous events this February. There are cinema screenings throughout the month, including current box office hits. On the 3rd February, there is a huge circus themed party in collaboration with Messy Cumbria, where you will find crafts, animals, children’s activity workshops and more. Best of all, it’s free! The centre’s restaurant will be serving a special sharing menu during Valentine’s weekend with booking advised.

From the 15th February and running until Easter, the exhibition space is hosting a special celebration of comic art in Comics: Explore and Create Comic Art from Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children’s Books. The exhibition showcases artwork that features some of the best known comic characters, including Dennis the Menace, Captain America, and Superman. Visitors will also get the opportunity to create their own comic. The exhibition costs £3.50 per person.

During half term week, there are a plethora of events to keep children amused. There are special theatrical performances of There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly and The Selfish Giant. In addition, there are activity sessions covering face painting, superhero cape making, mad science, animal encounters, and fairy wand making. Tickets for each event vary and booking is advisable - check out the official Rheged Centre site for further details.

February at the Sands Centre, Carlisle

February 2019 at the Sands Centre

Carlisle’s premier entertainment venue has a packed programme of events this February, with some well-known faces making an appearance. Performers taking to the Carlisle stage include Dara O Briain, Peter Andre, and Roy Chubby Brown. There is also a performance by the Chicago Blues Brothers, and Irish singer, Nathan Carter. Advanced booking is recommended for most events.

  • Date: Throughout February 2019
  • Time: Varies
  • Cost: Varies
  • Tickets / More Information: thesandscentre.co.uk

Atom: A Tale of Matter, The Beacon Museum, Whitehaven

February 2019 at the Beacon Museum

Throughout February and most of March 2019, the Beacon Museum in Whitehaven is hosting a collaborative exhibition with Prism Arts, Sellafield Ltd, the Whitehaven Archive & Study Centre, and the National Nuclear Laboratory.

The exhibition, A Tale of Matter, starts with the work of Cumbrian scientist, John Dalton, who developed atomic theory during the early nineteenth century, and then explores Cumbria’s relationship with the nuclear industry until the present day. The project has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and local school children have been involved in creating artwork and displays for the exhibition.

  • Date: Throughout February (Museum closed on Mondays)
  • Time: 10am to 4.30pm (11am to 4pm on Sundays)
  • Cost: Adults £6.50, Children £3.25
  • Tickets / More Information: thebeacon-whitehaven.co.uk

February Forest Fun at Whinlatter, Near Keswick

February 2019 at Whinlatter

The mountain forest of Whinlatter near Keswick will once again host a number of events this month. On the 16th February, the forest will officially open its brand new activity trail for children. Continuing the tradition of using characters created by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, the new trail is inspired by the dragon, Zog, and his quest to win a golden star. There’s an activity pack to accompany the trail that costs £3 and various challenges to complete along the way.

On the 17th February, the forest will be filled with runners and riders taking on the Go Tri Duathlon. There are three events to choose from: Novice (1.5km run, 5km bike & 1.5km run), Intermediate (4km run, 10km bike & 2.5km run), and Junior for ages 12-14 (1.5km run, 5km bike & 400m run). You will need a bike suitable for off road biking in the forest to take part and it costs £7 for the Junior event, £10 for the Novice event, and £15 for the Intermediate event.

During half term, the forest’s popular adventure club returns from Monday 18th to Wednesday 20th, February for children aged 7 to 12. The club costs £60 for all three days and there will be various activities available during the sessions, including den building, tree planting, and more. The club is led by qualified activity leaders and children need to bring a packed lunch. For children who are unable to attend the adventure club, the centre is hosting a drop in craft session on the 20th February and a family tree planting session on the 21st February.

  • Date: Various
  • Time: Varies
  • Cost: Entry to Whinlatter is free; Charges apply for some activities
  • Tickets / More Information: forestryengland.uk/whinlatter

February at the Theatre by the Lake, Keswick

February 2019 at the Theatre by the Lake near Keswick

Keswick’s lakeside theatre has a packed programme of events for this February. Highlights include Let Me Look At You, a celebration of the last 50 years of the LGBTQ+ movement, and The Gingerbread Man, a funny and heart-warming tale featuring puppetry and music that is suitable for children aged 3 and above. There’s comedy from The Noise Next Door, an improvisation troupe who regularly sell out at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Young scientists will love Brainiac Live, a breath-taking science show filled with pyrotechnics that is suitable for those aged six and above. There are several music concerts taking place this month, including the annual Keswick Young Musicians’ Concert, Luv Rocks, which sees three choirs combine for an evening of rock classics, and The Giddy Goat, a family friendly concert that is free for accompanied children. Plus much, much more.

Dates / Time / Cost: See Website for Details

Tickets / More Information: theatrebythelake.com

Creative Workshops at Armathwaite Hall, Bassenthwaite

February 2019 Creative Workshops at Armathwaite Hall

Armathwaite Hall sits on the shores of Lake Bassenthwaite, providing a truly inspiring backdrop that will undoubtedly inspire your creative talents. This month, the hotel is hosting several creative workshops in partnership with Cumbria Community Learning and Skills, all led by local experts. There is a two-day course beginning on the 1st February with a follow up session on the 15th February on watercolour painting.

This course will cover basic techniques such as how to break down an image into simple shapes, using the scenery around the hotel for inspiration. On the 3rd February, there is a mindfulness course that will focus on Qigong, a Chinese movement practice that promotes harmony. On the 10th February, the hotel is offering a creative writing workshop during which participants will be supported to create their own plots and characters. Lunch and refreshments are included in the price of the workshops.

  • Date: Various dates
  • Time: Varies
  • Cost: £91 per person for Creative Writing/Mindfulness; £182 per person for Water Colour Painting
  • Tickets / More Information: armathwaite-hall.com

Winter Skills Course, Helvellyn, Glenridding

February 2019 Winter Skills Course

Although February might be the month that spring starts to break through on the lower ground, on the fell tops winter is still largely in control, and there’s a good chance that there will still be snow and ice on the fell tops throughout the month. That’s why it’s important to be adequately prepared when heading out to the fell tops this month, and this is where the Lake District National Park authority can help.

The authority, along with the Fell Top Assessors, who provide daily weather updates from the top of Helvellyn during the winter months, are running a series of Winter Skills Courses. During this taster day, that will take you from Glenridding to the top of Helvellyn you will learn the basics of how to use an ice axe and crampons. The courses are open to anyone aged 18 and over with a good level of fitness. You must have the correct equipment on the day, a full list of which is available when booking online.

  • Date: Various dates in February, including every Saturday
  • Time: The day starts at 8.30am
  • Cost: £100
  • Tickets / More Information: lakedistrict.gov.uk

In the Still of the Night, Brockhole, Windermere

In the Still of the Night February 2019

This is a free exhibition that features the works of Ben Bush, a self-taught landscape photographer from the Lake District. Much of Ben’s work features the stunning landscapes of the Lake District, and Ben is particularly renowned for his astrophotography, with awe-inspiring images of the Lake District’s night sky. Ben has also spent some time photographing the magical appearance of the northern lights above the Isle of Skye.

The exhibition, taking place at the Gaddum Gallery at the Lake District Visitor Centre at Brockhole will feature some limited edition photographs and there will be a selection of prints and greetings cards available to buy in the centre’s shop.

  • Date: The exhibition opens on Saturday, 2nd February and continues until the end of March 2019
  • Time: 10am to 4pm
  • Cost: Free
  • Tickets / More Information: brockhole.co.uk

Beginners Modern Calligraphy – Half Day Course, Swallows & Amazons, Coniston Water

Beginners Calligraphy Course Feb 2019

Swallows & Amazons is a studio located within the historic former home of artist William G Collingwood, at Coniston Water. The studio hosts regular creative workshops that are designed to inspire your creativity. This February, the centre is hosting a half day course in calligraphy. This ancient art of beautiful handwriting is within your grasp as this course will cover all the basics and give you the tools you need to create your own stunning pieces.

Led by local calligrapher, Claire Gould, you will learn how to make flowing shapes before moving onto letters. Each course goer will be provided with a modern calligraphy set that can be taken home at the end of the course. A small pop-up shop will be in place, selling inks, worksheets, penholders and more. The fee also includes tea, coffee, and cakes. Places are limited so advanced booking is required.

  • Date: Wednesday, 6th February, 2019
  • Time: 10am to 1pm
  • Cost: £60
  • Tickets / More Information: eventbrite.co.uk

Harry Potter Night, Waterstones, Carlisle

Harry Potter Night at the Waterstones in Carlisle, February 2019

Muggles and magical folk alike are welcome to the Carlisle branch of Waterstones this February for a special Harry Potter themed evening. This annual event sees the store host a number of Harry Potter activities and games that are suitable for the entire family. This is a very popular event and tickets are sold on a first come first served basis and are only available in store.

Dear Zoo, Coronation Hall, Ulverston

Dear Zoo February 2019

Brought to life on stage for the first time, Dear Zoo is based on the much loved children’s book by Rod Campbell, and it tells the tale of a zoo’s effort to provide the perfect pet, with much hilarity along the way. The show is ideal for children aged 2-6 years old and features puppetry and audience interaction.

  • Date: Saturday, 9th & Sunday, 10th February, 2019
  • Time: Saturday 1.30pm & 3.30pm, Sunday 11am & 2pm
  • Cost: £14 per person; £50 per family of four
  • Tickets / More Information: corohall.co.uk/dear-zoo

One Day Mountain Bike Core Skills Course With Cyclewise, Whinlatter Forest

Cyclewise One Day Mountain Bike Course Feb 2019

Improve your mountain bike skills and get the confidence you need to take on the Lake District’s toughest mountain biking courses this February at Whinlatter Forest. Cyclewise, the forest’s bike hire shop, are running this one-day course in order to train riders on the core skills needed to tackle the most difficult terrain. Skills covered include bike set up, weight shifting, bike stabilisation, wheel lifts, and a thorough understanding of climbing, descending, and braking.

The course takes place on the coaching trail in the forest, which is separate from the real trails, giving you the space you need to develop your technique. This is a full day course and refreshments are not provided, so you will either need to bring a packed lunch or dine in the Whinlatter Café. Suitable for over 18s only. Booking essential.

  • Date: Saturday, 9th February, 2019
  • Time: 9am to 4.30pm
  • Cost: £90
  • Tickets / More Information: cyclewise.co.uk

Chinese New Year, Tullie House Museum & Carlisle City Centre

Chinese New Year at the Tullie House Museum Feb 2019

February is the start of the Chinese New Year and, on the 9th February, the city of Carlisle will be helping to bid adieu to Year of the Dog and say hello to the Year of the Pig. There will be various events taking place in the city centre and at the Tullie House Museum. There will be performances and workshops in dance, acrobatics, Chinese drumming, and various craft activities, plus a parade through the city centre to the museum, beginning at 3.30pm.

From 5pm, there will be a free evening of entertainment at the museum featuring the Jin Long Academy. Spaces for this free event are limited so you do need to book in advance. In addition, a  Chinese buffet will be served between 6pm and 7pm in the museum’s restaurant and again advanced booking is essential. If you would like to make something in advance of the event to join in, then on the 3rd February between 1pm and 4pm, visitors to the museum can create Chinese hand fans.

Snowdrop and Pancakes, Lowther Castle, Near Penrith

Snowdrop & Pancakes February 2019

During the school holidays, Lowther Castle usually hosts a trail around the garden with clues to follow and items to find. From mid February, including half term to the end of March, the trail is taking on a pancake theme in honour of Shrove Tuesday. During the trail, you will learn some lesser known facts about pancakes and there is a code to break. Young trail completers will be rewarded with a treat at the end. The trail is included with admission.

On the 28th February, there is a special garden tour with a particular focus on the delicate snowdrop. Led by head gardener, Martin Ogle, participants will be invited to tour the grounds looking for the flower before heading to the café for a question and answer session. The tour costs £20 and includes entry to the castle, gardens, and a hot drink and cake in the café as part of the talk.

  • Date: Pancake trail opens 13th February 2019; Garden tour takes place on Thursday, 28th February, 2019
  • Time: Winter opening hours are 10am to 4pm (last entry 3pm); Garden tour 1.30 to 3.30pm
  • Cost: General Entry Adults £9, Children 3-15 years £7, Children under 3 Free
  • Tickets / More Information: lowthercastle.org

Valentine’s Dinner in the Jazz Bar, Zeffirellis, Ambleside

Valentine's Dinner at the Jazz Bar in Ambleside, Feb 2019

If you are in the Lake District for Valentine’s Day, then why not treat your loved one to this special evening of fine dining and jazz music? Zeffirellis, Ambleside’s popular jazz bar, is hosting this special evening that includes a three course meal and an evening of live jazz music provided by the Retrosettes.

For an additional fee, participants can include a film screening before the meal. Advanced booking is required and £10 deposit per person is needed to secure the booking, with the balance payable on the evening.

Valentine’s Day Special – Miranda Sykes Concert & Meal, Sticklebarn Tavern, Langdale

Valentine's at the Sticklebar Tavern February 2019

If you fancy a romantic evening in a cosy traditional pub in the heart of the Lake District this Valentine’s Day, then head over to the Sticklebarn Tavern in Langdale. The National Trust run pub will be hosting folk singer, Miranda Sykes, who will be serenading couples with her repertoire of folk music from her 20 year long career. The concert will be preceded by a candlelit meal that includes a bottle of wine. Advanced booking required.

  • Date: Thursday, 14th February, 2019
  • Time: 7pm
  • Cost: £25 per person
  • Tickets / More Information: nationaltrust.org.uk

Stargazing Valentine’s Weekend, Dale Head Hall, Thirlmere, Near Keswick

Stargazing Thirlmere February 2019

Is there anything more romantic than spending an evening with a loved one gazing at the stars? This February, why not treat your loved one to a special Valentine’s weekend at the Dale Head Hall at Thirlmere. The hotel has teamed up with local astronomer, Robert Ince, to provide this romantic experience. Guests are invited to check into the hotel on Friday, 15th February between 3pm and 4pm for tea and cupcakes overlooking the lake. At 7pm, a delicious three-course meal will be provided followed by a glass of Champagne in the lounge where you will meet with Robert.

If the weather is fair, you will head out with Robert for an evening gazing at the stars and Robert will be able to point out various objects of interest. Unfortunately, clear skies are not guaranteed so if the weather is poor, Robert will deliver a presentation on astronomy within the warm confines of the hotel. Guests are also invited to stay overnight on Saturday night, and breakfast is included both mornings.

  • Date: Friday, 15th to Sunday, 17th February, 2019
  • Time: From 3pm on Friday
  • Cost: From £120 per person per night; Price includes dinner on Friday evening, a box of chocolates in the room, and breakfast on both mornings
  • Tickets / More Information: daleheadhall.co.uk

Henge, The Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal

Henge at the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal February 2019

Claiming to be from somewhere far beyond our galaxy, Henge are band who are on a mission to bring their unique sound, “Cosmic Dross” to the masses. Performing this month in Kendal, the band of intergalactic travellers have come from deepest darkest space, via Manchester, to bring an exhilarating evening of live music to Cumbria. The theatrical performance will be one to remember, and the aliens promise they only come in peace.

  • Date: Saturday, 16th February, 2019
  • Time: 8pm
  • Cost: £12.50 in advance, £14.50 on the door
  • Tickets / More Information: breweryarts.co.uk

February Farm Fun: Magic Week & The Magic Of Lambing, Walby Farm Park, Near Carlisle

Feb 2019 Walby Farm Park

Over at Walby Farm Park near Carlisle, the lambs are starting to make an appearance and many of the newborns can be viewed in the park’s animal barn during half term. Some lucky visitors may even witness a lamb being born on the farm.

Also, during half term week, the farm will be hosting Stu-di-doo who will be performing magic shows daily that will delight the entire family. The magic shows are included with the entry fee and the park has plenty of activities for children, including indoor and outdoor play areas.

  • Date: Monday, 18th February to Friday, 22nd February, 2019
  • Time: Open 10am to 6pm
  • Cost: Adults £10.45, Children £9.95 (discounts available when purchased online)
  • Tickets / More Information: walbyfarmpark.co.uk

Wordsworth’s Yew Trees Revisited, Dove Cottage & The Wordsworth Museum

February 2019 Wordsworth's Yew Trees at Dove Cottage

The Wordsworth Museum is hosting its annual Jonathan Wordsworth Memorial Lecture this February, and this year the lecture will be delivered by Professor John Strachan, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Bath Spa University.

Professor Strachan will be discussing in depth one of Wordworth’s famous lyrics, Yew-Trees, written in 1803. The poem is a celebration of the ancient yew trees that can be found in Lorton Vale and Borrowdale and has been the subject of much literary criticism since its publication. Booking is recommended.

  • Date: Wednesday, 20th February, 2019
  • Time: 2.15pm to 3.15pm
  • Cost: £5 per person
  • Tickets / More Information: wordsworth.org.uk

Music Festival Weekend, Askham Hall, Penrith

Music Festival Weekend at Askham Hall February 2019

Askham Hall is a restaurant with rooms near Ullswater and, this month, they are hosting a weekend of chamber music featuring musicians from Germany and the UK. There will be a concert each evening, followed by a meal that uses the hall’s own produce. On the Friday, the evening will include performances of Honegger’s Sonatina for Violin and Cello and Enescu’s Violin Sonata No.3 followed by a light dinner.

On the Saturday, the evening will start at 5pm with performances of Haydn’s Piano Trio in F sharp minor and Schubert’s Piano Trio in B flat major in the Bank Barn, followed by a feast style dinner in the hall that is then proceeded by a late evening performance of salon music.

On the Sunday evening, the festival will conclude by another performance of various pieces and there will be a set menu meal where diners will be able to meet the musicians. It should be noted that dinner must be booked separately and is not included in the concert price.

  • Date: Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th February, 2019
  • Time: Friday 7pm, Saturday & Sunday 5pm
  • Cost: £18 per person per concert, or £45 for all three concerts.
  • Tickets / More Information: askhamhall.co.uk

David Bowie Tribute Night, BAHA, Bowness-On-Windermere

David Bowie Tribute Night, BAHA February 2019

This month, BAHA, Bowness-On-Windermere’s fabulous live music venue, is hosting thrilling performances throughout the month, and one highlight is this David Bowie tribute act, known as Graham Bowie.

Graham started his music career as a choir boy and from an early age he was aware of his resemblance to David Bowie’s unique sound. He has performed with many bands over the years, often covering Bowie hits, and in 2016, he finally launched his own David Bowie tribute act. He will perform some of Bowie’s favourite hits throughout the evening.

  • Date: Thursday, 28th February to Friday, 1st March, 2019
  • Time: 9pm to 2am
  • Cost: £12.50
  • Tickets / More Information: party.bahabowness.com

The Keswick Film Festival, The Theatre By The Lake / Alhambra Cinema, Keswick

Keswick Film Festival at the Theatre by the Lake, February 2019

The Keswick Film Festival returns at the end of the month to both the Alhambra Cinema and the Theatre by the Lake in Keswick, with some additional performances screened at the Rheged Centre in Penrith.

This year, the festival is celebrating its 20th year and the festival will be attended by Carl Hunter who directed the festival’s headline screening, Sometimes Always Never, starring Bill Nighy. There is an eclectic programme of independent film screenings throughout the festival, and as usual the festival will be hosting The Osprey Short Film Awards that celebrates local film making.

  • Date: Thursday, 28th February to Sunday, 3rd March, 2019
  • Time: Varies
  • Cost: Individual screenings £7, Festival passes £60
  • Tickets / More Information: keswickfilmclub.org