January is typically the quietest month here in the Lake District with a number of tourist attractions closed for the season. However, if you want a quiet short break away, perhaps to recover from the excess of the Christmas period, then now is the time to visit. Accommodation is cheap with many hotels offering significant discounts, particularly if you book for more than one night. January is also the coldest month of the year, which can lead to stunning wintry scenery.

This being the quietest month, you won’t find any large scale events taking place. However, there are a number of charming activities that will help bring cheer in this cold and grey month. You can volunteer to look after the landscape, raise money for charity, listen to some incredible opera, or even rock out with a 70s heavy metal icon.

Belfagan Morris New Year’s Dance Out

Belfagan Morris New Year’s Dance Out

Most of the new year celebrations in the Lake District tend to be private events with tickets required. However, if you are stuck for something to do on New Year’s Day then head down to the shore of Derwent Water by the Theatre by the Lake. Each year the ladies dance troupe, Belfagan Morris, welcome the new year in with a traditional north-west clog dance on the landing stages of the Keswick Launch, accompanied by a live band.

GINuary at the Lake Distillery, Bassenthwaite

Ginuary at the Lakes Distillery

You might have promised yourself to cut out the carbs and hit the gym this January, but over at the Lakes Distillery they have better ideas, asking “Why hit the gym when you can hit the gin?” Throughout January in the Distillery’s Bistro there will be a gin inspired menu with two-courses available for £12 and three courses available for £15.

Gin afternoon teas will be available each Saturday in January for £29 per person and will include a gin cocktail on arrival. There is also a 2-for-1 offer on gin and tonics. Don’t forget that tours are available every day and include tastings.

  • Dates: Throughout January 2018
  • Time: The Bistro is open daily from 10am to 9pm
  • Price: Varies
  • More Information: www.lakesdistillery.com

Whinlatter Duathlon

Whinlatter Duathlon

Organised by British Triathlon, this is the second year running for the Whinlatter Duathlon and this year there are three events taking place, giving more people the opportunity to have a go. The Duathlon involves a run, a bike ride, and then another run to finish.

The junior race is for 12-14 year olds and involves a 1.5k run, 5k bike, then a 500m run. The adult novice race involves a 1.5k run, 5k bike, and a 1.5k run. The adult intermediate stage consists of a 4k run, 10k bike, and 2.5k run. If you don’t have a bike or helmet you can hire them from Cyclewise at Whinlatter. You must book your place in advance.

  • Date: Sunday, 7th January, 2018
  • Time: 9.30am for registration
  • Price: £7 Junior Event, £10 Novice Event, £15 Intermediate Event | There is a £2 discount for Keswick Tri-Club Members
  • More Information: www.forestry.gov.uk

Conservation Work Party, Eycott Hill Nature Reserve, Near Penrith

Conservation Work Party 2017

If you have made a New Year resolution to give back more to the local community and environment then this is a great opportunity to start keeping that promise. Eycott Hill is a delightful nature reserve on the edge of the national park that is home to a delightful variety of flora and fauna. It is maintained by the Cumbria Wildlife Trust who rely on volunteers to help look after this important piece of land.

Depending on what is needed on the day, you may be asked to help with planting, dry stone walling, or bridge building. You will need to wear wellies and good outdoor clothing, and bring a packed lunch.

Talk on Haweswater Restoration Work & Plant Recovery, Penrith United Reform Church

Talk on Haweswater Restoration Work & Plant Recovery

If you care about the preservation of the outstanding landscapes of the Lake District, then you may be interested in attending this talk by Lee Schofield from the RSPB. Organised by Cumbria Wildlife Trust’s Penrith & Ullswater Support Group, the talk will inform on the latest work taking place around Haweswater in order to restore a more natural landscape and assist with the recovery of local native species.

Warren Miller Snowsports Film Evening – Rheged Centre

Warren Miller Snowsports Film Evening

Warren Miller is an icon in the ski movie making industry, having been credited on over 750 films in total. His 68th snow sports film, Line of Descent, follows a number of snow sports athletes as they traverse the globe seeking ever more thrilling and extreme descents. The film is on tour around the UK and every screening, including this one at the Rheged Centre, is accompanied with an intermission prize draw. Rheged’s café will be open up until the film start time and the bar will be open during the interval.

  • Date: Wednesday, 17th January, 2018
  • Time: 7.30pm
  • Price: Adults £10
  • More Information: www.rheged.com

Nazareth Live at the Forum, Barrow-In-Furness

Nazareth Live at the Forum

Heavy Metal comes to Barrow-In-Furness this January thanks Scottish rock band Nazareth, now featuring a new line up. The band were originally formed in the 1960s and had hits around the world. Only one of the original members remains in the band, bassist Pete Agnew, who is now accompanied by his son Lee on the drums, long term band member, Jimmy Murrison, on guitars, and new lead vocalist, Carl Sentence.

An Opera Gala Evening – The Wordsworth Hotel, Grasmere

An Opera Gala Evening at the Wordsworth Hotel in Grasmere

The Northumbrian Music Festival and the North Wales Opera Studio present an evening of opera with great food at the Wordsworth Hotel in Grasmere. The North Wales Opera Studio includes some of Wales’ rising stars in operatic performances and these stars will perform some of opera’s most favoured and iconic songs and scenes. The audience will be also treated to three-course gourmet dinner and a welcome drink.

  • Date: Tuesday, 23rd January, 2018
  • Time: 6pm
  • Price: Adults £55
  • More Information: www.nmfestival.co.uk

Jack and the Beanstalk Pantomine, Coronation Hall, Ulverston

Jack and the Beanstalk Pantomine, Coronation Hall, Ulverston

This January, the Ulverston Pantomine Society are celebrating their 70th anniversary with a modern take on the classic tale of Jack and the Beanstalk. Jack and his family will encounter plenty of comedy characters and moments along their journey before meeting and hopefully beating the giant. This is a fun show for the whole family with matinee performances available.

  • Dates: Wednesday, 24th to Saturday, 27th January, 2018
  • Time: 7pm each evening, plus a 2pm matinee performance on the Saturday
  • Price: Adults £12, Child £10, Family Ticket £40
  • More Information: www.corohall.co.uk

Death at Downturn Abbey – A Murder Mystery Dinner at Lindeth Howe, Bowness-On-Windermere

Death at Downturn Abbey – A Murder Mystery Dinner at Lindeth Howe, Bowness-On-Windermere

The luxurious country house hotel, Lindeth Howe in Bowness-on-Windermere, is being taken over for one evening this January by Little Gargoyle Ltd who have been running murder mystery evenings for over ten years. Guests will be invited to attend a three-course meal and between courses, a criminal scene is laid out in a splendid theatrical style with suspects mingling amongst the tables providing an opportunity for questioning.

An Inspector will guide the hunt for the murderer, providing clues along the way and eventually revealing the truth with prizes for any guests who were able to solve the mystery. During the event, guests will be seated on large tables of 8-12 people. Advanced booking with pre-payment is required.

  • Date: Thursday, 25th January, 2018
  • Time: 7pm
  • Price: £35 per person that includes a three-course meal
  • More Information: www.lindeth-howe.co.uk

Cumbria Community Foundation the Big Sleep, Low Wood Bay Hotel, Windermere

Cumbria Community Foundation the Big Sleep

Cumbria Community Foundation is a philanthropic organisation that seeks to provide funding for charities and individuals in Cumbria in order to improve the lives of those who are disadvantaged. One of their largest projects is the Winter Warmth Appeal, in recognition that the number of winter related deaths in Cumbria is higher than most other parts of the UK.

The Big Sleep is held each January, with participants raising sponsorship before spending one of the coldest nights of the year sleeping in tents. There will be evening entertainment and participants will need to bring warm clothing and camping gear.

  • Date: Saturday, 27th January, 2018
  • Time: 2pm on Saturday until 10am on the following Sunday morning
  • Price: Adults £35, Children £5, plus additional sponsorship / donations welcomed
  • More Information: www.cumbriafoundation.org/bigsleep