Spring has arrived and we have an action packed calendar of events for you this March in the Lake District. There are trail runs, navigation courses, a literary festival, art workshops, cycle rides, and much more. Plus, at the end of the month, we see the start of the Easter bank holiday weekend with plenty of Easter egg hunts taking place across the national park. The only problem you might have this month is not being able to fit everything in!

Images from a Warming Planet by Ashley Cooper – Exhibition at Brantwood, Coniston

Ashley Cooper Exhibition 2018

Throughout March and April, Brantwood, John Ruskin’s former home, and now a vibrant museum and arts centre, is hosting an exhibition of photography by Ashley Cooper. Cooper was the first person to climb every 3,000ft peak in the UK and Ireland in a single expedition, raising several thousand pounds for a leprosy charity. He has been a member of a Lake District mountain rescue team for over 20 years and has spent the last 13 years travelling the world photographing the effects of climate change. His amazing images will be on display in this exhibition.

Peter Rabbit: Mischief and Mayhem – The Rheged Centre, Penrith

Peter Rabbit at the Rheged Centre March 2018

Coinciding with the release of the new Peter Rabbit film starring James Corden that was filmed here in the Lake District, the Rheged Centre is hosting a fun, interactive exhibition all about this much loved mischievous rabbit. The exhibition includes rarely seen original prints and manuscripts, as well as an interactive learning zone with games and activities for children to try. Tickets are valid for the entire day so you can pop in and out of the exhibition as you please.

Claude Monet at Abbot Hall, Kendal

Abbot Hall Monet 2018

A masterpiece by one of the world’s most famous artists is coming to Cumbria this Spring. Monet’s Haystacks: Snow Effect will be on temporary loan from the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh and displayed in Kendal’s Abbot Hall Gallery. The painting is one of a series that Monet did depicting the haystacks in the fields around his home. It is the first time that one of Monet’s paintings has been on display in Cumbria.

  • Date: Every Monday to Saturday throughout March
  • Time: 10.30am to 4.30pm
  • Cost: Included with standard admission rate - Adults £7.70, Children go free
  • Tickets / More Information: www.abbothall.org.uk/exhibitions/claude-monet

The Bench at Kirkgate Arts Centre, Cockermouth

The Bench production 2018

The Cockermouth Amateur Dramatics Society presents The Bench. The production consists of eight short plays in one with multiple characters who all meet at the same bench at a park in one day. This is a thought provoking play that through short snapshots gives an amusing and intriguing portrayal of modern life.

Free Group Rides with British Cycling

Guided cycle rides 2018 HSBC

British Cycling, in conjunction with HSBC, operates a series of free, guided group bike rides across the country. There are several taking place this March in the Lake District, offering a varied range of distances and terrain.

  • Kendal & Sizergh: 9 miles, All bike types, Thursday, 1st March, 2018, 11am
  • Greystoke & Northern Fells: 17 miles, Hybrid bikes, Sunday, 4th March, 2018, 10am
  • Brougham Castle & Lowther Castle: 15 miles, All bike types, Women only, Monday, 5th March, 2018, 10am
  • Buttermere: 10 miles, Mountain / Hybrid bikes, Sunday, 11th March, 2018, 10am
  • Whinlatter Woosh: 4 miles, Mountain bikes, Women only, Sunday, 11th & Saturday, 17th March, 2018, 10am
  • Ambleside & Great Langdale: 16 miles, Mountain / Hybrid bikes, Sunday, 18th March, 2018, 11am
  • Eden Valley: 15 miles, All bike types, Sunday, 18th March, 2018, 10am

Although the rides are free, spaces are limited so you must book your slot in advance by visiting the Lets Ride website.

Create a Textile Landscape Workshop, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Carlisle

Create a Textile Landscape Workshop, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Carlisle

Felting has become an increasingly popular hobby in recent years with the vibrant natural materials used to create beautiful pieces of artwork. Cumbria Wildlife Trust are working with local artist, Penny Hillier-Evans, to give members of the public an opportunity to create a wonderful landscape picture using felt. These workshops are designed to celebrate the Cumbrian landscape, as well as provide the skills needed to create the artwork. Advanced booking is essential and refreshments will be provided. The workshop takes place in the charity’s education and volunteer centre at Gosling Strike in Carlisle.

Floral Workshop at Armathwaite Hall, Near Keswick

Floral Workshop at Armathwaite Hall

Armathwaite Hall Hotel and Spa in Bassenthwaite near Keswick are hosting this wonderful opportunity to learn basic skills in the art of floristry. Led by Elaine Forrester, a local successful florist, the workshop will enable participants to create beautiful floral displays worth £90 that they will be able to take home. Taking place on Mother’s Day, this workshop would make an ideal gift. The cost includes tea and coffee on arrival, the workshop and flowers, and a full afternoon tea at the end of the workshop.

Milton Jones Is Out There, The Forum, Barrow-In-Furness

Milton Jones is Out There

Milton Jones is coming to Cumbria, bringing his brand new live show that will have you clutching your sides with laughter. The comedian, who is known for his deadpan one-liners and his multiple appearances on popular comedy panel TV shows, including Mock the Week, will be performing at the Forum in Barrow. He will take about a range of topics, including his early childhood, his fashion sense, and the media and politics – all delivered with his quirky sense of humour. Advanced booking is essential.

Words by the Water, Theatre by the Lake, Keswick

Words by the Water, Theatre by the Lake, Keswick 2018

The Words by the Water festival returns this March to the Theatre by the Lake on the shore of Derwent Water. The ten-day festival encourages writers and readers to exchange ideas and share their love of the written word. Notable guest speakers include: Peter Snow, Vince Cable, Melvyn Bragg, Michael Buerk, and Michael Rosen, plus over 30 more. Single and multi-day passes are available.

  • Date: Friday, 9th March to Sunday, 18th March, 2018
  • Time: Varies
  • Cost: Individual shows £9-10, Day passes from £21
  • Tickets / More Information: www.wayswithwords.co.uk

Bike Maintenance Courses at Greystoke Cycle Café, Penrith

Bike Maintenance Courses at Greystoke Cycle Café, Penrith

The Greystoke Cycle Café holds workshops on a variety of topics throughout the year, and this March, visitors are able to pick up some key bike maintenance skills on this one-day course. The course, led by Dan Richards of Lake District Cycling, covers gears, chains, brakes and more, giving you enough information to be able to give your bike a basic service. Participants must bring their own bikes that must be clean and in good working order. Bikes with Campagnolo group sets can not be used for this course due to the different tool requirements.

  • Date: Choose between Saturday, 10th March and Sunday, 11th March, 2018
  • Time: 10am to 4pm
  • Cost: £78 and includes 2-course lunch and afternoon cream tea
  • Tickets / More Information: www.quirkyworkshops.co.uk/workshops.htm#bike

Mother's Day Afternoon Tea at Muncaster Castle, Ravenglass

Mother's Day Afternoon Tea at Muncaster Castle 2018

Celebrate Mother's Day in style this March at Muncaster Castle, where you and your loved ones can have a delectable afternoon tea in the castle’s drawing room or billiard room, both overlooking the castle’s immaculately maintained lawns. Places are limited and the castle advises that it is not really suitable for children but they can be accommodated for an additional charge if required. Prosecco can also be added for an extra charge, and the cost includes entrance into the gardens and the Hawk and Owl Centre. Pre booking is essential.

Cumbria Life Home & Garden Show, Rheged Centre, Penrith

Cumbria Life Home & Garden Show 2018

The Cumbria Life Home & Garden Show is now in its fourth year and this year it's bigger and better than ever with over 80 exhibitors and 15 talks and demonstrations from industry experts all included in the cost of your entrance ticket. The talks cover a wide range of topics, including smart homes, inspiring interior design, and even what vegetables are best to grow in the Cumbrian climate. For more in depth knowledge, book onto an individually ticketed masterclass with topics including cushion making, kitchen painting techniques, chair renovation, and more. Throughout the event, a free park and ride service will be in operation from the PFK Auction Mart.

Lakeland Trails at Cartmel Racecourse, Cartmel

Lakeland Trails at Cartmel Racecourse 2018

The first of the Lakeland Trails of 2018 takes place this March, starting and ending at Cartmel Racecourse. Lakeland Trails are a small team of people led by international athlete and trail running enthusiast, Graham Patten, and they aim to create some of the most beautiful trail runs in the UK, catering for almost all trail running abilities. This March, in Cartmel, participants can choose from a 5K sport trail, a 10K trail run, an 18K trail challenge, or an 18K trail race, along footpaths and bridleways around the racecourse area. Pre-booking is essential and places are limited. Children’s fun trails will also be available on the day with no pre-booking required.

  • Date: Saturday, 17th March, 2018
  • Time: First race starts at 11am
  • Cost: 5km £25, 10km & 18km £32, Children’s fun trails £3
  • Tickets / More Information: www.lakelandtrails.org/cartmel

Shappi Khorsandi – Mistress and Misfit, Rosehill Theatre, Whitehaven

Shappi Khorsandi – Mistress and Misfit, Rosehill Theatre, Whitehaven

A refreshing change from the usual stand up comedy shows, Shappi Khorsandi brings her touring show to Whitehaven this March and it largely concerns the life of Emma Hamilton, mistress of Lord Nelson. Khorsandi’s amusing narrative effortlessly blends Hamilton’s story with modern day phenomena, such as online dating apps and wedding present lists, and brings elements of her own life as the daughter of a famous Iranian poet into the tale.

Carlisle Comic Con, Richard Rose Academy, Carlisle

Carlisle Comic Con

If you love Star Wars, Game of Thrones, Doctor Who, the Marvel and DC universes, and Harry Potter then you will love Carlisle Comic Con. Featuring actors from a number of blockbusting movies and television shows this one day event gives visitors the chance to chat to the stars, see original props, and browse over 50 stalls selling memorabilia and collectables.

Special guest stars include Robert Llewellyn (Red Dwarf), Peter Davison (Doctor Who), and Julian Glover (Game of Thrones, Star Wars, Indiana Jones). Photo opportunities with the stars are available and charged separately, with the rate set by the stars or their agents.

  • Date: Saturday, 17th March, 2018
  • Time: 10.30am to 5pm (Early bird entry from 9.30am)
  • Cost: Adults and Children 15+ £8 (£12 early bird), Children 5-14 years £4 (£6 early bird), Children 4 and under go free
  • Tickets / More Information: www.carlislecomiccon.co.uk

The Marmalade Festival 2018, Dalemain, Nr Penrith

The Marmalade Festival 2018

Dalemain’s annual marmalade festival returns this March. Once again the historic home and gardens will be brimming with exhibitors, demonstrations and talks all concerning the humble orange jam. As part of the festival, Dalemain will host the annual marmalade awards with entrants from across the Commonwealth. Marmalade inspired food will be available in the house’s tearoom, and there will be over 2,000 varieties of marmalade on display, with many available to try. The house and gardens will be open as usual.

Penrith Goes Orange

Penrith Goes Orange

To coincide with the arrival of the marmalade festival and awards at Dalemain House on the same day, the town of Penrith is going orange. The town centre streets will be taken over with market stalls stocking marmalade from around the world, as well as other delicious artisan goods. In addition, there will be live music, street performers, a window display competition, a town trail, children’s craft activities, and even a teddy bear zipline. A shuttle bus will also be in operation from the town centre to Dalemain.

Marbling March, Penrith Old Fire Station

Marbling March 2018

Myriad Studio are a network of local artists and creative individuals who put on monthly workshops that are designed to be friendly and welcoming, as well as provide an opportunity to learn a new skill. This month, the group are looking at the art of marbling: creating beautiful abstract images using ink in water. The group meet at the Eden Arts Centre, Penrith Old Fire Station and refreshments, including alcohol, are available to buy at the bar. The workshops are open to anyone and there is no membership fee.

  • Date: Tuesday, 20th March, 2018
  • Time: 6pm to 8pm
  • Cost: £3
  • Tickets / More Information: www.myriadstudio.uk

Dragons and Chocolate, Lowther Castle, Near Penrith

Dragons and Chocolate, Lowther Castle

The sweeping grounds of Lowther Castle complete with the huge adventure play fort is the perfect setting for a magnificent Easter hunt, which is why the castle’s annual trail is incredibly popular. Dragon eggs will be hidden amongst the castle’s ruins and grounds, and there will be a series of clues to follow with a chocolate treat as a reward. Lowther Castle is a brilliant place for a family day out, with large grounds, a giant adventure play area, an exhibition about the history of the Lowther estate, and a delightful café.

  • Date: Wednesday, 21st March to Thursday, 19th April, 2018
  • Time: 10am to 4pm
  • Cost: Standard admission rates apply, Adults £9, Children 3-15 years £7, Children under 3 go free
  • Tickets / More Information: www.lowthercastle.org

Ed Byrne: Spoiler Alert, The Sands Centre, Carlisle

Ed Byrne: Spoiler Alert, The Sands Centre, Carlisle 2018

Ed Byrne is one of the UK’s top comedians, with multiple appearances on television shows including Mock the Week, Have I Got News For You, Live at the Apollo, and more. In his latest live tour that is coming to Carlisle, he tackles the question as to whether we in the west are a spoilt generation. Byrne mixes his musings on the state of modern society with anecdotes about his children and his own childhood, and his entertaining use of observational comedy will keep you smiling throughout.

Spring Beer Fest, Hawkshead Brewery, Staveley, Near Kendal

Spring Beer Fest, Hawkshead Brewery 2018

The Hawkshead Brewery in Staveley holds two beer festivals per year in its purpose built beer hall in order to showcase the best of British brewing. For each festival, the brewery chooses a number of different breweries from Northern England to present their products at the festival. It’s an event for the whole family with live music and food available. Entrance is free and there will be 60 craft ales to choose from.

  • Date: Friday, 23rd March to Saturday, 24th March, 2018
  • Time: 12 noon until late
  • Cost: Free entry
  • Tickets / More Information: www.hawksheadbrewery.co.uk

Little Mermaid – The Circus Sensation, Theatre by the Lake, Keswick

Little Mermaid – The Circus Sensation 2018

Combining amazing acrobatics with incredibly moving music, this unique production of the classic tale of the Little Mermaid brings the circus to the theatre. This breath-taking performance is being brought to Keswick by the award winning Metta Theatre group and is suitable for anyone aged 8 years and above.

  • Date: Friday, 23rd March and Saturday, 24th March, 2018
  • Time: 7pm (plus 2pm matinee performance on Saturday)
  • Cost: Adults £18, Children £10
  • Tickets / More Information: www.theatrebythelake.com

Giant Spring Trail and Easter Egg Hunt, Brockhole

Giant Spring Trail and Easter Egg Hunt 2018

Brockhole, the Lake District National Park Authority’s visitor centre, is packed with activities for children, so if you are coming here for the school Easter holidays it’s definitely worth a visit. This Easter, in addition to all of the fabulous activities you can try at Brockhole, there will be a fun Easter egg hunt trail that will take you around the beautifully maintained gardens. A chocolate treat will be rewarded at the end!

  • Date: Saturday, 24th March, 2018 to Sunday, 15th April, 2018
  • Time: 10am to 4pm
  • Cost: £3 per person
  • Tickets / More Information: www.brockhole.co.uk

Easter at Lakeland Maze Farm Park, Kendal


The Lakeland Maze Farm Park reopens for the 2018 season on the 24th March for weekends and school holiday dates until mid July, when the maze will be fully grown and the park opens daily. Although the maze won’t be ready this March, the rest of the farm park provides plenty to keep children entertained, with farm animals to feed, outdoor trampolines, and a massive indoor play area. During the Easter period, there will be an Easter egg hunt around the park and you might spot the Easter bunny getting in to mischief!

  • Date: Daily from Saturday, 24th March, 2018 to Sunday, 15th April, 2018
  • Time: 10am to 5pm
  • Cost: Adults £6.95, Children 2-15 years £5.95, Children under 2 go free
  • Tickets / More Information: www.lakelandmaze.co.uk

Blood Brothers, The Sands Centre, Carlisle

Blood Brothers, The Sands Centre, Carlisle 2018

Willy Russell’s hit West End musical, Blood Brothers, is coming to Carlisle. The show features two fraternal twins who are separated at birth – one raised by a wealthy family and one raised in a poor family. They are later reunited, only to meet a tragic ending. Produced by Bill Kenwright, the show became the third longest running West End show before taking to the road, and it will be heading to Carlisle’s Sands Centre at the end of March.

  • Date: Monday, 26th March to Saturday, 31st March, 2018
  • Time: 7.30pm with matinee performances also available; Wednesday 2.30pm, Saturday 2pm
  • Cost: £28.50 to £47.50
  • Tickets / More Information: www.thesandscentre.co.uk

Teddies Go Free, Ullswater Steamers, Ullswater

Teddies Go Free, Ullswater Steamers 2018

During the school Easter holidays, the Ullswater Steamers have a special offer where children who bring a teddy and are accompanied by a fee paying adult will be able to board the steamers for free. In addition, around the shore of the lake there will be special teddy bear trails with teddies to spot in the woods amongst the famous daffodils. Trails will be available to download for free from the Ullswater Steamers website.

  • Date: Friday, 30th March to Sunday, 15th April, 2018
  • Time: Multiple sailings between 9am and 5pm
  • Cost: Adult fares from £6.20
  • Tickets / More Information: www.ullswater-steamers.co.uk

National Trust & Cadbury Easter Egg Hunts

National Trust & Cadbury Easter Egg Hunts 2018

Each year, the National Trust and Cadbury team up to host Easter egg hunts across the country. Many of the hunts in the Lake District take advantage of the natural environment to create fun challenges for children to complete at part of the hunts. Hunts are listed below, and for full details, check out the dedicated Cadbury Easter Egg hunt website. Each participant receives a chocolate treat.

There is a charge of £2 to £2.50 for the hunt and admission and parking charges may also apply depending on the venue. For full details visit easter.cadbury.co.uk and enter a Lake District postcode in the search function.

  • Townend, Troutbeck, Windermere: Friday, March 30th to Monday, 2nd April from 1.30pm to 4pm
  • Claife Viewing Station, Near Far Sawrey: Friday, March 30th to Monday, 2nd April from 10am to 3.30pm
  • Wray Castle, Near Ambleside: Friday, March 30th to Monday, 2nd April from 10am to 3.30pm
  • Hill Top, Near Sawrey: Friday, March 30th to Monday, 2nd April from 10am to 4pm
  • Beatrix Potter Gallery, Hawkshead: Friday, March 30th to Monday, 2nd April from 10.30am to 3.30pm
  • Fell Foot, Newby Bridge: Friday, March 30th from 10am to 3pm
  • Steam Yacht Gondola, Coniston Water: Friday, March 30th to Monday, 2nd April from 11am to 4.15pm
  • Allan Bank, Grasmere: Friday, March 30th to Monday, 2nd April from 10.30am to 4pm
  • Tarn Hows, Coniston: Friday, March 30th to Monday, 2nd April from 10am to 3.30pm
  • Wordsworth House, Cockermouth: Friday, March 30th to Monday, 2nd April from 11am to 3pm
  • Bowness Knott, Ennerdale Water: Friday, March 30th from 11am to 3pm
  • Buttermere Village: Friday, March 30th from 11am to 2.30pm
  • The Beacon, Whitehaven Harbour: Saturday, March 31st from 11am to 2.30pm
  • Derwent Water, Keswick: Monday, April 2nd from 11am to 2.30pm
  • Sizergh Castle, Kendal: Friday, March 30th to Monday, 2nd April from 11am to 4pm