Annual Events in the Lake District

Summer music & beer festival

Summer music & beer festival

If you're planning an upcoming trip to the Lake District, be sure to check out our list of annual events, which are categorised by the month in which they take place. With beer festivals, film festivals, food festivals, music festivals, garden parties, country fairs, and more, there is no shortage of fun things to do in the Lake District.

If you're visiting in December and the weather is decidedly bad for fell walking, why not check out one of the Lake District's many Christmas markets? The summer is also a great time for events and with the Lake District having many breweries, there are sure to be some great beer festivals where you can sample the local brews.

Events by Month

February

Chairs in a theatre

Keswick Film Festival

The Keswick Film Festival is an annual event in Keswick, usually taking place over a long weekend toward the end of the month. The festival is organised by the Keswick Film Club in association with the Theatre by the Lake. The festival also includes the Osprey Short Film Awards, which highlights short films made by local filmmmakers. 

 
Punch Bowl Beer Festival

The Punch Bowl Beer Festival, Great Broughton

For an authentic village pub experience, and a chance to try a number of different ales, pop along to the west Cumbrian village of Great Broughton, where, each February, the Punch Bowl Inn hosts a small beer festival. The inn is run entirely by volunteers on a not for profit basis, and the festival is a great way to support this much loved community asset.

 

March

Northern Craft Beer Festival

Northern Craft Beer Festival, Staveley

Hawkshead Brewery opens its doors twice a year to host a large beer festival in its purpose built beer hall. Along with beers produced by the brewery, you can try guest ales from across Cumbria in both of its March and July beer festivals. This is a family-friendly beer festival with fun activities for children provided during the day, and live music and food in the evenings.

 
Taste Cumbria Food Festival

Taste Cumbria Food Festival, Keswick

Taste Cumbria hold events throughout the year, showcasing the best of Cumbria’s food and drink industry. Taste Cumbria Keswick takes place on the Easter weekend, and you can expect to find a fantastic selection of goods to try and buy, as well as family friendly activities, all held on the town centre’s pedestrianised area.

 
Kendal Food Festival

Kendal Festival of Food

Although independent from the Taste Cumbria group of food festivals, you will find that the Kendal Festival of Food features many of the same suppliers, given that the focus is very much on local producers. Along with the massive food market there is plenty to keep everyone in the family entertained, including cookery demos and fun for children.

 
Girl with Easter bunny ears on an egg hunt

National Trust Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt

In conjunction with the National Trust, Cadbury organised various Easter egg hunts. Some of the locations within the Lake District included: Wordsworth House & Gardens, Sizergh Castle, Wray Castle, Allan Bank & Grasmere, Stricklebarn & Langdale, Buttermere, Ennerdale, and Derwent Water. The hunt cost £2 with additional entry fees for access to certain venues and involved a series of egg-cellent clues that lead you to a chocolatey surprise. 

 
Quil pen and book

Words by the Water

Words by the Water is a literature festival, described as a 'Festival of Words & Ideas' that takes place at the Theatre by the Lake in Keswick. The event takes place over 10 days and allows both readers and writers alike to get together to share their interest in literature. There are a series of lectures, discussions, workshops, and special exhibitions. 

 

April

Beer Sampling

Loweswater Beer Festival

The Loweswater Beer Festival is held in the Little Barn at the Kirkstile Inn and features approximately 20 different local beers. In addition to beer, local favourites, such as Tatie Pot and Hop Bread, will also be on offer. There is no charge for entry. Loweswater is one of the Lake District's smaller lakes and is not far from Cockermouth

 
Taste Cumbria Food Festival Kirkby

Taste Cumbria Food Festival Kirkby Lonsdale

Kirkby Lonsdale is located on the southern edge of Cumbria, and has a long history of hosting markets, making it ideal for a Taste Cumbria food festival. These food festivals have popped up all over Cumbria in recent years, and all follow the same successful formula. Great food, and free entertainment for the whole family.

 
Woolpack Cider and Sausage Festival

Woolpack Cider and Sausage Festival

In ancient times, the Romans used Hardknott Pass to travel between military bases. Unfortunately for them, the Woolpack wasn’t there to provide sustenance, but it is still one of Cumbria’s oldest pubs. It is also home each year to a cider and sausage festival, where along with the pork and apple goods, you will find a tractor pull and live music.

 
Kirkby Beer & Music Festival

Kirkby Lonsdale Beer & Music Festival

If you would like a weekend of entertainment for the whole family, with live music and a fantastic selection of beers and ciders, and you would like free entry, then the Kirkby Lonsdale Beer and Music Festival has what you need. Held in the grounds of the Kirkby Lonsdale Rugby Club, camping is available for a small additional charge.

 
Dalton Beer Festival

Dalton Beer Festival

The Dalton Beer Festival is an intimate affair, held each April in the Chequers Hotel. The festival provides visitors with an opportunity to sample ales from around the county, and these can be accompanied with a great selection of food from the hotel’s restaurant. There is also live music to keep festival goers entertained.

 

May

Paella at a food market

Ulverston Food Festival

Taste Cumbria Ulverston promotes local chefs and freshly grown produce and also features an array of cooking demonstrations and food lectures. There is entertainment throughout the festival, as well as a play area for kids and an ale trail with deliciously crafted local beers. 

 
Man hiking

Keswick Mountain Festival

The Keswick Mountain Festival in Keswick features outdoor activities and camping. Some of the activities include: hiking, ghyll scrambling, indoor ice climbing, moonlit canoeing, rock climbing, and sailing. The event also incorporates special talks by outdoor enthusiasts, as well a big music festival. 

 
Close up of a saxophone

Keswick Jazz Festival

The Keswick Jazz Festival hosts a series of jazz musicians and bands over a long 4-day weekend at the Theatre by the Lake in Keswick. There is also a popular series of jazz talks, which provides insight to lives of the jazz musicians performing at the festival. You can also join a swing dance class with none other than GI Jive.

 
Close up of a guitar player

Ireby Festival

Located in the small village of Ireby populated by just 160 people, the Ireby Festival is a music festival, which features of range of music to suit most tastes. The festival has small intimate venues and a main stage that seats just 600. It is located 12-miles from Keswick & Cockermouth and 18-miles from Carlisle.  

 
Purple tulips

Holker Garden Festival

The Holker Garden Festival takes place over a long 3-day weekend at the Holker Hall & Gardens in Cark-in-Cartmel. The festival features the finest in gardening and horticulture with gardening experts abound. The festival also offers a selection of artisan food & drink, as well as live music at the bandstand and entertainment for children.

 
Strands Inn & Brewery Beer Festival

The Strands Inn & Brewery Beer Festival

If you happen to be climbing Scafell Pike in May, then do take time at the end of your walk to visit the Strands Inn. Your visit may coincide with the pub’s beer festival. There is a microbrewery attached to the inn, and the festival celebrates the various ales that are brewed here. In addition, you will be entertained by live music, and the pub serves up some delicious food.

 
Cumberland Sausage Festival

Cumbria Sausage Festival

If you hear “Cumberland” and think “sausage” then this is the event for you. Each year on the May bank holiday weekend, Muncaster Castle is taken over by producers and aficionados of the humble pork delight, with traders offering you the chance to try and buy a huge range of sausages, alongside other locally produced goods. There is also entertainment available.

 

June

A prize winning sheep

The Cumberland Show

The Cumberland County Show is held at the Carlisle Racecourse and is essentially a celebration of farm, food, and the countryside. The show entails livestock classes, horse-driving competitions, a dog show, and vintage vehicles to name just some. There is also a food hall, arts & crafts, and a variety of local entertainment. 

 
Crisp cider, apples, and hops

Keswick Beer Festival

The Keswick Lions and the Keswick Rugby Club use the Keswick Beer Festival as a fundraising opportunity to support local charities, as well as the local Keswick area. The festival features... you guessed it... beer & cider of the local variety! It is held on Davidson Park and also features live music.

 
A young family enjoying a picnic

Keswick Summer Festival

The Keswick Summer Festival features a dog show, a picnic in the park, performances by a local school, and a festival music concert. The events take place over 4 or 5 various days toward the end of June and are subject to change each year. 

 
Two young lads at a beer festival

Boot Beer Festival

The Boot Beer Festival takes place within three different pubs in the town of Boot, including the Brook House Inn, the Boot Inn, and the Woolpack Inn. The festival takes place Thursday-Sunday featuring a wide variety of beers and bar snacks throughout. Be sure to check out Shirley's famous beef & beer pie at the Brook House Inn.

 
Cockermouth Live

Cockermouth Live

For one weekend in July, the cafés, restaurants, and bars of Cockermouth, along with the town’s Kirkgate Theatre, host musical and theatrical performances, with something to suit almost everyone’s tastes. Classical, pop, jazz, rock, and other forms of music can be found here, as well as dedicated sessions for children in this packed programme of events.

 
Millom Rugby Union Club Beer Fest

Millom Rugby Union Club Beer Festival & Social 7s Tournament

Love beer? Love rugby? Celebrate both at Millom Rugby Union Club, where each June a beer festival coincides with a Social 7s tournament. Try various locally brewed ales whilst you sit back and watch the sporting action unfold. In the evenings you can watch live music, and camping is available for the weekend.

 
Sedbergh Food Festival

Sedbergh Food Festival

More than just a food market, the Sedbergh Food Festival is a 10-day event that takes place each June and celebrates Cumbria’s contribution to the food industry. Throughout the festival visitors can attend talks and film screenings, or book into one of the local restaurants for a unique foodie experience, such as a Mad Hatters Tea Party. The weekend market is crammed with local producers, enabling you to stock up on some delicious goods.

 

July

Canoes along the water

Derwent Water Regatta

The Derwent Water Regatta takes place over a weekend and involves a series of events on and around Derwent Water. The events include canoeing, kayaking, standing up on paddle boards, and racing dragon boats to name just a few. There are also various activities on land, such as live music, sports, such as volleyball and frisbee golf, as well as plenty of food & drink stalls. 

 
Horse

Penrith Show

 Held on the 4th Saturday in July, the Penrith Show was first hosted by the Penrith Agricultural Society in 1834. The show still exists today and entails a variety of competition classes for livestock, horses, rabbits, poultry, horticulture, and more. There is also an arts & crafts stand, as well as a food hall.

 
Vintage tractor

Cumbria Steam Gathering

The Cumbria Steam Gathering takes place over a weekend toward the end of July, displaying vehicles, such as: Period Caravans, Motor Cars from 1940-1982, Pedal Cycles up to 1940, Tradesman Cycles, Motorcycles under 200cc, Horticultural & Garden Tractors, Industrial Tractors, Farm Equipment, and more. The event takes place in Cark Airfield in Grange over Sands.

 
Young people at a music festival

Kendal Calling

Kendal Calling is a music festival that takes place in Kendal at the end of July in Lowther Deer Park. In addition to live music, the festival offers a great selection of food and beer with great options for camping that include pitching your own tent or renting one of the festival's luxury tents. 

 
Donkey rides

Coniston Country Fair

Coniston County Fair is held in Coniston at Coniston Hall on a Sunday in July. The fair hosts a series of competitions throughout the day, such as dog shows, sheep clipping, wrestling, and more. For the kids, there are bouncy castles, donkey rides, archery, egg throwing, face painting - just to name some. There is also a good selection of food and trade stands and an arts & crafts marquee.

 
Taste Cumbria Whitehaven

Taste Cumbria Food Festival Whitehaven

In days gone by, Whitehaven was an important port for the import of foreign foods. These days the emphasis is on more locally produced goods, and at Taste Cumbria Whitehaven you can find a plethora of delicious foods to try and buy. As with other Taste Cumbria festivals, you will also find free family entertainment.

 
Skelton Show

Skelton Show

Named after Skelton village, where the festival was originally held, the Skelton Show takes place in early July in the grounds of Hutton-In-The Forest. It is now one of the larger shows on the calendar, and is very popular with visitors. You will find music, children’s activities, wrestling matches, and food and craft market stalls alongside the livestock judging competitions.

 
Cockermouth Show

Cockermouth Show

In late July, the grounds of Fitz Hall on the edge of Cockermouth are packed with family friendly fun for the Cockermouth Show. All the traditional elements of an agricultural show are here, with livestock competitions and craft stalls. In addition, many of the larger agricultural traders have stands with free activities for children. There’s also a fairground, hot food, modern and vintage agricultural vehicles, and more.

 
Ulverston and North Lonsdale Show

Ulverston and North Lonsdale Show

Coinciding with the start of the school summer holidays, the Ulverston and North Lonsdale Show is very much a family friendly affair, with plenty to keep children entertained. There are bouncy castles and a petting zoo, whilst adults will love the cookery demonstrations, music, and comedy. In addition, livestock judging is a focal point of the event.

 
Ambleside Sports

Ambleside Sports

Building on a tradition where shepherds would blow off steam at the end of the season by competing against one another in various sporting activities, Ambleside Sports features various sporting competitions that anyone can sign up for with categories for all ages. There is plenty to keep non-competitors entertained, including a market, fairground rides, music and more.

 
Eden Food & Farming Festival

Eden Food & Farming Festival (Penrith on a Plate)

The Penrith Agricultural Show marks the end of a week long celebration of all things food in Penrith in July. The Eden Food & Farming Festival begins with Penrith on a Plate – a massive food market that features local producers, cookery demonstrations, and live entertainment for the whole family. In the proceeding week, you can attend tours of local producers or listen to a talk or concert, before attending the agricultural show at the weekend.

 
Carlisle Food Festival

Carlisle Food Festival

Carlisle has a large pedestrianised area at its centre that is perfect for hosting events, such as the Carlisle Food Festival. Taking place each July, here you will find a number of market stalls stocking both local and international cuisine. There are usually some celebrity chefs in attendance providing cookery demonstrations, as well as family-friendly fun.

 
Music on the Marr

Music on the Marr

The tiny village of Castle Carrock near Brampton is home each July to the Music on the Marr festival. Brimming with local talent, this music festival is fairly small, which adds to its charm. Camping is available, and along with the live music there is plenty to keep the whole family entertained, including crafts, guest speakers, and more.

 
Rock the Fells

Rock the Fells

It might only be a day long event, but you can still make a weekend of Rock the Fells, with camping available at this small festival on the western edge of the Lake District. The area is brilliant for walking, so once the Saturday’s festivities are over, you can spend Sunday on the fells, or relaxing in the Bootle village pub. Local bands play with beer provided by the local brewery.

 
Northern Craft Beer Festival

Northern Craft Beer Festival, Staveley

If you missed the first one in March, you'll be delighted to hear that the Hawkshead Brewery hosts yet another beer festival in the month of July. The festival takes place in the brewery itself – an excellent backdrop to any beer festival, we think – and they promise "properly cold beer" over three different bars. And, of course, it wouldn't be a beer festival if it didn't also have food and music. Best of all, there is no entry fee for this festival, as it's held in a pub, and it's kid and dog friendly!

 

August

Woman playing violin

Lake District Summer Music

The LDSM is pricipally focused on chamber music and is an internationally recognised summer music festival for aspiring string players and pianists. The festival offers chamber music training, coaching, individual lessons, and masterclasses with the opportunity to perform. The festival takes place at various locations throughout the Lake District with many of the festival's events happening in and around Windermere

 
Cows in a field

Cartmel Show

Traditionally held on the first Wednesday of August, the Cartmel Show is an agricultural exhibition that allows visitors to experience the delights of rural life. The show features show ponies, cattle, sheep, poultry and also includes a dog show, an arts & craft marquee, a food hall, children's activities, and much more. The show takes place at the Cartmel Racecourse in Grange-over-Sands.

 
Two men clay pigeon shooting

Lowther Show

Taking place at the beautiful Lowther Castle, the Lowther Show combines a variety of exciting events including: Lowther Horse Carriage Driving Trials, Taste Cumbria Food & Beer Festival, the Lowther Fishing Island and the Lowther Hound Show. The show also includes the World Series of Clay Shooting Championships with plenty of great prizes for winners, including cash and even brand new vehicles. There is, of course, plenty of food and drink with a great selection of local beers on offer.

 
Show beagle

Rydal Show

The Rydal Show is a Sheepdog Trials & Hound Show taking place in Rydal Park. With owners showing of their beagles, foxhounds, terriers, sheepdogs, and gun dogs, the show is a great experience for dog owners, dog lovers, and even prospective dog owners. The event has a licensed bar and a seated catering tent that serves up sandwiches, cakes, Cumberland sausages, and burgers.

 
Cow at agricultural show

Hawkshead Show

The Lake District loves a good agricultural show and the Hawkshead Show in Hawkshead is no exception. Horses, cattle, ponies, sheep, pet classes, a dog show, and prizes for horticultural presentations are all part of the show with plenty of trade stands that include food, drink, gifts, and entertainment.

 
Equestrian competition

Keswick Show

Over the August bank holiday, the town of Keswick puts on a great agricultural show. Horse riding competitions, sheep sheering, a dog show, tractors, livestock, and more all form part of the day. There is also an arts & crafts section and different areas for children arranged by age groups. With local tradesmen setting up shop, there is also plenty of food & drink to enjoy throughout the event. 

 
Poultry

Ennerdale Show

Every town seems to have their own agricultural show with Ennerdale's traditionally taking place toward the end of August on a Wednesday. Sheep, horses, dogs, poultry, vintage vehicles, hound trailing, sports for children, and wrestling are just some of the events you'll encounter. Locally brewed ale is also up for grabs, as well as locally churned Cumbrian ice cream. 

 
Fell runners

Grasmere Sports and Show

The Grasmere Sports & Show has been taking place annually since 1868 with participants competing in a range of sports, including wrestling, fell running, hound trails, and more. The event also features live music, local food & drink with children's activities abound, tug-of-war championships, dog shows, and Herdwick sheep displays. 

 
Young woman at a music festival

Northbound Street Party

The Northbound Street Party in Cockermouth has risen from the ashes of a music festival that struggled to survive in this saturated market. Now a one-day event, Northbound has moved from its farm location to the centre of the town, with a stage either end of the high street hosting various bands, and family friendly activities available in between the two.

 
Lunesdale Show

Lunesdale Show

The Lunesdale Show is held on the second Tuesday in August every year, near the southern Cumbrian town of Kirkby Lonsdale. Along with awards for various breeds of livestock, there is a competition for shepherd’s crooks and walking sticks, leading to some unusual and intricate designs. There are family friendly activities, and a market stall with locally produced goods.

 
Gosforth Show

Gosforth Show

Ever wondered what it would be like to see sheep race against each other? Well, even if you haven’t the Gosforth Show is certainly worth a visit. Alongside this more unusual sporting event you will find vintage vehicles, tug-o-war matches, children’s sports, and numerous trade and market stands. The show also features live music and there is a bar.

 
Blackcombe Country Fair

Blackcombe Country Fair

Blackcombe Country Fair, named for the imposing fell that overlooks the showground, is a popular agricultural show that takes place each August bank holiday in the small village of Boot, in Eskdale. Dogs feature heavily in this show with various awards offered for a number of different breeds. There is also a fell race and traditional Cumbrian wrestling, as well as plenty of other family friendly fun.

 
Furness Beer Festival

Furness Beer Festival

Organised by the Campaign For Real Ale, and hosted by Ulverston’s Coronation Hall, this beer festival features well over 100 different ales to try. As a result, it’s a popular event with CAMRA members and other ale aficionados. There is an award ceremony for the brews, as well as live music and food.

 
Lake District Folk Weekend

Lake District Folk Weekend

The village of Staveley, near Kendal, is best known for being home to the Hawkshead Brewery, and it’s in the brewery’s entertainment hall that you will find many of the performances that form part of the Lake District Folk Weekend festival. Folk performers from across the country can be found at this small intimate festival that uses a number of venues around the village. Camping is available.

 
Wannasee Penrith

Wannasee Penrith

Wannasee is the name of a group of festivals that are held each year at various locations across the north of England, including here in the Lake District at Hutton-in-the-Forrest. The festivals showcase the very best tribute acts, ideal for those who are fans of the world’s greatest rock groups but who lack the funds to see the real acts live.

 
Solfest

Solfest

Solfest takes place each August at a farm in west Cumbria. It has grown steadily over the years, and is now one of the largest festivals in the county. Along with live music from some well-known acts, you will find a huge market, traditional craft workshops, art, a healing garden, an area for children with numerous activities, and much more.

 

September

Sheep dog trials

Loweswater Show

The annual Loweswater Show celebrates all things agriculture with livestock, poultry, agricultural and industrial classes, fell races, and mostly importantly, a beer tent. Vintage vehicles, horses, wrestling, and sheep dog trials also form part of the event with plenty of activities to keep your kids entertained too. 

 
An alpaca eating grass

Westmoreland Show

Held on the second Thursday of September, the Westmoreland Show was first started in 1755 and is still going strong to this day. The event includes the traditional livestock show, horses, dogs, alpacas, poultry, and includes over 400 trade stands, selling local produce and gifts. The show also boasts the largest Food Hall in the area with special demonstrations by celebrity chefs. 

 
Torchlight

Kendal Torchlight Carnival

The Kendal Torchlight Carnival is a lively and bright street parade, featuring colourful floats, bands, and carnival performers throughout the streets of Kendal. The festival is run entirely by volunteers and tends to attract around 25,000 visitors each year. 

 
Chillies

Holker Chilli Fest

The Holker Chilli Fest is the perfect event for chilli lovers and takes place at Holker House over a weekend in September. The festival, of course, features the chilli with chilli cooking demonstrations and even a chilli-eating contest. The fest entails about 35 different stalls, offering a good selection of chilli products from all over the world and also features live music throughout the weekend. 

 
Food at an outdoor market

Cockermouth Food Festival

With lots of rain, which produces beautiful green hillsides throughout the Lake District, comes delicious locally grown produce. The Cockermouth Food Festival incorporates 80 food stalls, offering up plenty of samples from local chefs with the opportunity to buy specialty food products to take home or food to enjoy then and there.

 
A wooden pipe

Egremont Crab Fair

The Egremont Crab Fair is essentially a harvest festival held on the third Saturday of September with a number sporting events, such as traditional Cumberland wrestling. The fair is also famous for its Gurning Championship in which contestants have to pull their ugliest faces through a horse collar. There is also a traditional pipe smoking event, amongst an array of other peculiar events. 

 
Group of friends walking outdoors

Ullswater Walking Festival

The Ullswater Walking Festival is a week-long festival dedicated to walking and taking in the sights of the serene Lake District. Taking place in the Ullswater valley, volunteers have put together a series of walks that range from leisurely strolls, to more challenging valley to fell top climbs, as well as walks that incorporate both history and wildlife. 

 
Festival of the Fells

Festival of the Fells

Ambleside’s Festival of the Fells gives festival-goers a chance to experience a range of outdoor activities, such as kayaking, ghyll scrambling and fell walking. There are events suited for almost all ages and abilities, and for those who prefer something tamer, there are talks, workshops, and concerts with live music to attend. A highlight is the bath duck race along Stock Ghyll!

 
Grasmere Guzzler

Grasmere Guzzler

The Grasmere Guzzler is one of the largest beer festivals in Cumbria with a few thousand people gathering in this small Lakeland village each year to celebrate their love of the golden nectar. Hosted by one of the village’s hotels, the festival has over 100 ales and ciders to try. A party atmosphere takes over the village with live music, children’s entertainment, and camping available.

 
Silloth Music and Beer Festival

Silloth Music and Beer Festival

In September, the coastal town of Silloth lends its green to a large music and beer festival. This is an event for the whole family with children’s activities available during the day, although in the evenings entry is strictly for over 18s. Various ales and ciders are available to try, and entertainment is provided by a host of local bands.

 
Aspatria Festival

Aspatria Festival

Aspatria Rugby Club hosts this music orientated festival each year in marquees in the grounds of the club. In the past, the festival has attracted some well-known acts. This is a festival purely about the music. You won’t find markets, crafts, or indeed any other activity here, but you will find some great performances throughout the event.

 

October

Comic artist drawing sketches

Lakes International Comic Art Festival

This festival takes place in the town of Kendal and celebrates comic writers and artists from around the world. Exhibitions, workshops, masterclasses, and films are just some of the events that take place over the festival weekend with the opportunity to meet and learn from some of the most famous comic artists.

 
Wasdale Head Show & Shepherd’s Meet

Wasdale Head Show & Shepherd’s Meet

The Wasdale Valley provides the stunning setting for this very traditional style agricultural show. Shepherds from across Cumbria gather together to compare their sheep and sheepdogs, and compete against one another in competitions that include “Best Boots”, “Best Shepherd’s Crook”, and “Best Beard” with the latter competition being open to all.

 
Castle Green Beer Festival

Castle Green Beer Festival

Bowness Bay Brewery is a large brewery in Kendal that creates a range of Lakeland inspired ales. The brewery works with the Castle Green Hotel, also in Kendal, each year to host a beer festival that promotes the brewery’s ale selection. A small number of guest ales from other local breweries are also featured, and there is a live music and discounted food in the hotel’s restaurant.

 
Broughton Festival of Beer

Broughton Festival of Beer

The great thing about the Broughton Festival of Beer is that it takes place in a number of pubs across the town, meaning that as well as the opportunity to try over 90 different ales, you can also visit different local establishments – many of which offer live entertainment as part of the festival. The festival is a joint enterprise between CAMRA and one of the pubs involved.

 

November

Bonfire Night

Bonfire Night

November starts with a bang in the Lake District with a spectacular array of fireworks shows across Cumbria. Many of the displays are free to attend, organised by local voluntary groups. Others offer you the chance to celebrate bonfire night in comfort and style with delicious food or exclusive shopping opportunities. Read about all the bonfire events taking place in the Lake District here.

 
Filming a mountain documentary

Kendal Mountain Festival

The Kendal Mountain Festival is a mountain film festival with the aim of inspiring the public to get out and explore the great outdoors. The festival features guest speakers, filmmmakers, and athletes and has been referred to as the 'Oscars of outdoor filmmaking'. The films do tend to centre around extreme sports, but also incorporate wildlife and environmental documentaries. 

 
People watching a large bonfire

Carlisle Fireshow

In late October or early November, the town of Carlisle puts on a spectacular event that includes a 30-foot bonfire, a fairground with games & prizes, and an impressive fireworks show at the end of the evening. The fireshow generally tends to follow a theme with 2015 featuring dragons, wizards, and magic.

 
Glasses of mulled wine

Holker Winter Market

Holker Hall near Cartmel holds an annual winter market over a weekend in November. The event showcases over 50 different stalls that sell various produce, crafts, and gifts. There is also a cosy café, serving mulled wine and the famous Holker BBQ, using locally sourced meats.

 
A traditional horse and carriage on a cobblestoned street

Ulverston Dickensian Christmas Festival

Nothing says Christmas like a bit of Dickens, and the Ulverston Dickensian Christmas Festival does just that with their traditional Dickensian era festival throughout the cobblestone town of Ulverston. Horse drawn carriages, dancing, costume competitions, a fairground, and live folk & brass music make this a truly magical event.

 
Carlisle Beer Festival

Carlisle Beer Festival

Held in early November each year, the Carlisle Beer Festival takes place in The Venue, a live music and comedy club in the centre of the city. As this is a CAMRA beer festival, you can expect to find the usual award ceremonies here, and a celebration of some of the best locally brewed ales Cumbria has to offer.

 
Ambleside Christmas Lights

Ambleside Christmas Lights

Mid November sees the festive season kick off in style in Ambleside, where the whole town gathers together to witness Santa Claus switch on the town’s Christmas lights. This whole day event includes a Christmas market, special lake cruises with Santa in attendance (charges apply), a lantern parade, live music, and free activities for children.

 
Kendal Christmas Lights

Kendal Christmas Lights

You could simply flick a switch and leave it at that, but in Kendal, the Christmas light switch on is a much grander affair. A Christmas market takes over much of the town during the day, and provides a great opportunity to get some unique Christmas gifts early in the season. There is entertainment in the form of live music and street performances, and the day finishes with the lights switched on by a special guest.

 
Penrith Winter Festival

Penrith Winter Festival

The Penrith Winter Festival is a huge affair that takes up most of the advent period. In November, the town’s Christmas lights are switched on for the first time, accompanied by a festive market that remains in situ for a week. Following this, you will find carol concerts, plays, a Santa's grotto and more at various locations around the town, including at the Rheged Centre, which becomes a winter wonderland.

 
Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

If you are visiting from across the pond at the end of November, then you might be looking for somewhere to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Unfortunately, outside of London, you will struggle to find any formal celebrations, but here in the Lake District we have an abundance of restaurants and pubs that serve amazing roast dinners. Read more about where to celebrate Thanksgiving in the Lake District here.

 

December

Handmade Christmas gifts

Carlisle Christmas Market

With the city adorned in lights and decorations, Carlisle makes a magical backdrop to this festive Christmas market. The Carlisle Christmas Market includes a variety of local vendors with everything from Christmas ornaments, hand-made gifts, mulled wine, and delicious food.

 
Christmas ornaments

Keswick Victorian Fayre

The Keswick Victorian Fair is a Christmas celebration with a nod to Victorian times. Local vendors offer up Christmas crafts, gifts, and delicious food & drink. Be sure to warm up with a glass of mulled wine whilst you enjoy the live street performances and get a bit of your Christmas shopping checked off. 

 
Christmas sheet music with baubles and holly

Hawkshead Christmas Fair

The Hawkshead Christmas Fair takes place indoors over a weekend in early December and features over 50 vendors, selling Christmas arts & crafts and other various gifts. The festival also has live performances, a lantern parade, carol singing, winter beers, and street music to put you in the festive mood. 

 
Cockermouth's Taste Cumbria Christmas

Taste Cumbria Christmas – Cockermouth

Whilst Christmas might be all about the presents for children, for us grown-ups, the food is the star player. At Taste Cumbria Christmas, you can purchase some amazing treats to accompany your Christmas feast. The market takes place on Cockermouth Main Street in two large marquees, so there is no need to worry about the weather!

 
Windermere Christmas Market

Windermere Christmas Market

Originally known as Windermere Ja, the volunteer organisers of the Windermere Christmas Market aimed to bring some German Christmas charm to the Lakeland town. This delightful market brings you goods from around Cumbria and across Europe, including gifts and delicious food. There are street performances and live music to enhance the festive atmosphere.

 
Askham Hall & Gardens Christmas Market

Askham Hall & Gardens Christmas Market

This luxury hotel and spa opens its doors to members of the public each year for its annual Christmas market. Here you can buy some delightful gifts for your loved ones whilst wondering through the hotel’s ancient hall and spectacular landscaped gardens. For the children, there is a special guest of honour marking the occasion.

 
New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve

If you are visiting the Lake District over New Year’s Eve, then it’s worth bearing in mind that public, free events in the area are very scarce. However, many of the larger hotels, clubs, and pubs, host ticketed celebrations. Whether you want to dance the year away or finish it with a fine three-course meal, you will find something to suit your tastes in our guide to New Year's Eve celebrations in the Lake District.