After the long dark month of January, February sees the gradual march of spring take hold. The last of the snowdrops fade away and are replaced with emerging crocuses, primroses, and daffodils. Days start to be noticeably longer, but warm layers are required as snow is still likely. February remains one of the quieter periods in the Lake District for tourists, with the exception of the February half term when many families flock to the area for an active late winter break.

If you are planning a visit during half term, you will find plenty to keep the family entertained, with events organised across the area. Outside of the half term, there are numerous concerts and shows, whilst February’s showcase event has to be the Keswick Film Festival at the end of the month.

Comedy Shows and more at the Theatre by the Lake, Keswick

Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake February 2018

Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake has a packed schedule this February, starting with The Hidden Key, a sequel of sorts to The Secret Garden from the theatre’s youth contingent, followed by a one-night performance from comedienne, Sarah Millican, on 3rd February. On Sunday, 4th February there’s a special sing-along screening of the latest adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, followed the next day by Cornermen, a touring production about a team of boxers.

The Banff Mountain Film festival takes over the theatre on the 9th & 10th of February as part of its world tour, and is accompanied by a family friendly production A Tiger’s Tale that is shown that weekend and into half term.

During half term week, there are a number of shows aimed at families with children. The Walrus and the Carpenter is a puppet show based on Lewis Carroll’s poem in Alice through the Looking Glass and also includes a craft workshop before the show. Don’t Dribble on the Dragon is a stage adaptation of Stephen Lee’s book and will be attended by the author who will sign copies of the book. The Chit Chat Chalk Show is aimed at children between 3 and 8 and explores a range of emotions in a fun and interactive way.

The month ends with the extraordinary performance from Josette Bushell-Mingo OBE in Nina – A Story about Me and Nine Simone in which the actress and singer mixes stories of her own life with those of Nina Simone and explores issues of equality and revolution.

  • Date: Throughout February
  • Time: Varies; Matinee performances available for some family friendly shows
  • Cost: Varies
  • Tickets / More Information: www.theatrebythelake.com

Guided Walk at Eycott Hill Nature Reserve, Near Penrith

Guided walk at Eycott Hill Nature Reserve

Join the Cumbria Wildlife Trust at their delightful upland nature reserve on the edge of the Lake District for a guided walk exploring the area. This free event is suitable for adults and children aged 7 and above and is an opportunity to learn more about this reserve and the wildlife that inhabits it. Participants will need either sturdy walking boots or wellingtons as the ground can be wet and uneven. Whilst this is a free event advanced booking is required.

Inspiring Talks, Intriguing Exhibitions, and Half Term Fun at the Rheged Centre

Rheged Centre Feb 2018

The Rheged Centre is the place to be when the weather is less than favourable. This February, the centre has a great selection of events to choose from, with something to suit almost everyone. There are two exhibitions taking place throughout the month. The Great Print Exhibition features over 350 artworks from printmakers across the country, whilst Slung is a huge art installation created from parachute fabric that is said to resemble a pair of lungs breathing air in the countryside and is designed to encourage visitors to reflect on the natural world.

On Saturday, 3rd February explorer, Ash Dykes, will deliver an inspirational talk at the centre, explaining his motivations and methods behind his extraordinary feats that include being the first person to walk solo across Mongolia, a 1500-mile journey that included the Altai Mountains, the Gobi Desert, and the Mongolian Steppe. This is followed on Sunday, 4th February with an antiques fair.

During half term, there are family friendly film screenings, mask-making workshops, a children’s science show, archery workshops, exotic animal encounter sessions, animation workshops, a unicorn afternoon tea party, and a circus extravaganza with workshops for children to practice circus skills, plus much, much more.

  • Date: Throughout February
  • Time: Varies
  • Cost: Varies
  • Tickets / More Information: www.rheged.com

Montane Trail 26 – Grizedale 13 & 26, Grizedale Forest

Montane Train Feb 2018

The perfect opportunity to re-start your trail running for 2018, this Montane Trail takes place in in Grizedale Forest and around Windermere. The 13-mile trail takes place completely in the forest, whilst the 26-mile trail follows the 13-mile trail before heading towards Lake Windermere, covering more technical ground. Those who finish will receive a medal, t-shirt, chip timing, and free photographs. There is also a free mini kids trail for younger runners. Advanced booking is required.

  • Date: Sunday, 4th February, 2018
  • Time: 9.30am
  • Cost: 26-mile trail £35, 13-mile trail £30
  • Tickets / More Information: www.trail26.com

Rockmantic at the Brickyard, Carlisle

Brickyard Feb 2018

Fans of hard-hitting heavy rock music will love Rockmantic. This two-day event at the Brickyard in Carlisle sees heavy rock bands from the UK and further afield coming together to wow audiences with their exhilarating tunes. Amongst the sixteen bands that are playing, the line-up includes Lancaster five-piece, Massive Wagons, who have recently signed a record deal, and German rockers, the New Roses, who have had success across Europe. You must be over the age of 14 to attend and advanced booking is recommended.

  • Date: Friday, 9th & Saturday, 10th February, 2018
  • Time: 3pm to Midnight
  • Cost: £30
  • Tickets / More Information: thebrickyardonline.com

Chas & Dave at the Sands Centre, Carlisle

Chas & Dave at the Sands Centre

Creators of “rockney” music that combines elements of musical theatre with pub-style karaoke and classic rock music, Chas and Dave have been performing together since the 1970s and this February they will be appearing on stage at Carlisle’s Sands Centre. The duo will perform some of their classic and best loved hits, along with songs from their latest album, That’s What Happens.

  • Date: Saturday, 10th February, 2018
  • Time: 7.30pm
  • Cost: £29.50
  • Tickets / More Information: thesandscentre.com

Love Letters & Pancakes at the Lowther Castle, Near Penrith

Valentine's Day Meal at Lowther Castle February 2018

The Menu for Lowther Castle's 2018 Valentine's Day Dinner

This February, half term includes both Shrove Tuesday, AKA Pancake Day, and Valentine’s Day, so Lowther Castle are combining the two as part of their February half term activities. Visitors to the castle will be able to follow a trail around the castle’s grounds where various love letters, poems, and spring flowers can be found. In addition, there will be special pancake making sessions where visitors can try and flip pancakes, whilst the café will be serving a mixture of sweet and savoury pancake dishes through the event.

On Valentine’s Day itself, there will be a special five-course meal in the evening accompanied by private tour of the castle. Pre-booking is essential for the meal. The menu for the Valentine's Day meal is shown above.

  • Date: Saturday, 10th February to Sunday, 25th February, 2018
  • Time: Open daily 10am to 4pm during winter; The Valentine's Day meal begins at 7pm on the 14th of February
  • Cost: Trails and pancake flipping included with normal admission rates; Valentine’s Day Dinner £45 per person
  • Tickets / More Information: www.lowthercastle.org

Keswick Film Festival

Keswick Film Festival February 2018

The Keswick Film Festival is now in its 18th year and is an annual event that occurs towards the end of February showcasing independent film makers. This year’s selection of films includes some familiar faces, including Sheila Hancock who is starring in Edie, and Sigourney Weaver, Liam Neeson, and Felicity Jones who are all starring in A Monster Calls. In addition, there are a number of moving documentaries and the festival also features talks from guest speakers, as well as the Osprey Film Awards that showcases short films that have been produced locally. All events take place at the Theatre by the Lake, Keswick, the Alhambra Cinema, Keswick, and the Rheged Centre, Penrith.

  • Date: Friday, 23rd February – Sunday, 25th February, 2018
  • Time: Varies
  • Cost: Festival Passes £55 Adults, £25 Concession; Individual performances £6.50 Adults, £4 Concessions
  • Tickets / More Information: www.keswickfilmclub.org

Music Festival Weekend at Askham Hall

Askham Hall February 2018

Askham Hall Hotel is opening up its doors for one weekend in February to host a chamber music festival. Each evening, acclaimed musicians, Helena Winkelman, Adrian Brendel, and Noam Greenberg, will perform a number of classic pieces either in the hall or the church. After the performances, there will be a chance for some concert attendees to enjoy a delicious evening meal that showcases the best of Askham Hall’s produce and the culinary skills of its staff. Performers will also be attending the meal. Bookings for the evening meals must be made and space will be limited.

  • Date: Friday, 23rd February – Sunday, 25th February, 2018
  • Time: 7pm Friday, 5pm Saturday & Sunday.
  • Cost: £18 per concert, £45 for all three concerts; Meals charged separately
  • Tickets / More Information: www.askhamhall.co.uk

Wedding Fayres in the Lake District

Castle Green Wedding Fair February 2018

With Valentine’s Day being a popular time for proposals, it’s no wonder that late February sees a number of wedding fayres taking place, especially here in the Lake District where our World Heritage Status landscape creates the perfect setting for those romantic wedding photographs. If you are planning a wedding, then do pop along to one of the following to see what the Lake District can offer for your perfect day.

Pirates, Pants, and Wellyphants: The Beacon Museum, Whitehaven

Beacon Museum Sharratt Exhibition February 2018

The wacky world of children’s author and illustrator, Nick Sharratt, is coming to the Beacon Museum in Whitehaven. The illustrator has created a touring exhibition that not only showcases his work, including some of his earliest illustrations, but also includes plenty of hands-on activities for children to try. The exhibition opens on the 24th February and Nick himself will be in attendance to sign books and introduce the exhibition.

  • Date: Launches Saturday, 24th February, 2018 and runs until 14th April, 2018.
  • Time: From 10am
  • Cost: Standard admission rates apply
  • Tickets / More Information: www.thebeacon-whitehaven.co.uk

Little Trackers Week, Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway & Lakes Aquarium, Near Lake Windermere

Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway Little Trackers Week February 2018

During February half term, children who have combined tickets for the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway and the Lakes Aquarium will be set a challenge to follow clues to find various locations that mascots, Oscar the Otter and Plumpton Bear, have visited. There will be craft activities on board the train and meet and greet sessions with the characters. In addition, there will be various family friendly activities at the aquarium throughout the week.

  • Date: Monday, 12th February, 2018 – Friday, 16th February, 2018
  • Time: Trains depart Haverthwaite station from 9.25am
  • Cost: Combined Rail and Aquarium Tickets: Adults £8.35, Children £5.20, Under 5yrs Free
  • Tickets / More Information: www.lakesiderailway.co.uk