We have reached the end of 2020 and what a strange year it has been. At the beginning of the year, here at thelakedistrict.org we were getting excited for all of the lovely events that were due to take place this year, including numerous food festivals, agricultural shows, and outdoor sports events. Sadly, almost all of those events were cancelled due to the Covid19 pandemic.

As we look back on 2020, we have been humbled by the support that so many people have given to the Lake District. Whether it be by opting to have a short break here once lockdown was lifted, coming for a day trip, or even supporting our local businesses by purchasing items online. It’s clear that although many of you have been unable to visit us this year, you have held us close to your hearts, whilst others have fallen in love with the lakes and fells for the first time, and we hope to see you back soon.

At the time of writing this guide, we are still in a national lockdown, and it’s not yet clear what Tier of restrictions Cumbria will be in when the national lockdown ends. So, whilst we do list a handful of events here, please note that they may get cancelled at short notice. In the meantime, we would like to wish all of our readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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Craft Workshops at Quirky Workshops, Near Penrith

Quirky Workshops December 2020

These popular workshops are still planned for December, with a few spaces left. All workshops take place in a Covid secure venue with various restrictions in place to keep you safe. You must book your space in advance.

  • Buildings in the Landscape' using Line & Wash with John Harrison, Thursday 3rd December, £82
  • Lino Cut Christmas Cards with Sarah Cemmick, Friday 4th December, £75
  • Funky Felt Slippers with Marieke Tomlin, Monday 7th December, £68
  • Willow Weaving Angels with Phil Bradley, Tuesday 8th December, £78
  • Discovering Watercolours with Margaret Jarvis, Friday 11th December, £68
  • Needle Felt a Hare with Annis McGowan, Tuesday 15th December, £75
  • Discovering Pen & Wash & Christmas Cards with Margaret Jarvis, Wednesday 16th December, £68

For more information and to book your place, visit quirkyworkshops.co.uk/quirky-workshops-cumbria.

Mrs Claus’s Christmas Workshop, World of Beatrix Potter, Bowness-On-Windermere

Mrs Claus Workshop December 2020

The World of Beatrix Potter has been transformed into a winter wonderland with all of the magical scenes taking on a festive theme. This month, visitors to the attraction can also meet Mrs Claus, who has been working hard to create delicious treats to all the good boys and girls, meaning that she will be handing out a special Peter Rabbit shortbread to every child, free with admission.

Mrs Claus is present during various dates in December and you can find out more at hop-skip-jump.com/events. Please note that the Tea Parties with Father Christmas, as advertised in last month’s What’s On, are now fully booked.

Outdoor Events at Whinlatter Forest

December Events at Whinlatter Forest 2020

It is still essential that we all take time out of our busy lives to spend time in nature, even when the weather is poor, as it has many benefits to our mental health. This month, head over to Whinlatter Forest where, along with the events below, you can follow numerous trails either on bike or by foot, enjoy a cake and a coffee in the café (takeaway only if lockdown restrictions apply), and browse the gift shop for some lovely Christmas gifts. As usual, Whinlatter will also have its regular stock of Christmas trees available to buy.

  • Into The Dark Trail Run – No experience of trail running is required for this event that aims to build your confidence in running in the dark. You will need a headtorch and trail running shoes are recommended. You will run in a group along the trails, at a steady pace, with some ascents. This event takes place on Friday 11th December and costs £12. Booking is essential.
  • Festive Dark Skies Walk – Join a guided walk around the forest at night, taking the opportunity to gaze at the stars and drink in the peacefulness of the night-time forest. The walk will cover 3-4 miles but there will be the chance to return to the visitor centre after 2 miles if you are tired or have younger walkers. The event takes place on Saturday 12th December and costs £10 for adults, £5 for children, and children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Booking is essential
  • Winter Solstice Forest Bathing – Celebrate the Winter Solstice with Shinrin-Yoku, the Japanese art of Forest Bathing. This is a guided walk and mindfulness session with a fire and a traditional tea ceremony. You may wish to bring a sleeping bag or blankets as you will be sitting for a fairly long period of time. You will also need a headtorch as the event will end after sunset. This event takes place on Sunday 20th December and costs £30 per person.

For more information, visit forestryengland.uk/whinlatter-forest/venue/events-whinlatter.

Other Things to Look Out for this Month

Rheged Centre Re-opening in December 2020

It might be a quiet one compared to the Decembers of yesteryear, but the festive spirit is still alive and well in Cumbria. Christmas lights have been turned on in many of the towns and with retail set to reopen at the beginning of December, there will be plenty of lovely places to browse for your Christmas shopping. Rheged is due to reopen its doors on the 7th December with a brand new café and all of the wonderful shops it hosts.

Don’t forget, if you want to head out into the great outdoors, many of our activity companies (depending on restrictions), may still be able to offer small bubble group or one or one sessions in activities, such as climbing, ghyll scrambling, and fell walking, keeping you active over the festive period. Merry Christmas!