December is a time for visiting Father Christmas, doing a bit of Christmas shopping at a whimsical Christmas market, drinking mulled wine by a warming fireplace and enjoying the company of lovely friends and family. Here in the Lake District there are plenty of opportunities for visitors and locals alike to come together and celebrate the wonderful season.

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Christmas Light Switch Ons, Christmas Markets & Festivals

Christmas Market Dec 2021

Each town in the Lake District will have their own celebrations in terms of switching on their town's Christmas lights (*usually mid to late November*) with various festivals and markets taking place on or around that time. Whilst many winter celebrations did not take place in 2020, we hope to see a revival in 2021 now that restrictions have eased somewhat. Keep an eye on the listings on our Christmas Markets page for further information as the dates of these events get released closer to the time.

Santa's Grottos in the Lake District

Santa's Grottos Dec 2021

In our Santa's grotto article, we look at some of the possible venues in the Lake District that offer or have once offered a visit with Father Christmas. So, if you're looking to meet Father Christmas, this is a good place to start your search. Please check with the venues in advance and be sure to book a place early as these are always popular events that sell out quickly.

Keswick Victorian Fayre

Keswick Victorian Fayre Dec 2021

The Keswick Victorian Fayre is taking place on the 5th of December, 2021. There will be over 30 charity stalls with homemade crafts, produce, festive food & drink, as well as games and tombolas. In addition, you'll find local artists, dancers choirs, and bands in the market square. Find out more on the event's website.

Christmas at Brockhole

Brockhole Dec 2021

There are plenty of Christmassy events at Brockhole to keep the whole family entertained. Shopping for gifts, Christmas tree shopping, Christmas lunch at the Gaddum, a festive afternoon tea, as well as creative workshops for adults. There's even a 'Crafternoon tea' where you can enjoy craft making and an afternoon tea simultaneously. Check out everything that's on this December here.

Christmas Fair at Rydal Mount

Rydal Mount Dec 2021

The former home of William Wordsworth, Rydal Mount, is hosting a Christmas fair this December on Saturday the 11th and Sunday the 12th of December. There will be live music, mulled wine, mince pies and possibly even some Christmas craft workshops. Additionally, there will be local tradespeople selling their local crafts, including Jo Vincent glass designer, Letty Ashworth of Lakeland Stitch, and Sally Anne Lambert of Moongazer Cards. It's £12 for adults and £6 for children. You can find out more on their website here.

Taste Cumbria Christmas: Christmas Market in Cockermouth

Taste Cumbria dec 2021

Taste Cumbria Christmas is set to take place this December in Cockermouth. You're bound to find festive food and drink stalls, as well as a Christmas market. Keep an eye out for details on their Facebook page.

Christmas Events at Holker Hall

Holker Dec 2021

Holker is decking out it's halls this year with many a Christmas event. A Cavendish Christmas, Mini Grotto Experience (sold out as of end of October), Bess & Barrel Festive Party Night and a Mrs Claus Baby Reindeer Experience. Check out all the details on their website here.

World of Beatrix Potter: Santa's Best Ever Christmas

World of Beatrix Potter: Santa's Best Ever Christmas Dec 2021

This is a festive, musical, interactive adventure where Santa believes this is going to be the best Christmas ever. Suitable for children aged 2-7 and their families where every child receives a wrapped present from Santa. A variety of dates and times available throughout December – check out the events page for more information.

Christmas at Muncaster Castle

Muncaster Castle Dec 2021

Christmas at Muncaster Castle is always a magical experience. You can tour the castle, decked in Victorian Christmas decorations, learn about Victoria Christmas traditions, meet Father Christmas, and participate in Christmas crafts. There's even a Christmas afternoon tea! They haven't released all the details quite yet at the time of writing in October but when they do, they'll be listed here.

Christmas Celebration: Dorothy Wordsworth’s 250th Birthday

Dove Cottage Dec 2021

Come celebrate Dorothy Wordsworth's 250th birthday on the 22nd of December at Dove Cottage with readings from her journal, gingerbread decorating, and a traditional Cumbrian step dance. Find out more here.

Walby Park: Father Christmas on the Farm

Walby Farm Park Dec 2021

Meet Father Christmas, Mother Christmas, the reindeer, and take part in Snowtime on Walby Farm Park! Also, if you bring your letter to Santa to the Elves 'Post Room, you will receive a cuddly teddie from the Teddy Tastic Workshop. Check out everything that's on and book your tickets early to avoid disappointment here.

Christmas at Allan Bank

Allan Bank Dec 2021

This December at Allan Bank, you'll find Percy the Park Keeper's Winter Wander trail, allowing you to explore the grounds with interactive fun for children. Afterwards, you can warm up by the fireplace in the house there. Whilst there is no café on site, you can bring your own lunch or hot beverage to enjoy inside. They also have kits to make your own Christmas cards and Tree Decorations that you can take home or work on within Allan Bank. Check out all the festive plans here.

Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway (Santa Specials - TBD)

Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway Dec 2021

Whilst the Ravenglass & Eskdale: Santa Express 2021 is fully booked at the time of writing in early October, the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway may or may not be hosting their 'Santa Specials' this year in 2021 where you'll get to ride L'al Ratty with a visit from Santa. If the event goes ahead, the tickets will go on sale on the 1st of November, so you'll want to be quick, as these will sell out very quickly. We recommend keeping a close eye on their website here.

New Year's Eve in the Lake District

NYE Dec 2021

Lastly, if you're in the Lake District for New Year's Eve, there will be plenty of pubs, restaurants and venues across Cumbria celebrating the occasion. Many of these celebrations are yet to be announced but a good place to start your search is our page on New Year's Eve in the Lake District. We list venues by area who have hosted big celebrations in the past, but you will want to check to see if they are doing it again and be sure to book your tickets well in advance if so. We also list some public fireworks celebrations, such as near the famous clock tower in Keswick, as well as over the lake in Windermere. 3... 2... 1... Happy New Year!