It’s time to dig out the thermals, pull on the bobble hats, and pack the thermos flask. Winter has arrived in the Lake District and we’re feeling the chill. If you like frosty mornings and cosy afternoons spent by a roaring fire in a traditional pub then this is the time to visit.

The month of November starts off with a bang as we celebrate bonfire night across the national park, and, dare we say it, with Christmas around the corner we start to see the first glimpses of festive activities. This month also sees the return of the splendid Kendal Mountain Festival, whilst the theatres are packed with a new season of shows.

November at the Rheged Centre, Penrith

November at the Rheged Centre, Penrith

If the weather is keeping you off the fells then head over to Rheged this November for a variety of indoor entertainment. Along with the usual film screenings in the centre’s cinema there are a number of events taking place this month. The Great Print Exhibition starts on the 9th November, running until February next year.

The exhibition features over 350 pieces of art from over 60 artists from across the UK. Regular yoga classes will also start this month for those looking to tone those muscles. There are several different craft workshops to book onto including festive embroidery, needle felting, block printing, and chocolate truffle making. The weekend of the 17th & 18th November also sees the launch of the centre’s festive programme.

The Cumbria Life Christmas fair takes place over that weekend, with over 50 exhibitors that will showcase the best that Cumbria has to offer in terms of arts, crafts, gifts, and produce. Meanwhile, Santa’s Magical Gingerbread Cottage will appear that weekend, running each weekend until Christmas and giving children the opportunity to meet the man in red. Finally, on the 24th November there will be a festive rave for the whole family.

  • Date: Various dates in November
  • Time: Varies
  • Cost: Varies
  • Tickets / More Information:

November at The Theatre By The Lake, Keswick

November 2018 at The Theatre By The Lake, Keswick

This month, the Theatre by the Lake in Keswick bids farewell to its summer season and a new round of shows begin. The Other Place is a psychological thriller by American playwright, Sharr White, that was first shown on Broadway. The show is the story of successful neurologist Juliana Smithton whose life begins to unravel when faced with divorce, estrangement, and a serious illness. Feral is written and performed by Sonya Moorhead with music provided by folk band, the Greyhounds, combining storytelling, party tricks, and folk music.

Comfort and Joy by Mike Harding depicts a classic British family Christmas with all the uncomfortable dynamics often associated with it. In the middle of the month, the Shakespeare Schools Festival at the theatre will see a collection of abridged Shakespeare productions performed by local schools. Towards the end of the month, Laurence Boswell’s version of the classic fairytale, Beauty and the Beast, will take to the stage.

  • Date: Throughout November
  • Time: Varies
  • Cost: Varies
  • Tickets / More Information:

November at The Old Laundry Theatre, Bowness-On-Windermere

November 2018 at The Old Laundry Theatre, Bowness-On-Windermere

The Old Laundry Theatre continues its run of Alan Ayckbourn shows during the first part of November with performances of Better Off Dead and Joking Apart, two classic comedies by the playwright. Later in the month, there’s a one off performance of Oscar Wilde’s haunting story, The Picture of Dorian Grey, whilst an adaptation of HG Wells’ The Time Machine is also shown for one night only. There’s a unique performance from the UK’s original touring Taiko Tribe, as well as a show by folk band Skerryvore, and a lively evening with contemporary fiddle players Blazin’ Fiddles.

November at The Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal

November 2018 at The Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal

Along with film screenings in the centre’s cinema, the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal is hosting a number of performances on its stage this November. The Damned United is a stage show based on the film of the same name and examines the reign of Brian Clough as manager of Leeds United, a turbulent time that was made all the more chaotic by Clough’s previous open hostility towards the club.

Can’t Sit Still – Plink and Boo is an interactive circus and story-telling performance aimed at children aged 2-5 years old. Ventoux is an unusual performance that combines large screens and mounted road bikes to tell the story of cyclists Lance Armstrong and Marco Pantani who took on the French mountain by the same name in a race now beset with controversy. Let Me Look At You is a thought provoking piece from theatre company Starving Artists and looks at how things have changed since the decriminalisation of homosexuality 50 years ago.

Jazz Nights at Zeffirellis, Ambleside

Jazz Nights at Zeffirellis, Ambleside November 2018

Ambleside’s premier entertainment venue is once again hosting a number of jazz and folk evenings this month in the bar, and best of all, many are free! Acts performing this month include acoustic duo, Washboard Resonators, chamber jazz group, Compass Quartet, esteemed saxophonist, Tommy Smith (ticketed event), pianist, Ben Playford, and R&B group, the Elderly Brothers.

  • Date: Throughout November
  • Time: Varies
  • Cost: Most events free; Tommy Smith £20 to £35
  • Tickets / More Information:

Quirky Workshops, Greystoke Cycle Café, Near Penrith

November 2018 Quirky Workshops at the Greystoke Cycle Café Near Penrith

The Greystoke Cycle Café runs a series of quirky workshops throughout the year that give attendees the opportunity to learn an unusual craft. This November, the programme includes a blacksmithing day where you can make a fire poker, a 3D paper models workshop, willow weaving, and basket making using linen OS maps. Course fees include a lovely lunch. Advanced booking is essential.

  • Date: Various dates in November
  • Time: Most courses run between 9.30am and 4.30pm
  • Cost: Varies
  • Tickets / More Information:

Keswick Ghost Walks, Moot Hall, Keswick

Keswick Ghost Walks Nov 2018, Moot Hall, Keswick

Now that the nights are drawing in it is the perfect time to explore some of the paranormal activities that have been reported around Keswick. Lakeland Hauntings offer regular ghost walks around Keswick and are hosting three walks this November.

On the walks, you will explore some of Keswick’s more sinister history and learn more about the legends of the ghosts said to haunt the town. The walks last approximately one hour and fifteen minutes and are not suitable for children under ten years old. Advanced booking is essential.

  • Date: 1st, 10th & 24th November, 2018
  • Time: 7.30pm
  • Cost: Adults £10, Concessions £8
  • Tickets / More Information:

Dawn Photography Cruise, Ullswater Steamers, Glenridding

November 2018 Dawn Photography Cruise, Ullswater Steamers, Glenridding

For landscape photographers, Dawn is one of the best times of the day to capture stunning scenery. This November, budding photographers can hone their skills with guidance from award winning photographer, Mark Littlejohn, aboard a dawn cruise on the Ullswater Steamers.

You will be able to capture the sunrise as the light hits the fells creating beautiful imagery and you will receive tips from Littlejohn on how to improve your images. The price also includes a drink and croissant. Dogs are not permitted.

  • Date: Thursday, 1st November, 2018
  • Time: The cruise departs Glenridding at 6.15am and will return at 9.15am
  • Cost: £47.50
  • Tickets / More Information:

Circus Of Horrors – Psycho Asylum, Coronation Hall, Ulverston

November 2018 Circus of Horrors

Definitely not one for the kids, the Circus of Horrors is a travelling circus group that blends horror with burlesque, goth, and steampunk. They have previously performed at Download festival, the West End, and were finalists in Britain’s Got Talent.

Their new show, Psycho Asylum, features a plethora of performances that include sword swallowers, knife throwers, acrobatics, contortionists, and aerialists, all with sinister, yet hilarious twists. The show is not suitable for children under 14 years old.

Winter Market, Holker Hall, Near Grange-Over-Sands

November 2018 Winter Market, Holker Hall, Near Grange-Over-Sands

The delightful Holker Hall will be hosting a winter market this November. Kick start your Christmas shopping with a variety of stalls that will be selling food, crafts, and gifts. The market will be accompanied by street entertainers and live music performances. Hot food and mulled wine will also be available. Dogs are welcome and the entry price includes entrance to the estate’s gardens.

  • Date: Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th November, 2018
  • Time: 10am to 4pm (From 10.30am on the Friday)
  • Cost: £3 per person
  • Tickets / More Information:

Bonfire Night In The Lake District


Remember remember the fifth of November, Gunpowder treason and plot. This November, the UK will once again commemorate the failure of Guy Fawkes to blow up the House of Lords. Across the Lake District and Cumbria there will be a number of fireworks displays, with most taking place during the first weekend of November.

Below we sum up our top picks, but be sure to check out our article on Bonfire Night in the Lake District for a more complete guide. 

Kendal Rugby Club

Kendal Rugby Club Bonfire Night 2018

This year’s display also acknowledges the centenary of the end of the first World War. There will be hot food and a licensed bar.

  • Date: Friday, 2nd November, 2018
  • Time: Opens 5pm, Display at 7.30pm
  • Cost: Free
  • Tickets / More Information:

Hayes Garden World, Ambleside

Bonfire Night 2018 at Hayes Garden World

This event combines fireworks with late night shopping at the garden centre. Tickets include hot food and 10% off in store. Advanced booking essential.

  • Date: Friday, 2nd November, 2018
  • Time: 6pm – 9pm.
  • Cost: Children aged 0-2 Free, 3-15 £6 and Adults 16 + £10
  • Tickets / More Information:

Beech Hill Hotel, Bowness-On-Windermere

Bonfire 2018 at Beech Hill Hotel

This luxury Guy Fawkes party at the Beech Hill Hotel includes fire performers, a three-course meal, and a fireworks display. Advanced booking is required.


Lowther Castle, Near Penrith

Bonfire Night 2018 at Lowther Castle

Lowther Castle’s annual fireworks display will include street performances, an illuminated courtyard, and a variety of street food available to buy. Advanced booking recommended.

  • Date: Sunday, 4th November, 2018
  • Time: Courtyard opens from 5pm, Fireworks at 7.45pm
  • Cost: Adults £9.50, Children £7.50
  • Tickets / More Information:

Memorial Gardens, Cockermouth

Bonfire Night 2018 at Memorial Gardens in Cockermouth

Cockermouth’s annual fireworks display is a popular event that draws in the crowds. The park will have the usual hot food stands.

  • Date: Sunday, 4th November, 2018
  • Time: The display starts promptly at 6pm
  • Cost: Free
  • Tickets / More Information:

Carlisle Fireshow, Bitts Park, Carlisle

Carlisle Fireshow Bonfire 2018

This spectacular event in Carlisle will commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the People’s Act that first gave women the right to vote, with more than 2000 fireworks in the suffragette colours. There will be a 40ft bonfire and a fairground. Admission is free but donations for charity will be requested on the night.

  • Date: Saturday, 3rd November, 2018
  • Time: Fairground 5pm to 9pm, Pre-entertainment 6.30pm, Bonfire lit at 7pm
  • Cost: Free entry, but donations requested
  • Tickets / More Information:

The Swinside Inn, Newlands Valley, Near Keswick

Bonfire Night 2018 at the Swinside Inn Near Keswick

The Newlands Valley is a beautiful setting for a fireworks display, and in recent years this event has become increasingly popular. As a result, the even at Swinside Inn is now ticketed. There will be live music and a hot food stand and bar outside to accommodate all of the spectators.


Windermere Rugby Club, Bowness-On-Windermere

Bonfire Night at the Windermere Rugby Club

This annual display includes a live band, hot food, and a bar serving mulled wine and real ale.

  • Date: Saturday, 3rd November, 2018
  • Time: Bonfire 6.30pm, Fireworks 7pm
  • Cost: £5 per person
  • Tickets / More Information:

The Santa Express at Hayes Garden World, Ambleside

November 2018 The Santa Express at Hayes Garden World, Ambleside

It might only be November but the build up to Christmas has well and truly started and at Hayes Garden World in Ambleside they are getting into the festive spirit with a winter wonderland that has been created in store.

There’s a stationary express train for festive photos, snowball fight opportunities, a chance to make reindeer food in Santa’s workshop, and an opportunity to meet Santa himself who will be giving out gifts. Advanced booking is required.

  • Date: Every Friday, Saturday, & Sunday throughout November
  • Time: Bookings available every 15 minutes from 9.45am (Sunday 10.45am) to 12.45pm, then 13.45pm to 4.45pm
  • Cost: Children 1-15 years £12 (weekdays) / £14 (weekends), Babies 0-1 years £10 (weekdays) / £12 (weekends), Adults £2; At least one adult ticket must be purchased
  • Tickets / More Information:

Old Brown Owl Day, The World Of Beatrix Potter, Bowness-On-Windermere

November 2018 Old Brown Owl Day at the World Of Beatrix Potter

Beatrix Potter’s grumpy Old Brown Owl is one of her most memorable creatures, not least because his response to Squirrel Nutkin’s endless teasing resulted in Nutkin losing his fine tail. This special one day event at the World of Beatrix Potter attraction in Windermere celebrates Old Brown, with real owls in attendance throughout the day.

There may be the opportunity to hold and stroke some of the owls, and there will be a Squirrel Nutkin trail in the garden. This event is included in the entry price.

Phil Jupitus – Juplicity, The Beggar’s Theatre, Millom

Phil Jupitus – Juplicity, The Beggar’s Theatre, Millom November 2018

Comedian, Phil Jupitus, is bringing his latest stand-up show to Millom this November. Jupitus rose to fame as a team captain on BBC 2’s Never Mind the Buzzcocks, and has since made numerous appearances on other television and radio shows, as well as performing in a number of West End shows.

The Ello Ello Enigma, Lindeth Howe, Bowness-On-Windermere

November 2018 The Ello Ello Enigma, Lindeth Howe, Bowness-On-Windermere

Inspired by the hit television series Ello Ello, this murder mystery evening at the Lindeth Howe Hotel will see scenes of evidence presented throughout the event with clues to decipher in order to determine who has committed the heinous act of murder at Café Rene.

The evening’s events will be performed by Little Gargoyle Ltd, an award winning production company who specialise in murder mystery events. Tickets to the event include a three-course meal and advanced booking with a non-refundable deposit is required.

Hard Hat Tours, Wray Castle, Near Ambleside

November 2018 Hard Hat Tours at Wray Castle

Go behind the scenes at Wray Castle, a favourite holiday home of Beatrix Potter, on one of these special hard hat tours. Whilst most of the castle is open to visitors, there are some parts that are inaccessible to the general public with spiral staircases and narrow spaces to clamber through, requiring the use of a hard hat. The tour is included in the admission fee, but places are limited so advanced booking is highly recommended.

  • Date: 10th, 11th, 17th, 18th, 24th, & 25th November, 2018
  • Time: Tours take place at 11am, 1pm and 3pm, lasting for approximately 45 minutes
  • Cost: Included in the admission rate: Adults £10.80, Children £5.40, National Trust members free
  • Tickets / More Information:

Mountain Bike Core Skills Two Day Course, Whinlatter Forest

November 2018 Mountain Bike Core Skills Two Day Course, Whinlatter Forest

Cyclewise, who operate the bike hire shop at Whinlatter Forest, are hosting a two-day mountain biking core skills course this November. The aim of the course is to teach participants to become better riders by focusing on the core skills that include bike set up, weight shifting, and front and rear wheel lifts.

The course will also cover the essentials in climbing, descending, and braking, and participants will spend the first day getting to grips with the skills before testing them out on one of the Whinlatter trails with feedback provided by the instructors. Advanced booking is required as places are limited. Lunch is not provided but a table will be reserved in the café should you wish to purchase something.

Shaun Ryder’s Black Grape, The Old Fire Station, Carlisle

November 2018 Shaun Ryder’s Black Grape, The Old Fire Station, Carlisle

Shaun Ryder is best known as the front man of the band the Happy Mondays who sadly fell apart in the early 90s with Ryder plagued by drug additions. Thankfully, Ryder made a full recovery and returned to rock music with his new band Black Grape in 1993. The band are currently on tour again and will be performing in Carlisle’s Old Fire Station this November.

Kendal Mountain Festival, Various Locations In Kendal

November 2018 Kendal Mountain Festival

This November, Kendal will once again see the return of the Kendal Mountain Festival, an event that is designed to bring together those who love the great outdoors and to inspire more people to take on new adventures. The festival features a packed programme, including an international film competition for films that celebrate mountains and adventure sports with film screenings throughout the four day event.

There will be talks from film makers and adventurers, practical sessions where you can try sports, such as kayaking, a 10k trail run, and a number of book launches. There are live music sessions in the evenings, a silent disco, and dedicated events for children. Some events are free, most events require separate tickets. You can also buy film passes that give access to all the film screenings on your chosen date.

  • Date: Thursday 15th to Sunday 18th November, 2018
  • Time: Varies
  • Cost: Ranges from being free to £30, depending on the event
  • Tickets / More Information:

Vegas Night, The Kirkgate Centre, Cockermouth

November 2018 Vegas Night at the Kirkgate Centre

This November, to raise money to help secure the future of the Kirkgate Centre, there will be a special casino evening. The centre will be transformed with a pop-up casino where guests can try different games including Roulette and Blackjack. The evening is all about having fun, so no real money will be used in the games and instead each ticket holder will be given tokens to use throughout the evening.

Prizes will be given for those with the most tokens at the end of the evening. Whilst the casino takes place on the ground floor, there will be live music on the upper floor and the bar will be open all evening with a free glass of fizz included in the ticket price.

Ambleside Christmas Lights, Ambleside

November 2018 Ambleside Christmas Lights

Every year in November, the people of Ambleside come together to celebrate the switching on of the town’s Christmas lights. This is a whole day event, starting at 10am with a coffee morning and craft fair. From noon, there are various stalls, street performers, and live music in the town centre.

There are two special cruises departing from Waterhead Pier at 11am and 2pm that will be joined by Santa Claus (booking essential), and then at 4pm Santa will begin a sleigh ride through the town centre, joined by a lantern procession with members of the public, ending with Santa switching on the Christmas lights.

The day closes with a bang in Rothay Park where there will be a fabulous fireworks display at 5.30pm. The event is free, apart from the cruises.

  • Date: Saturday, 17th November, 2018
  • Time: 10am to 6pm
  • Cost: Free entry for parade, stalls, etc, Santa Cruises: £13 for adults and children over 13yrs, £8 for children under 13yrs
  • Tickets / More Information:

Cockermouth Christmas Lights Switch On, Main Street, Cockermouth

November 2018 Cockermouth Christmas Lights Switch On

There’s an afternoon of live music and free entertainment this month to celebrate the switching on of Cockermouth’s Christmas lights. A stage will be erected in Cockermouth’s main street where a number of acts will perform, including local theatre, dance, and music groups, with the headline act being local favourite Building Giants.

There will be stalls selling a variety of goods, face painting, and a Santa’s grotto where children can meet the man himself. Tipsy Filly, the mobile gin and Prosecco bar will also be attendance.

  • Date: Sunday, 18th November, 2018
  • Time: 2pm to 6pm
  • Cost: Free
  • Tickets / More Information:

Navigation & Mountain Safety, George Fisher, Keswick

November 2018 Navigation & Mountain Safety with George Fisher

Paul, a qualified mountaineer and member of the Keswick Mountain Rescue Team, and George Fisher will be leading this half day session that will cover the basics on navigation and mountain safety. The course will cover navigation in poor visibility, route planning, use of GPS devices, and being able to identify your location for mountain rescue teams.

You will need to have an average level of fitness, with around 5 miles of walking covered during the session. You will also need to have suitable clothing and footwear and bring your own snacks and drinks. Maps and compasses will be provided. The course fee will be donated in full to the Keswick Mountain Rescue Team.

  • Date: Friday, 23rd November, 2018
  • Time: 9am to 1pm
  • Cost: £20
  • Tickets / More Information:

Make A Mini Snowman Wreath, Allan Bank, Grasmere

November 2018 Make a Mini Snowman Wreath Craft at Allan Bank

Allan Bank is a wonderful place to visit for those who like to try their hands at different crafts, with many of the upstairs rooms devoted to the creation of different craft items. However, this November the National Trust property will be hosting an extra special craft session where visitors will be able to make a miniature snowman wreath that would make a delightful addition to your Christmas tree. The session costs £5 in addition to the standard admission fee and there are three sessions available on the day, with no advanced booking required.

  • Date: Saturday, 24th November, 2018
  • Time: One hour slots available at 11am, 12pm & 2pm
  • Cost: £5 per person in addition to the standard admission rate
  • Tickets / More Information:

Santa Express & Christmas Market, Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway

November 2018 Santa Express & Christmas Market, Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway

Each year the La’al Ratty, AKA the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway, run a series of Santa special trains in the run up to Christmas. The last weekend in November sees the first of these special trains where children can enjoy a special train ride to Dalegarth station where Santa will be waiting with a gift. This year, to coincide with the Santa Express rides there will be a Christmas market at Ravenglass station with a collection of stalls selling a range of gifts.

A Christmas lunch is also available at Ravenglass station. Train rides and lunches must be booked in advance. Train tickets include a return journey, gift for each child, complimentary drink and mince pie on board, and a voucher for 50% off an adult ticket in 2019.

  • Date: Every Saturday & Sunday before Christmas, starting 24th November, 2018
  • Time: Train times are 10am, 12:50pm or 3:40pm
  • Cost: £21.50 per adult and child aged 1-11, £13.95 per child aged 12-15
  • Tickets / More Information:

Carvetti Big Weekend, The Roastery, Threlkeld, Near Keswick

November 2018 Carvetti Big Weekend, The Roastery, Threlkeld, Near Keswick

If you love coffee then you will love the Carvetti Big weekend this November. Carvetti Coffee are a coffee roasting company based in Threlkeld, near Keswick and you can find their coffee in establishments across the Lake District. For one weekend, the roastery is opening its doors to the public and hosting a series of events all on the topic of coffee.

There will be roasting demonstrations, coffee and tea tastings, and workshops on how to get the best out of your aeropress. Each session must be booked and paid for separately, with a free goodie bag included in the price.

Christmas Pudding Workshop, Hobcartons, Braithwaite, Near Keswick

November 2018 Christmas Pudding Workshop at Hobcartons

Hobcartons Tea Room in the small village of Braithwaite has a fabulous reputation for their delicious homemade cakes and puddings. This November, they are offering a small number of people the chance to make their own Christmas pudding ready for the festive season with guidance from their baking experts.

Pudding makers can bring their friends and family to join in the fun, and the cost of the session includes a pudding bowl, all of the ingredients, mince pies, and drinks. Advanced booking is required.

  • Date: Sunday, 25th November, 2018
  • Time: 5pm
  • Cost: £40
  • Tickets / More Information:

Lowther Castle Christmas Market, Near Penrith

Lowther Castle Christmas Market November 2018

The delightful courtyard at Lowther Castle will be hosting a Christmas market this November, giving visitors the chance to buy some unique gifts for their loved ones. Local arts, crafts, and produce will all be on sale and the courtyard will be illuminated creating a festive atmosphere. This weekend will also see the castle begin to sell real Christmas trees once more. Entrance to the market is free but normal admission rates to the castle apply.

  • Date: Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th November, 2018
  • Time: 10am to 5pm
  • Cost: Castle admission rates apply – Adults £9, Children £7
  • Tickets / More Information:

Threlkeld Village Hall Craft Fair, Near Keswick

November 2018 Threlkeld Village Hall Craft Fair

This year’s Threlkeld Craft Fair will be bigger than ever, taking over not just the village hall, but the nearby school as well. The perfect place to start your Christmas shopping, both venues will be packed with stalls selling items produced by local artists, including textiles, knitting, jewellery, artwork, ceramics, quilting, glass-works, paper craft, wooden items, beeswax candles and cards. Entry is free and tea and coffee will be available in the village hall throughout the day.

A Dickensian Christmas Crime Murder Mystery, The Castle Green Hotel, Kendal

November 2018 A Dickensian Christmas Crime Murder Mystery

Castle Green Hotel in Kendal have teamed up with After Dark Entertainment to put on a special murder mystery evening this November. Step back in time to the land of Charles Dickens and meet some of your favourite Dickensian characters.

Unfortunately, one poor soul has been the victim of murder and will be up to you to decipher the clues and determine the culprit. You’ll be led along the way by the ghost of Christmas Crimes and you’ll travel to the past and future to gather the clues. The evening includes a three-course meal and advanced booking is required.

  • Date: Thursday, 29th November, 2018
  • Time: 7pm
  • Cost: £36
  • Tickets / More Information:

Rumble In The Jungle Evening, Lake District Wildlife Park, Near Keswick

November 2018 Rumble In The Jungle Evening, Lake District Wildlife Park

The Lake District Wildlife Park will be opening up one evening in November for a night of story-telling, with the animals and keepers acting out some of the stories. Visitors will be able to have close encounters with some of the creatures that live in the park, and food will be available in the café. Advanced booking is required.