As Autumn turns to winter the Lake District landscape enters into hibernation. Trees have shed their leaves and the purple heather that once covered the fells slowly withers away. The days become shorter and only the hardiest of souls take to the fells. November in the Lake District is a time for visiting cosy pubs with fires and browsing independent stores for unique gifts, with the winter festival just around the corner.

November is usually one of the quieter times in the Lake District in terms of visitor numbers, but during this exceptional year it’s impossible to predict how busy it will be. Currently most of Cumbria is not in Tier 2 or Tier 3, and is therefore relatively safe to visit, but as usual, if you do plan on attending any of these events, always check in advance before you travel that everything is going ahead as planned.

Jump To: Arts, Crafts, Exhibitions & Courses | Outdoor Events | Other Events

Arts & Crafts Exhibitions & Courses

Festive Willow Weaving

Why not take part in some festive willow weaving?

Take shelter from the outdoor elements this month and explore your creative side with these arts and crafts events:

 

Off Grid, Olivia Bax – Cross Lane Projects, Kendal

Cross Lane Projects is an exhibition space close to the centre of Kendal, and it reopened in October with new Coronavirus measures that include limited numbers indoors and mandatory mask usage. This month, the venue is hosting an exhibition by Olivia Bax, winner of the Mark Tanner Sculpture Award 2019/20. Off Grid features a series of large scale sculptures by Bax mostly created from chicken wire and recycled household materials. Several sculptures were created during lockdown and explore the idea of containment.

The exhibition runs throughout November and the gallery is open Wednesday – Saturday 12-5pm. Booking is not necessary but you may have to queue on arrival since numbers inside the gallery are restricted. Find out more at crosslaneprojects.com.

Alone Together: Our Community in Lockdown 2020, Tullie House Museum, Carlisle

During lockdown, Tullie House Museum asked members of the local community to provide photos of their time in lockdown with explanations about the relevance of each image. These photos have been put together to form an exhibition in the gardens of Tullie House, giving visitors an insight into the lockdown memories of Cumbrian residents.

Images include empty streets, keyworkers in PPE, and views discovered during daily exercise. The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am until 3pm. Find out more at tulliehouse.co.uk.

Festive Willow Weaving, The Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal

During this one-day course, you will learn the basics of willow weaving, and you will then apply these skills to create beautiful festive themed items for your home. You may make a wreathe, a decorative reindeer, a mini Christmas tree, or various Christmas decorations. Students can bring their own items, such as ribbons, bells, and other decorative pieces to add to their creations. You must book your space in advance and Covid secure measures will be in place, including mandatory facemasks.

The course takes place on 28th November and costs £59. To book, visit breweryarts.co.uk/event/festive-willow-weaving-4.

Quirky Workshops at the Greystone Craft Barn, Near Penrith

If you are visiting the Lake District this month and looking for a fun and unusual way to spend a day, away from the outdoor weather, then check out the courses available from Quirky Workshops. Held in a studio created from a former barn, these workshops cover a wide range of niche arts and crafts, such as willow weaving, blacksmithing, and needle felting.

The studio has worked hard to ensure the courses are held in a Covid secure manner, and you can book onto the courses individually or as part of a bubble. It’s also worth noting that they are currently experiencing a high number of cancellations due to quarantine measures, so do keep checking their website if a course you’d like to attend is currently unavailable, as spaces may appear. This month’s courses are:

  • Buttons, Bud Vases and Tea Lights in Porcelain with Gwen Bainbridge – Friday 6th November, 9:30 am, £75
  • Funky Felt Slippers with Marieke Tomlin – Sunday 8th November, 9:30 am, £68
  • Buildings in the Landscape using Line & Wash with John Harrison – Tuesday 10th November, 10am, £82
  • Casting In Pewter - Jewellery & more with Ella Macintosh – Friday 13th November, 9:30 am, £75
  • Discovering Watercolours with Margaret Jarvis – Sunday 15th November, 9:30 am, £68
  • Blacksmith for a Day - Ramshead Poker with Adrian Woods – Sunday 15th November, 9:45 am, £115
  • Willow Sculptures - Hares, Sheep, Hens & Cockerels or Deer with Phil Bradley – Wednesday 18th November, 9:30 am, £78
  • 'Applique & Stitch' - Discovering Machine Embroidery with Sarah Ames – Thursday 19th November, 10am, £68
  • Sterling Silver Jewellery - 3 Silver Rings in a day - with Melinda Scarbrough – Friday 20th November, 10am, £95
  • Sterling Silver Jewellery 2 days with Melinda Scarbrough – Saturday 21st & Sunday 22nd November, 9:30 am, £175 (£40 deposit required to secure booking)
  • Needle Felt a Hare with Annis McGowan – Tuesday 24th November, 9:30 am, £75
  • Festive Felt Garlands with Marieke Tomlin – Wednesday 25th November, 9:30 am, £68
  • Nature & Botanics in Lino Cut with Sue Rowlands – Thursday 26th November, 9:30 am, £75
  • Paint Print Stitch - Botanics with Kay Leech – Friday 27th November, 9:30 am, £75

To book your place, and for full details, visit quirkyworkshops.co.uk/quirky-workshops-cumbria.

Half Day Fusing & Slumping Glass Course, RD Glass, Near Cockermouth

Roxanne Denny of RD Glass uses fusing and slumping techniques to create vibrant and beautiful decorative pieces of glass, including bowls, soap dishes, Christmas decorations, and jewellery. Her items are found for sale across Cumbria and on this half day course Roxanne will teach you the basic techniques so that you can create your own wonderful keepsakes to take home.

This course takes place on 22nd November at 10am, however, if this date is not suitable, there is the option to purchase a voucher for use at another time. The cost is £55 and for more information visit roxydennyglass.co.uk.

Outdoor Activities

Meet the Alpacas

Meet the Alpacas at the Lingholm Estate

There’s no bad weather, only bad clothing, so take advantage of the social distancing possibilities that the Lake District landscape offers, wrap up warm, and join one of these events this November.

 

Meet the Alpacas, Lingholm Estate, Near Keswick

Every Saturday and Sunday at 2.30pm the alpacas of the Lingholm Estate are available for some fluffy fun. Visitors can book onto this 30-minute activity where you will be able to get close to the cuddly creatures, hand feed them, and learn more about them from one of the guides. Afterwards, you can treat yourself to a cake and a cuppa at the Lingholm Café (not included in the price).

The experience costs £12 for adults and £6 for children and booking is essential. This activity is hosted by Alpacaly Ever After and if you want to take it further, you can book onto one of their experience days, taking the alpacas out for a stroll. Find out more at alpacalyeverafter.co.uk.

Events at Whinlatter Forest, Near Keswick

There are a number of events taking place at Whinlatter, England’s only mountain forest, this month, giving you the chance to get active, get closer to nature, or simply take in the sights of the night sky:

  • Into the Dark Trail Run – A chance to gain confidence running along dark trails with only torchlight to enable you to see. No experience of trail running required and cake is available at the end. Saturday 14th November, 6.15pm, £12 per person, booking essential.
  • Shinrin-Yoku - The Japanese Art of Forest Bathing – Connect with nature during this sensory experience that includes a traditional Japanese tea ceremony. A chance to engage with the senses and take time out from daily worries. Sunday 15th November, 10am, £30 per person, booking essential.
  • Dark Skies Walk – Take a walk through the forest after sunset, listening to the sounds of the trees in the wind, and gazing at the stars if the weather permits. Friday 20th November, 6pm, £8 per person, booking essential.
  • Walking for Health Guided Walk – A gentle guided stroll aimed at those who are less active. Wednesday 25th November, 10.30am, free, but booking is essential.
  • Wild Deer Whinlatter Forest Trail Runs – A series of socially distanced running races over a weekend, with different categories available to suit your ability, from sub 45 minutes 5k to sub 47 minutes 10K and various groups in between. Booking is essential as places are very limited, and each competitor will receive a technical t-shirt and a drink at the end. 5K events are £19 and 10K events are £25. The races take place on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th November, and registration closes on 20th November.

To find out more information and to book your place, visit forestryengland.uk/whinlatter-forest/venue/events-whinlatter.

Forest Bathing at Grizedale Forest, Near Hawkshead

Shinrin-yoku is the Japanese practice of “forest bathing” – taking time to absorb sensations from being in the forest. It is claimed to have multiple health benefits, including providing a natural boost to your mental health. This event takes place on the 8th November at 10.30am, and costs £30 per person. Booking is essential. Find out more at forestryengland.uk.

Other Events

Mrs Claus Christmas Workshop

Mrs Claus's Christmas Workshop at the World of Beatrix Potter

A round up of all the other events taking place this month, including some festive themed frivolities.

 

Kendal Mountain Festival…Online, Your House

Along with many other fun events this month, we should have been telling you about the annual Kendal Mountain Festival, a key moment in the Lake District events calendar. Sadly, the usual festival is not to be, however, the organisers are keen to still have some sort of celebration of the great outdoors in a year that has seen more of us than ever head outside, and therefore, a virtual festival has been arranged.

Festival passes are available to purchase that will give you access to ten days of streamed content, including well over 100 films about the great outdoors, the annual film awards ceremony, and various guest speakers who will hopefully inspire you to take on your next adventure. The festival runs from Thursday 19th to Sunday 29th November and passes start from £37.50. For more information, visit kendalmountainfestival.com.

The Santa Express, Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway

Not even a global pandemic will stop Father Christmas delivering presents to all the good boys and girls, and this year the busy fellow has even made time in his diary to see passengers travelling on the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway. As you might expect, there are some changes to the Santa Express this year in order to keep Santa, his elves, and everyone else safe, but it’s sure to be a fun time for everyone involved.

There will be extra cleaning, fewer passengers on the trains, and allocated seating in Dalegarth station café. Santa will not be on the train, but at the café there will be entertainment, a Christmas themed picnic lunch (booked separately) and other refreshments, before each family group is taken up to Santa’s workshop to meet Santa (socially distanced) and receive a present.

The Santa Express will operate 28th to 29th November and then on various dates in December. Booking is essential, and it’s likely to sell out early as there are few Santa experiences operating this year. There are several times available during each day. Tickets cost £22.50 per person (children will receive a present included in the ticket price), plus an additional charge if you would like to have a picnic lunch at the café. If you cannot attend due to illness refunds will be offered. To find out more, visit ravenglass-railway.co.uk/events.

Pop Up Shops at Lowther Castle

Each weekend this month Lowther Castle will host a number of pop up shops in its courtyard. This is a great opportunity to get some of your Christmas shopping done, supporting local businesses in a stunning setting. Items available will include jewellery, ceramics, art and more.

Afterwards take a stroll through the castle’s wonderful grounds and see how much restoration work has been completed in the gardens. Don’t forget, you can now also hire bikes at Lowther Castle to explore the estate further. To find out more, visit lowthercastle.org.

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

For the first time in 25 years, the World of Beatrix Potter has been transformed into a winter wonderland, so that Peter Rabbit and all his friends can now be seen having fun in a magical snowy scene. What’s more, Mrs Claus has set up a workshop at the attraction, and has been busy baking sweet treats for each child who visits.

Mrs Claus will be found at the centre on 21st, 22nd, 28th & 29th November, as well as dates in December. There’s no need to book in advance and the event is included with your admission ticket. To find out more, visit hop-skip-jump.com/events/category/christmas.