September bids farewell to the long and often hot summer that we have experienced in the Lake District, with cooler temperatures marking the change in season. Towards the end of the month, nature prepares for one more colourful and dazzling display before winter, with shades of red, gold, and orange taking over the forests. It is typically a somewhat quieter time to visit the Lake District after the summer crowds, but with this year’s Coronavirus pandemic bringing uncertainty to foreign travel, it is possible that many September holiday-makers will opt for a “staycation” bringing more visitors into the area than usual.

Of course, many restrictions regarding Coronavirus are still in place, limiting the options for large scale events, and almost all large events that were planned for 2020 in Cumbria have been cancelled, right up until the end of the year. The exception this month is the Taste Cumbria Food Festival, which is going ahead, albeit in a slightly different format. In addition, there are a number of small scale events that may be of interest.

Jump To: Food Festival | Creative Workshops | Outdoor Activities

Taste Cumbria Food Festival, Cockermouth

Taste Cumbria Food Festival

Born out of the disastrous floods of 2010, and with its Christmas version still going ahead during years when there was significant flooding and other weather related incidents, it’s hardly surprising to find that the team behind Taste Cumbria Cockermouth Food Festival were determined to make sure that this year’s event still goes ahead. Thank goodness they have, for after a long and difficult few months, we all need something to look forward to, and the team have certainly delivered.

This year’s event will take place on Saturday the 26th and Sunday the 27th of September with various features in order to keep visitors safe. There will be the usual producer’s market on Main Street, but it will be much smaller this year in order to enable social distancing. The stalls will be open until 7pm, in order to encourage people to visit at different times of day, rather than during the peak afternoon session. There will be hot food and drink stalls in Market Place, as well as a picnic area. In Memorial Gardens car park, a large marquee will be erected that will be open to ticket holders only, with allocated tables, food to order via table service, and live entertainment. Additional safety measures include a one-way system, hand sanitiser points, and temporary public toilets.

For details of this event, visit

Creative Workshops & Events

WoodMatters Workshops September 2020

Make your own stool or bench at one of WoodMatter's September workshops!

A selection of courses and events that will get those creative juices flowing. Places tend to be extremely limited due to social distancing requirements so do book your place early!


Cowshed Creative, Staveley

Set in an idyllic Kentmere valley near Staveley, Cowshed Creative is a creative arts workshop space with camping facilities. One-day courses include a delicious lunch and the space is ideal for social distancing, set in a large room with plenty of windows to promote airflow. The team have worked hard to make the venue Covid secure, with additional hygiene measures to keep all participants safe. September’s courses include:

  • Hand Applique Miniatures – Create collaged pictures with fabrics and stitch, turning fabric scraps into a work of art using simple hand-stitches, found fabrics and embellishments. Ideal for beginner or those with some experience. 3rd September 2020, 10am – 4.30pm, £68 including lunch.
  • Silk Painting – Experiment with dyes and techniques to create a beautiful piece of silk art. Bring along your own designs for inspiration or browse books on the day for ideas. Beginners welcome. 5th September 2020, 10am – 4.30pm, £68 including lunch.
  • Mosaic In A Day – On this fun course you will learn how to use mosaic tools and materials to create a piece for you home. You could make a tray, wall decoration, or coaster / trivet for serving up hot dishes to your table. 6th September 2020, 10am – 4.30pm, £70 including lunch.
  • Arranging Flowers: 2 in 1 Day – Spend the morning learning flower pressing techniques to create a piece of art to take home. In the afternoon, you will explore the art of flower arranging and create a beautiful bouquet. 8th September 2020, 10am – 4.30pm, £70 including lunch.
  • Introduction to Oil Painting – This course will cover the basics of oil painting, such as equipment, colour mixing, and more. 10th September 2020, 10am – 4.30pm, £70 including lunch.
  • Willow Garden Structures – Create a willow tipi that will be perfect for supporting next year’s runner beans or roses. 12th September 2020, 10am – 4.30pm, £70 including lunch.
  • Spinner Ring – Silver Jewellery – On this course, you will learn a range of jewellery making techniques resulting in the creation of a beautiful silver spinner ring. 13th September 2020, 10am – 4.30pm, £70 including lunch.
  • Weave your own Fabric – Weave a colourful piece of cloth suitable for a cafetiere cosy or other small project of your choice. Experiment with pattern, colour and texture and let your imagination run wild! 17th September 2020, 10am – 4.30pm, £68 including lunch.
  • Portraiture – Sky TV Portrait artist Catherine MacDiarmid will lead this course where you will use a source image such as a photograph as a loved one to create a wonderful portrait. 19th September 2020, 10am – 4.30pm, £70 including lunch.
  • Lakeland Landscape - Watercolour & Mixed Media – Part of this course will be spent outdoors, giving you the opportunity to paint the delightful Lake District landscape under expert guidance. 20th September 2020, 10am – 4.30pm, £70 including lunch.
  • Silver Clay Jewellery – This blend of silver, water, and other materials is perfect for moulding into shapes with very little equipment. On this course you will create a beautiful piece of jewellery to take home. 22nd September 2020, 10am – 4.30pm, £70 including lunch.
  • Bountiful Baskets – A two day course during which you will create your very own willow basket to take home. 25th – 26th September 2020, 10am – 4.30pm, £140 including lunch on both days.

Full details are available at

Quirky Workshops, Greystoke Craft Barn, Near Penrith

At the Quirky Workshop near Penrith you can learn a range of new skills from felting to dry stone walling. During lockdown the barn was fully renovated creating a light, airy, and well ventilated space which is perfect for holding socially distanced courses.

Great care has been taken to make this venue Covid secure so that participants can relax and simply concentrate on learning a delightful new skill. All of the all-day workshops include lunch, plus fresh coffees and tea and cake later in the day. September’s courses are as follows:

  • Relief & Letter Stone Carving 3 days with Pip Hall – Learn how to carve words and pictures into stone. 2nd September 2020, 9:30am, £275.
  • Wise Owls in Needle Felt with Annis McGowan – Make beautiful needle felt Owls using various shades of blended wool. 2nd September 2020, 9:30am, £75. There will be a £14 materials charge per bird payable directly to the tutor on the day.
  • Wire Sculptures, 'Hens or Ducks' with Sue Nichols – Create fabulous wire sculptures using special pre-prepared sectioned galvanised chicken wire. Amazingly life like and study, these sculptures will last for years. Wire working is tiring for hands and this course may not be suitable for those with certain health conditions such as arthritis. 3rd or 4th September 2020, 10:00am, £85 plus material charges of £12 payable on the day.
  • Needle Felt a Herdwick Doorstop with Annis McGowan – Create your own unique and heavy Herdwick doorstop, weighing around 3.5kg and measuring 38cm long, using quality wools including that of the local Cumbrian Herdwick sheep. 6th September 2020, 9:30am, £75 plus material charges of £30 payable on the day.
  • Willow Sculptures: Hares, Sheep, Hens & Cockerels or Deer with Phil Bradley – Create life sized willow sculptures that can be used either inside or outside. 8th September 2020, 9:30am, £78 (£90 if you choose to create a sheep) plus an additional £10 materials charge.
  • Firing pottery In The Raku Style with Dave Norman – Raku firing was developed in Japan in the 16th century for the Japanese tea ceremony. The unique process produces the colourful, crackle glazes associated with Raku Pottery. The tutor will provide a number of biscuit fired pieces ready to be decorated in the Raku style and you will take home several pieces. 8th September 2020, 9:45am, £75 plus around £10 for materials to be paid on the day.
  • Lampshade Making Short Course with Sonja Tilleard – Create a professional looking lampshade using either your own supply of fabric or that supplied by the tutor. 10th September 2020 10:00am or 1.00pm £35.
  • Upcycling Furniture & Painting Techniques with Sonja Tileard – You will learn the various techniques of using chalk paints including distressing and waxing techniques, before working on your own item, such as a stool, chair or small table. 11th September 2020, 9:30am, £75 plus £5 for materials.
  • Breaking the Rules of Painting: Landscapes with Roy Simmons – Perfect for beginners, this course will encourage you to develop a natural way of painting landscapes. 11th September 2020 10:00am, £75, plus there may be a small fee payable on the day for paper.

Full for details on all of the courses and to book your place, visit These workshops normally book up very quickly.

Courses at Woodmatters, Footprint, Near Windermere.

Woodmatters is a small, family run organisation that promotes outdoor learning in schools and other education settings. As well as providing forest school experiences they also host courses in the National Trust learning space, Footprint, in woodland near Windermere. This September, there are a small number of spaces available on their unique creative courses:

  • Bench & Stool Making – Using only hand tools you will create a rustic looking bench or stool to take home. Wednesday 9th September 2020 - 9:00am to 6:00pm, £65 plus £30 for materials.
  • Spoon Carving – Use traditional carving techniques to create your own wooden spoon. Wednesday 30th September 2020 - 9:00am to 5:00pm, £65.
  • Make Your Own Shave Horse – A shave horse is used by traditional woodworkers to hold the wood in position whilst it is shaped. You will create your own shave horse to take home during this evening course that also includes a soup supper. Wednesday 30th September 2020 - 5:30pm to 9:00pm, £35 plus £30 for materials.

To find out more information and to book, visit


Outdoor Adventure Activities

Guided photography walk with Mark Gamblin

Check out a guided photography walk with Mark Gamblin Photography

It is more important than ever that we keep our bodies active and healthy, and with these events you will be able to get moving, take on new challenges, and explore the wonderful Lake District landscapes.


Outdoor Events at Whinlatter Forest

This month at Whinlatter, get in touch with nature and get fit at the same time with these small group events. Booking is essential and places are limited.

  • Unlock 5km or 10km Running 8 Week Course – An 8 week course for anyone who wants to take up running, with a particularly focus on tackling uphill stretches. Each week will visit different locations around the forest and the course fee includes a personalised plan, post run refreshments, and access to online support. The course starts on Tuesday 1st September and lasts for 6 weeks, costing £45 per person.
  • Guided Trail Run – Explore some of the lesser known trails at Whinlatter Forest with the guided trail run that will include some technical aspects. £12 per person or £45 for a group of 4 people. Sunday 6th September.
  • Forest Bathing Relax & Recharge – Spend some time recharging in nature and take part in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony. Sunday 6th September, £30 per person.
  • Green Healing Retreat – This four hour retreat will start with a Forest Bathing session followed by a creative session where you will create a piece of natural art. Saturday 26th September, £55 per person.
  • Walking For Health - Guided Walk – A gentle stroll of around one mile long that is aimed at those who are less active. Wednesday 30th September. Free, but booking is essential.

For information on all of these events, visit

Guided Walks With Mark Gamblin Photography

Mark Gamblin is a professional photographer and UK mountain leader who combines both of these skills to provide unforgettable days out in the Lake District. On these guided walks, Mark will take you to some of the Lake District’s most spectacular viewpoints, enabling you to capture some truly wonderful images, or simply take time to soak it all into memory. Spaces are limited due to Coronavirus restrictions so do book early.

  • Helvellyn Sunset and Moonlight Guided Walk – This is a 9 mile walk that will set off late in the afternoon in order to watch the sunset from the summit of Helvellyn, with a descent under torchlight. Saturday 5th September, £35 per person.
  • Haystacks Sunset and Bothy Guided Walk – Enjoy the sunset from one of the Lake District’s most famous view points – the bothy beneath Haystacks. Saturday 12th September, £35 per person.
  • Wasdale Social Walking Weekend – Meet like minded people on this two day event – on day one you will walk up Scafell Pike via the Corridor Route, and enjoy an evening meal at the Wasdale Head Inn (included in the price). On day two you will enjoy a gentle walk up to Greendale Tarn. Accommodation not included. Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th September, £75 per person.

For details on all of these events, visit