Upfront Gallery & Puppet Theatre

Originally opened as a gallery and cafe, Upfront later expanded to include a small puppet theatre. Today the attraction is one of Cumbria’s hidden gems, nestled amongst the farmland that surrounds Penrith.

With shows held during the school holidays, the theatre offers a magical and charming experience that is suitable for anyone over the age of three years. The theatre uses traditional style puppets to put on a range of productions that are usually based on classic children’s fairy tales. It’s a unique experience that is guaranteed to enrapture and enthral. This is a great rainy day attraction, but you will need to book tickets in advance.

Quick Facts

Address: Upfront Gallery, Near Hutton-in-the-Forest, Unthank, Penrith, CA11 9TG

Telephone: 01768 484 538

Website: www.up-front.com 

Cost: Children £8.50, Adults £10

Suitable For: Most shows are generally suitable for children aged 3 and up, but do check in advance of your booking


Evoking memories of simpler times, the puppet theatre at Upfront brings to life many of the classic fairy tales that most of us grew up with. Accompanied by traditional folk music, the shows’ stars are the puppets that have been created by the gallery’s owners who have a passion for the arts and theatre. The shows usually have a comedy element, and at the end of the show, the audience can ask questions to the puppet masters.

In addition to the puppet theatre, Upfront is home to an art gallery with regular changing exhibitions. There is also a cafe, which serves vegetarian food and a good range of gluten free options. Furthermore, there is a shop that sells gifts and puppets.

The facility is pushchair accessible and there are baby changing facilities. Shows generally run during the main school holidays, and advance booking is required.

Getting There

Upfront is located near the stately home Hutton-in-the Forest. You can either access it via Junction 41 of the M6, and follow the signs for Hutton-in-the-Forest, or via the A66, turning onto the B5288, again signposted for Hutton-in-the-Forest. Upfront is half a mile west of Hutton-in-the-Forest along the B5305.