Lake District Events & Festivals

Get more from your stay in England’s most beautiful terrain

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Ronnie McCluskey

Ronnie McCluskey
HomeAway travel expert


lake districtAlthough it rests at an entirely different end of the spectrum – and, geographically, the country – the Lake District is every bit as ingrained in British culture as the likes of London. You won’t find any sprawling concrete jungles and you won’t be involved in the tedium of a morning rush hour, but the area’s quintessential English charm is any Anglophile’s dream. Coupled with astonishing natural beauty to rival anywhere in the world, you really need no further excuse to pay a visit; but if your time there coincides with one of the district’s lauded annual events, it can only enhance your experience.

As you might expect, the events and festivals that take place in the Lake District aren’t quite the raucous affairs so easily associated with the term. Rather they focus on the characteristics that give the area its unique complexion, with culture, music and the great outdoors taking precedent. 

 

The Lake District's top five annual events


   

Words by the Water Words by the Water

Lovers of English literature – or indeed literature from any corner of the globe – will be right at home at Keswick’s annual Words by the Water Festival. The ten-day event runs every March, incorporating a wide variety of book-based activities; highlights include writer-run workshops, readings and discussion groups. The programme usually sees its fair share of national celebrities make a modest, stripped-back appearance to discourse about their favourite works, as well as both budding and established authors delving into Q&A forums with fans. 

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Keswick Mountain Festival Keswick Mountain Festival

That halcyon period when the first shades of summer are beginning to shine through is arguably when the Lake District is at its finest visually – and the organisers of the Keswick Mountain Festival have capitalised wonderfully on this. The five-day May event originally revolved around a host of gruelling sporting activities on and around the fells and waters of Keswick, but has expanded to include live music, camping and a wealth of guest speakers. It may lack the scale of the Glastonburys and Doningtons of the world, but the surroundings are second to none. 

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Mountain Film Festival Mountain Film Festival

In truth, the Kendal Mountain Festival consolidates a selection of diverse and varied activities, but it’s the Film Festival for which it is primarily held in such high esteem. Sticking with the general theme of the November event, the films on display are predominantly geared towards outdoor adventures – Mother Nature in all her glory – often with stars dropping by to discuss their feats in person. Expect to be mesmerised by a master class in all things mountaineering.

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Lakes Alive Lakes Alive

Lakes Alive is a relatively new addition to the region’s annual calendar, but has already established itself far and wide as one of the best. With events held throughout the summer – and sometimes even beyond – musicians, comedians and art troupes transform the landscape all around the Lake District with a variety of colourful and vibrant performances. The event also includes the quirky Mintfest (affectionately named for Kendal’s much beloved cake) during which the town hosts its very own centralised gathering of street performers and exhibits. 

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Sheepdog Trials Sheepdog Trials

Nothing quite screams “rural England” like a farmer, a collie and a throng of bewildered sheep traipsing around a field! In Cumbria, the practice is thankfully still going strong. Whatever time of year you visit, you are almost guaranteed to witness some event should you so desire, particularly throughout the summer months. Alston, Cockermouth, Winton and Stavely all stage their own variations between May and September, so keep your eyes peeled for one of the country’s oldest and most bizarrely endearing country sports!

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Images

Image 1 © summonedbyfells
Image 2 © melissa gray
Image 3 © Ali-Ann Harrington
Image 4 © Lakes Alive

Lake District Accommodation

Luxury, High Quality, 'Green' Apartments (Lake District & Dales National Parks)

Stunningly beautiful and renovated to the highest standards,The Hyning Estate offers seven newly renovated holiday dwellings and a stunning communal bar with panoramic views over farmland and the nearby Lakeland fells. Design, Quality materials, r...

Luxurious, High Quality, 'Green' Cottages (Lake District & Dales National Parks)

Stunningly beautiful and renovated to the highest standards,The Hyning Estate offers seven newly renovated holiday dwellings and a stunning communal bar with panoramic views over farmland and the nearby Lakeland fells. Design, Quality materials, r...

Parklaw Farm sleeps 8

Parklaw Farm is an unrivaled mountainside location for a luxurious self-catering getaway for families, friends and groups. With only very limited availability throughout the year, this really is an exclusive retreat. Recently refurbished with a f...

Charming 16th Century Cottage

A charming 16th century cottage with lots of character and exposed beams. It has 4 bedrooms, 3 doubles and 1 twin. One of the doubles being en-suite. The cottage has been recently refurbished to a high standard. It has a log fire which is lovely &...

Stunning Lake District retreat

We own this house but let and use it mainly as a holiday house, if we exchange we also have a home in Lancaster you can use to break the journey. Beautiful solid walnut flooring leads you through the open plan living, dining and kitchen area, whi...

A holiday barn In the Arnside and Silverdale AONB - coast, lakes and fells!

This lovely holiday home offers spacious, luxury accommodation comprised of three reception rooms and three bedrooms. Bedroom room 1 is a king size master bedroom with en-suite shower room, bedroom 2 is also a king size room and bedroom 3 is a del...

THE ROOST, family friendly, with a garden in Keswick, Ref 22360

The Roost is an immaculately-presented, semi-detached cottage, superbly located one mile away from Keswick in the Lake District, sleeping seven people. The cottage has a king-size double bedroom, a king-size double bedroom with Jack-and-Jill acces...

DEERHOLM, family friendly, with a garden in Hawkshead, Ref 31070

Deerholm is a delightful, detached cottage set in a spectacular location, four miles from Hawkshead in the Lake District National Park. With five bedrooms, including one king-size with en-suite bathroom, two further standard doubles, one twin and ...

BRIGHTWATER LODGE, pet friendly in White Cross Bay, Ref 27018

Brightwater Lodge is a charming, detached lodge set on a popular holiday park near Troutbeck Bridge. With three bedrooms, consisting of two king-size double bedrooms, one with an en-suite shower room, and a single bedroom. There's also a family ba...

RAILWAY COTTAGE, pet friendly in Cark In Cartmel , Ref 15804

Railway Cottage is a lovely, semi-detached cottage, situated on the river, on the edge of the pretty village of Cark in Cartmel, just two miles from Cartmel and can sleep six people. The cottage has one super king-size double, two second floor twi...
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