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

Old Codgers Cottage in the heart of Windermere ( pet friendly )

Situated right in the centre of Windermere village in the heart of the Lake District National Park, close to all the shops, bars, cafes, restaurants and local amenities. Old Codgers pet friendly Cottage offers home from home comforts for your perf...

Attractive Terraced Character Cottage In The Heart Of This Popular Village

**BOOK NOW FOR 2015 at 2014 RATES** An attractive terraced character cottage in the heart of this popular village, steeped in traditional features such as original beams, slate floor and exposed stone walls yet infused with stylish interior design...

Luxury log cabin on South lakeland Leisure Village Swimming Pool gym restaurant

South Lakeland Leisure Village nestles amongst the rolling green countryside of the borders of the Southern Lake District and Yorkshire Dales. Just 5 minutes away from Junction 35 of the M6 it is ideally located for easy access. This 2 bedroom lod...

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...

Honey Pot Cottage. Super Cozy. Lake District National Park.

This unique cottage circa 1565 lies within a small Cumbrian Estate. The extensive grounds also include two tarns, and sixty acres of private woodland which guest can use at their leisure the old country gardens are a pleasure all the year round. F...

Bush Cottage- a place to unwind

Bush Cottage is a cosy 2 bedroom cottage, located in the charming peaceful village of Tallentire, on the North Western edge of the Lake District National Park, and just 3 miles from the bustling market town of Cockermouth. It is a traditional ter...

Beautiful Newly Refurbished Cottage, 5 Mins Walk To Windermere High St

Moss Cottage is a newly refurbished traditional built Lake District cottage tucked away on a private lane. It is ideally situated 5 mins walk to Windermere village and it's many restaurants and shops. The property's garden backs onto a woodland ma...

Beautifully Renovated 3 Bed Cottage In The Heart Of The Lake District

Rose Cottage has been lovingly renovated, it is a traditional Lake District property with a modern, quirky interior. It is situated on a private lane backing onto a woodland making it a very peaceful spot. It is only a short walk from Windermere t...

Park Lodge Windermere Bowness Lake District National Park UK

Park Lodge Apartment (sleeps up to 8 adults): Entrance hall leading to stairs up to a double bedroom with 5ft. bed with separate adjoining cloakroom. Stairs leading up to: First Floor: Kitchen/breakfast room, reception room and separate dining-r...
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