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

Superior character cottage with lakeland and pennine views

Croft Barn is a stone built barn, which has been converted to provide a spacious cottage home of great character and comfort. It is beautifully situated in a traditional Cumbrian village above the peaceful Lyvennet valley. There is a pub in the vi...

Luxury Holiday Lodge with Lake view at South Lakeland Leisure Village

Privately owned luxury holiday lodge with lake view situated in South Lakeland Leisure Village, a prestigious new development in an area of outstanding natural beauty, approximately 1 mile from junction 35 of the M6.The lodge consists of living ar...

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...

Converted stable overlooking the River Eamont, near Penrith market town,Cumbria

Tucked away behind the owners’ house, Bridge End Cottage offers spacious holiday accommodation. The cottage is inverted, having a double and twin bedded rooms and the bathroom downstairs and quarry tiled floors throughout. Upstairs, the ceilings...

Beautifully appointed cottage in extensive grounds

Nell Gwyn Cottage is located in a wing of Orton Hall, a Jacobean Mansion in Orton, Cumbria. It is approached via an automatic gate along a tree lined drive in seven acres of private grounds. It is a couple of minutes from the village and is conven...

THURSON VIEW COTTAGE, family friendly in Coniston, Ref 915184

Thurson View Cottage is a terraced cottage located on the edge of the village of Coniston in the Lake District in Cumbria. The cottage can sleep four people in two double bedrooms, as well as ground floor basin and WC and family bathroom. The rest...

MILL COTTAGE, pet friendly, with pool in Hawkshead, Ref 914069

Mill Cottage is a delightful, stone-built, semi-detached cottage set on the Graythwaite Estate in the Lake District National Park. With two bedrooms including one king-size double and one twin, the cottage can sleep four people. There's also a bat...

CUNSEY LODGE, family friendly, with pool in Hawkshead, Ref 914076

Cunsey Lodge is an outstanding, detached property set on the beautiful Graythwaite Estate in the centre of the stunning Lake District National Park. With four bedrooms, each boasting their own en-suite, including two king-size doubles and two twin...

HULLET HALL, pet friendly, with pool in Hawkshead, Ref 914075

Hullet Hall is a beautiful, detached cottage resting beside Lake Windermere on the delightful Graythwaite Estate, near Hawkshead in Cumbria. With three bedrooms including one en-suite king-size double and two twins, this cottage can sleep six peop...

HOME FARMHOUSE, pet friendly, with pool in Hawkshead, Ref 914066

Home Farmhouse is a beautiful, detached holiday home set on the stunning Graythwaite Estate in the heart of the Lake District National Park. Comprising a main house with four bedrooms: one king-size double with en-suite, one double with en-suite, ...

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