A Christmas holiday in the Lake District with a loved one, family and friends and of course little Rover too, is something quite magical. Wintry fells, frozen lakes and warming fires, festive food and heartening hospitality; the Lakes, so peaceful and majestic in winter, together with the festive spirit, it really is the most wonderful place to spend your Christmas.
But, we’ve all had that holiday feeling of not wanting to leave our Lakelovers Lake District Cottage Holidays; of wanting to eek out more of the Lake’s special rejuvenating powers.
And just imagine if you had two extra days for FREE. And indeed this year you can; with participating Lakelovers properties when you book any 7 nights over Christmas, starting on 21st December, you get the weekend of 19th and 20th December FREE!
So, what to do with that glorious extra relaxing time? We’ve collected a round-up of the extra-special festive things to do in the Lake District over the Christmas holiday weeks in the Lakes this year.
Santa Express, Ravenglass to Eskdale Railway
‘All aboard’! The famous ‘Santa Express’ has limited availability left on the following 2015 Christmas dates: 21st, 22nd and 23rd December. Booking is essential as this very popular Ravenglass to Eskdale attraction where you hop on board to enjoy the 14 mile steam adventure through spectacular Lake District scenery to meet Father Christmas and explore his Dalegarth grotto.
Life-size nativity & feed Rudolph!
Take part in a life-size nativity including real-life donkeys, for adults and kids alike, at the South Lakes Animal Park nativity as part of several Christmas events take place at the park throughout December. As well as the ice-rink and chance to meet Santa in his special enchanted house you can hand feed Santa’s herd; Rudolf, dasher, prancer and friends.
The World of Beatrix Potter Christmas Party, Bowness-on-Windermere
Meet Santa and enjoy a special Christmas Party at The World of Beatrix Potter on both FREE days, Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th December at midday. Booking is essential, recommended for ages 3+ and ticket price includes entrance into the attraction (£12.50 for adult and £10.00 for children). The event includes a scrummy Christmas party lunch with a special VIP appearance from Santa himself! The charm of the Peter Rabbit and Friends characters, including the delightful Tailor of Gloucester, of which the animation is shown as part of the special party, are sure to enchant and there will be smiles all around as children leave with their gift from Santa.
Meet the huskies, Brockhole, Windermere
On Saturday 19th and Wednesday 23rd December, huskies are coming to Brockhole, the Lake District Visitor Centre, which is nice to reach via Windermere Lake Cruises. Who needs to go to Lapland! Drop in between 11.00-3.00 and meet the huskies and if you’re aged between 4-8 years old you can even have a little sleigh ride! A small donation to the Snowdog Shelter is required.
‘Ai Ai Skipper’! Join Ullswater Steamers for Christmas Afternoon Tea Cruise, 12-5pm until 23rd December, including mulled wine and mince pies!
This December Keswick Brewery are celebrating their 10 year anniversary. Why not join them in their tasting event on Saturday 19th December where they are specially opening their Flying Fox Bar for extended hours – 10am – 5pm – and sample their festive Thirst Noel dark ale! Their Christmas Shop will be open also, where you can take home a special 5L mimi cask, perfect for your holiday cottage Christmas!
Enjoy exclusive private dining with TV Chef Peter Sidwell
Exclusive to Lakelovers Lake District holiday cottages you can enjoy a dazzling menu cooked for you and your guests in your holiday cottage by award-winning chef Peter Sidwell! Peter will impress with his culinary skills, delight with mouth-watering local produce and you are sure to be entertained by the warm charm and wit of this celebrity TV Chef! “Its like having Saturday Kitchen in your own home for the evening” said a guest after enjoying a 3 course dinner as well as tastings along the way.
Rheged Helter Skelter, Penrith
For the first time a 9 metre festive indoor Helter Skelter will feature in the Mountain Hall at the popular shopping and activity centre, Rheged. You’ll be whisked away to a truly magical world where everything is on a giant scale, including giant decorations festooning the giant vintage Helter Skelter; giant Christmas present ’huts’ offering festive treats and activities. Rides available for adults and kids (Under 5’s require adult accompaniment) across the festive period, open 10am – 5pm – certainly not one to miss!
Ice Skating, Kendal
Falling over, picking yourself up and holding onto loved ones as you whirl around on ice skates – what a joyful festive activity for your Christmas in the Lake District. A beautiful outdoor ice rink complete with costermongers selling roasted chestnuts, hot chocolate and mince pies is the perfect Christmas scene and open from 21st -23rd December 2015 at Kendal Market Place – the rink is a first in Kendal, hosted by Explore South Lakeland, and sure to be stacks of fun!
4×4 Off-roading, Windermere
Take on the festive wintry weather by surprising a loved one with a unique Lake District adventure gift for Christmas this year, such as a 4×4 off-roading experience with Kankku based in Windermere. Kankku offer Christmas vouchers and are designed of all ranges of driving ability – these vehicles are made for wintry conditions so you’ll be able to see parts of the Lakes often closed during the festive time of year.
Astral Circus, Brockhole, Windermere
For Sunday 20th December only join in the fun with Astral Circus at 11.00, 12noon, 1.30 and 2.30 at Brockhole, Windermere.
Festive shopping at Brockhole
Christmas inspiration awaits you in the Brockhole shop this month with a brand new selection of gifts, so why not surprise someone special and put a little bit of something different under the tree this year? There’s plenty of local gift ideas from brands such as Herdy and Lakes Distillery plus a host of home accessories, fashion scarves, jewellery, stationery and soft toys – perfect for that special gift!
Christmas Carols, Keswick
If you’re up for a Christmas sing-along, instore at Cotswold Keswick on Tuesday 22nd December you can enjoy Christmas Carols from Keswick Out of School Club and Brownies.
Cartmel Choral Society Annual Christmas Concert
The historic Cartmel Priory hosts this evening Christmas choral concert and will be enjoyed by anyone with a love of singing!
Festive Panto, The Snow Queen, Theatre By The Lake, Keswick
A family friendly festive performance by the acclaimed artistic team at Theatre By The Lake, based on the Hans Christian Andersen’s classic story of adventure and friendship will leave you feeling enchanted.
Cinderella, Rheged, Penrith, Tuesday 29th Dec 2015 and Wednesday 30th Dec 2015
Enjoy one of the world’s best know fairytales for a wonderful festive pantomime with spectacular scenery and performances in this magical pantomime at the Rheged Centre, for ages 4+.
Doggy Santa Grotto!
If you’re staying near the UK’s most dog friendly town, Keswick, then you must treat your four-legged friend to a trip to meet Santa Paws at Podgy Paws Pet Shop in central Keswick. And of course, for a small donation, Rover will be treated to a surprise Christmas present from Doggy Santa with money raised going to West Cumbria Animal Rescue.
Keswick Festive Window Trail
Whilst enjoying some festive Christmas shopping, take in the fun in and around Keswick with their festive window trail – 24 beautifully lit windows all part of the Keswick Advent of events, a festive event and illuminated window for each of the 24 days of Christmas. Theatre by the lake kick off with their illuminated window on 1st December and the trail ends on Christmas Eve with outdoor adventure equipment store, Kong Adventure where at 2:15 you will catch Santa doing some last minute preparations scaling the roof of Kong Adventure and you can then go and visit him once last time before Christmas Day in their grotto. Check out the Keswick Festive Advent Calendar for al the events going on in Keswick across the advent.
Book a winter warming spa package
Cosy up for a special family warming spa package in the comfort of your Lake District holiday cottage! Bringing heated treatment beds, fresh linen and gorgeous organic products My Personal Sanctuary therapists will help warm toes, sooth muscles and paint princess nails this winter without having to leave your cottage fireside!
Make an ethical bath time Christmas bauble
From 10am-4pm on Saturday 19th December join sophisticated social toiletry brand The SoapCo in Keswick in making your own festive glittery bath bomb baubles.
Kids Christmas craft workshop, Rheged, Monday 21st December
Create your own Christmas tree decoration, design a Christmas card and create a candy-cane Reindeer with lovable Lake District kids brand, Felltarn Friends. Suitable for 2-9 year olds, this Christmas craft event, held at 11am and 1pm, is sure to get little imaginations fired up.
Snowflake Trail, Lowther Castle, Penrith
For the first time an art-inspired Snowflake Trail will guide you through the newly renovated estate and gardens, with a mystery prize if you find them all! Along with the trail, there are plenty of features throughout the many garden walks to entertain all family members, look out for the giant stone bathtub, tree swings, adventure playground, castle ruins, the wooden ‘Hansel and Gretel’ hut and take a flask of hot drink to enjoy at the Jubilee Summer House where the Queen once lunched and admire the ‘Surprise View’ of the secluded Eden Valley. For the first three weeks in December Santa is also making a visit, and tickets to visit the tasteful Grotto must be booked in advance. Located in north Lake District, you can expect less visitors here allowing you to truly relax and enjoy the stunning gardens which have recently been brought to life by celebrated gardener and TV presenter, Dan Pearson.
Brockhole Festive Weekend, Windermere
Visit Brockhole, one of the Lakes most popular family attractions, on your FREE weekend of 19th and 20th December and enjoy lots of great indoor and outdoor Festive Activities. There’s a fabulous outdoor adventure playground for a wide range of ages and fun still in the Winter! There’s a free indoor softplay area for Under 5’s and at this time of year in the Lakes there will be lots of muddy puddles for endless fun! The gardens are extensive with nature trials throughout and are perfect for hide-and-seek!
Thanks Lake District National Authority for letting us know about the fab fun packed weekend of festive family entertainment from 10am at Brockhole, Windermere. Make the most of a trip to Brockhole and jump aboard Windermere Lake Cruises from Brockhole gardens. Whilst the festive cruises are all fully booked there are plenty of vessels making daily trips across the lake, heading north to Ambleside or South to Bowness and Lakeside. The cruises also stop at Wray Castle, which is perfect for a Winter romantic walk or family fun day of knights and princesses!
Festive Woodland Wander, Coniston
For many families a walk on Boxing Day is a staple tradition, and imagine the rejuvenation of taking in Lake District fresh air and stunning scenery as you walk off that Christmas pud! Join the festive fun in a stroll (6.2 miles) through Guards Wood to Boon Crag and by woods to Tarn Hows, returning down beautiful Tom Gill and Yewdale, hosted by The Lake District National Park Authority. 10:30am from Coniston Tourist Information.
Boxing Day Waddle, Lakeland Walks & Talks, Rydal Hall
How does a post Christmas ‘World’s Highest Marathon’ sound to you? Yes, maybe not a Boxing Day activity. However, the Boxing Day Waddle leader, Steve Watts, is in fact taking part in the Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon next Spring and donations from this Waddle are supporting the Heartbeat for Everest campaign (The British Heart Foundation and The Himalayan Trust UK) – with New Year’s Resolutions and the weight of Christmas pud in mind, this stroll along the coffin route, Grasmere shore and Loughrigg Fell is a must! And don’t forget your santa hat!
Driving home for Christmas . . .Classic Drive and Ride In Day at Lakeland Motor Museum, Windermere
On Boxing Day hundreds of classic vehicle owners come together at Lakeland Motor Museum to display some of the finest classic cars, performance sports cars, superminis, hot hatches and many more!
Take your pick from our Best Walks in the Lake District feature and enjoy your relaxing, unforgettable Christmas holiday in the Lake District.