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What better way to get into the festive spirit of the ‘season of giving’ than with some unique and special Christmas shopping. Here we bring you our updated guide to Lake District Christmas Markets 2019.
The Lake District is famous for its farmer’s markets, which are held regularly across the region. Over the festive season, they are magical places, filled with the most unique artisan treats and wonderful Christmas inspiration for getting your home ready for entertaining over Christmas.
Is visiting the Lake District a Christmas tradition for your family? Do you always visit the magical world of Christmas at Hayes Garden Centre, Ambleside, enjoy a ride on the Santa Express with Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway or climb Scafell on Boxing Day? Over 2019 we have welcomed some distinctive new cottages to our collection as well as hidden-gem locations such as the Eden Valley that you may like to try, as the perfect place to escape for a peaceful Christmas.
From German Markets, funfair festivities to traditional Victorian Fayres and indoor Christmas events, there’s Christmas cheer across the Lake District. Where will you find yours?
This is a traditional family event with something for everybody. Jugglers, street theatre, lantern parade, live music and carol singing will entertain kids. And parents will be happy with the Winter Beer Festival hosted by the local pubs. With over 50 stalls you will actually be able to pick up some gifts too, as well as take in the wonderful festive atmosphere.
Visit our Hawkshead Cottages.
Whilst the Blackwell Christmas Fair is not taking place this year, returning for 2020, their Autumn Fair will have plenty of Christmas gifts.
Blackwell’s fairs are a shopper’s event for if you’re actually looking to browse and buy extra-special Christmas gifts directly from some of the region’s finest craft producers. Based inside the UK’s finest example of an Arts & Crafts House, Blackwell, a visit to this event makes it difficult not to get into the craft spirit this Christmas.
This is not a free event.
Visit our Coniston Cottages.
This is an outdoor event, so please wrap up well. And what an event it is. If you’re looking for family festive entertainment then this is the fayre for you. From Victorian costumes, a nativity scene, the arrival of Santa and Mrs Claus in a reindeer-drawn sleigh. A children’s funfair, live music and dance performances come to a close with a carol service, this is a spectacle that will warm away any wintry chills. Bring your purse too, as there will be over 30 charity stalls, selling a selection of Christmas homemade crafts, produce, festive food and drink – delicious!
Visit our Keswick Cottages.
Set in the remote north Cumbrian village of Orton near Penrith, this farmer’s market is very popular throughout the year. And the 30 stalls the second Saturday of the seasonal month will be as popular as ever. Offering a wide variety of fresh local produce from seasonal veg and outdoor reared meats to artisan and award-winning pies, relishes and cakes, this is the perfect place to stock up whilst on a self-catering holiday. Do wrap up warm as this is an outdoor market in an un-sheltered location. Rheged Discovery Centre is not far away to warm up. Plus there are a couple of pubs in the village where you can enjoy an open fire and a good pint.
Visit our Ullswater Cottages.
Whilst this Christmas event is not a market or fayre, it is perhaps the most popular Christmas event in the Lake District for families. So we wanted to mention it as early as possible in 2019 as early booking is essential. The Santa Express offers 1 and 1/2 hours of fun-filled festive entertainment and so we can see why it is so popular. When you join the Santa Express, it’s as though you’re part of a festive panto. With elves dishing out festive drinks to parents and carol singing before you hear, with much anticipation, the man in the red suit arrives in the carriage next door. Before the steam train journey from Lakeside to Haverthwaite is complete, children choose a gift from Father Christmas. Truly a fun and interactive Christmas even not to be missed this year.
Whilst there isn’t a Christmas market as such here at Lakeside Railway, for Thomas The Tank Engine fans and train fanatics, nip into the gift shop to pick up stocking fillers and Christmas pressies, whilst excited little nippers are distracted.
2019 is the fourth year for this fast-growing, festive event and welcomes for the first time an outdoor ice-skating rink! The Windermere Christmas Celebration which promises snow cannons, Santa’s Grotto, live music. Plus a record-number of local and national stallholders. You don’t need to be staying in Windermere to enjoy a hassle-free visit to this festive event. There is a shuttle bus provided for the event running from Windermere Lake Cruises Pier 1 in Bowness. You’ll find food, drink and craft with a festive theme across over 50 stalls.
For foodies, the south Lake District village of Cartmel is an idyllic village to experience a magical Christmas market and fayre. ‘Christmas in Cartmel’, now in its third year, is a community event held on the Friday 29 November 2019 from 3pm throughout Cartmel village. The village Christmas lights are switched on and Cartmel Priory Festival is launched (5pm). There is live reindeer, Father Christmas driven in by the impressive Black Horses. There’s a lantern parade, Flookburgh Band, Carol Singers and for the first time, Christmas craft stalls.
On the third Friday in December, Cartmel’s monthly Farmers’ Market takes a Christmas theme. It includes stalls from local producers such as Furness Fish & Game, The Chilli Man, Deer n Dexter and Signature Soaps to name a few popular stalls. Whilst this village grew around its Medieval Priory, today the streets are filled with artisan shops from local producers. If you’re shopping for a foodie this Christmas, head to Cartmel! Read more about a foodie trip to Cartmel here.
Staying in one of our Cartmel Cottages is a Christmas treat itself, with Michelin-starred restaurants in the village as well as Morecambe Bay right on your doorstep.
Sophisticated as Holker Hall and Gardens is, this is not just an event for the grown-ups. A wander through the Hall decorated beautifully for the festive season is a treat for romantics and kids will love the visit from Santa as well as interactive festive activities. If there’s a frost on the ground, then the experience of Christmas on a grand English country estate is evoked even more. Start your Christmas shopping early at the divine Holker Winter Market, on the 1st November 2019.
Take young kids to the largest garden centre in Cumbria, in the centre of Ambleside, for one of the most popular Christmas attractions in the Lakes. In 2017, the German-style market was enchanting. In 2018 there was more festive magic and a glittery shopping than ever. 2019 promises even more! Yes, Christmas with Hayes Garden World has become quite the attraction, with festive lights, jingle bells, artificial snow and plenty of interactive fun. For 2019 the festive theme is The Christmas Maze – where you are taken on a magical journey past polar bears and penguins having snowball fights, secret rooms to play with the elves in. And of course, once you’ve completed your enchanting journey through The Festive Maze a magical wooden grotto awaits with a very special, jolly man waiting inside to greet good girls and boys. Even grown-ups find it hard not to get into the festive spirit after a magical visit to Hayes Garden World, in Ambleside.
Ambleside is a bustling market town and we have a range of accommodation which you can browse here, Ambleside Cottages.
In the South Lakes, over the last weekend in November and just before advent starts, is the famous Ulverston Christmas lights switch on and Dickensian Festival and what a year 2019 is set to be.
Ulverston, on the Lake District border and just outside of Windermere is the former home of Stan Laurel, and this historic market town doesn’t hold back when it comes to entertaining. In fact, Ulverston is known locally as a ‘festival town’ owing to its busy annual events line-up, including the famous Dickensian Christmas Festival. This year, Ulverston born author Graham Whalan launched his latest book, ‘Ulverston: Festivals Town’. “This new book is really a celebration of the town of Ulverston and its people, as well as its history and values as a community,” said Graham.
Take a trip back in time to a Victorian Christmas, during the town’s weekend-long Dickensian Christmas Festival. This year’s festivities are packed with entertainment for kids and adults alike. The fancy dress competitions are the main event and there’s costumes to hire locally so you can get into the festive spirit. Of course, there’s a Santa’s Grotto at the Laurel and Hardy Museum and a marquee where little ones can learn circus tricks.
The Christmas light countdown time is TBC but generally is around 4pm on the 24th.
Don’t forget to have a look at our Lakelovers Recommends page to find discounts and special rates for top Lake District attractions and dining options, including Rheged and Windermere Lake Cruises.