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West Coast Photo Exhibition, Barrow-in-Furness

A visit to the new West Coast Photo Exhibition at the impressive Dock Museum is an absolute must and one that few people may know about, affording you massive bragging rights. Inspired by the identity and landscape of the unique West Coast of Cumbria, this brand-new exhibition is part of an annual celebration of life on the West Coast, from the early 20th century to the present day.

The photography exhibition opened on 26 October 2019, offering the first-ever collection of lens work celebrating Cumbria’s West Coast. The coveted exhibition, that hosts award-winning artists like Thomas Joshua Cooper and Martin Parr, runs over Christmas and into the New Year, closing on 15 January 2020. As well as stunning work by local artists, this exhibition has bagged some highly coveted work too, including images from the Sankey Family Photographic Collection from between 1890 and 1960.

Hawkshead Brewery, Staveley

Hawkshead Brewery started life in 2002 as a small barn on the outskirts of the village of Hawkshead. And in 2006, the brewery saw a new lease of life, relocating beside the River Kent at Staveley.

The Brewery has left its second hand 7 barrel kit behind, and now boasts a beautiful beer hall and 20 barrel brewhouse, producing 7,700 barrels of beer (1.1 million litres) per year at full capacity! So, there’s plenty of beer to keep your glass full.

There’s always plenty of festive cheer, with The Curragh Sons playing their unique blend of Irish music or pull on your dancing shoes and get ready to celebrate the New Year with Jim Bean.

Claife Viewing Station, Windermere

Claife Viewing Station was built in the 1790s as a viewpoint and was the place to go on Windermere Lake in the Victorian era. The Station had different tints of glass in each room – yellow for summer, orange for autumn, light green for spring and light blue for winter. The National Trust have replicated these views with the platform with coloured glass to give you an idea today of how the Victorians saw everything.  You can access it from the Bowness Ferry, or set out on a 4mile linear walk from Wray Castle – a great route for bikes or walking.  There’s a lovely Courtyard Café which is dog friendly, and serves snacks and drinks.

Alpacaly Ever After, Keswick

Take a guided alpaca walk through the private grounds of the Lingholm Estate – Keswick, where another favourite author of ours, Beatrix Potter, spent many of her summer holidays.

You’ll get to know your alpacas close up as you take them for a paddle (or swim) on the shores of Derwentwater, before meeting the whole herd to take part in feeding time. You’ll get to meet over 80 fluffy residents, all with their own unique style and personality.

The new Lingholm Kitchen and shop looks down onto an octagonal walled garden built in a Victorian style. The Kitchen offers a variety of locally sourced meals, coffee, teas and homebaked treats. Shop alpacaly gifts and knits in the gorgeous gift shop for a memento of your day.

Lake District Ski Club, Thirlmere, Keswick

The Lake District has its very own Ski Club, founded in 1963, the club operates a 360-metre button tow on Raise, next to Helvellyn. An hour’s walk from the mines at Glenridding, Raise is positioned for the best snow in the Lakes and has nine ungroomed pistes, the longest measuring almost a mile

You can ski for a day as a guest for just £30. Being situated near the top of one of England’s highest peaks, make sure you’re well-equipped for a mountain environment and fit enough to make the steep climb.

If you’re planning a visit to the Lake District this winter, don’t forget to bring your skiing gear and head to the slopes.