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What’s On in the Lake District this Summer

Summer is here, and as usual, we’ve SO much going on in the Lake District, whatever the weather may throw at us.   The nights are light, with fair weather prevailing and so lots of time for exploring and experiencing something new.  Or perhaps you have something that’s become a tradition – I know my family always go to Cartmel Races and Hawkshead Show, come rain or shine.  It’s just our ‘thing’ that means summer is here. 

There’s a large and varied Events calendar here for summer, but here’s our top pick:




Where is Peter Rabbit – The Old Laundry Theatre, Bowness

22 June – 1 September 2019

‘Where is Peter Rabbit’ the musical spectacular at the Old Laundry Theatre, Bowness. Right next door to the World of Beatrix Potter, so go and get in touch with that inner child.  You can make a full day of it, by adding in a ticket to the attraction itself, or even a VIP afternoon tea with Peter!




July & August 2019

Cartmel Races 20 & 22 July: ‘The Barbecue meetings’ where racegoers can bring a barbecue, and food, or perhaps pre-order a meat pack. 24 & 26 August: the Bank Holiday meetings, bring a picnic and your own food and drink.  All the races are dog and family friendly, bring your own picnic, or treat yourself to a hospitality ticket. There’s entertainment, children’s activities and a fairground, and of course, Cartmel itself is renowned for food and drink and is Simon Rogan’s home turf.

So much to choose from! A special treat at Michelin-star L’Enclume, or wander around Unsworth’s Yard, just by the medieval priory where you can enjoy wine tasting, local cheeses and microbreweries. Also, of course, is the famous Sticky Toffee pudding shop, just by the racecourse, and many atmospheric local pubs and eateries. Earlier his year we welcomed Cliff Richard & Sophie Ellis-Bextor to perform after the races, and there is always a fantastic friendly atmosphere.

Retrorendezvous – Ulverston

12 – 13 July 2019

A cram-packed full weekend of fabulous retro music, food, dance, cinema, clothes, cars, motorcycles drink, and the famous Velo Retro old-school cycling events into the Lake District. A great weekend in this beautiful market town, which pays homage to Laurel & Hardy. It’s free entry too!



Staveley Summer Beer Festival – Hawkshead Brewery

18 – 20 July 2019

British beer is buzzing right now, new styles, innovations and flavours. Many of the pioneers are right here in Cumbria and the north of England. All the beer is properly cold, from cask and keg, and served from 3+ bars, there’s a marquee and music. Dogs, families, food all day, free entry and great beer – what’s not to like?



Grasmere Antique and Artefacts Fair – Red Lion, Grasmere

28 – 30 August 2019

If you love collecting the unusual and beautiful, what better place to do it than in the pretty village of Grasmere. This small antiques fair hosts Antiques, collectables, fine and vintage jewellery, decorative arts, vintage linens, china and local artisan products. You can also take in a wander around Wordsworth Country – taking in Dove Cottage, the lake, and St Oswald’s Church, all nearby.


Agricultural Shows

Farming in Cumbria is both an industry and a way of life.  There are around 20 shows each year here, and they are a place where farmers and traders meet, to show off your best livestock, or your sporting prowess, countryside skills, or just a social gathering. They are important social events where villagers and visitors can mingle together; enjoy food and drink, a fell race or two and even a Cumberland wrestle… We’ve picked just a couple to whet your whistle.  Many of them are low-cost or free to enter, more money to spend on food and drink!



Ambleside Sports – Rydal Park, Ambleside LA22 OPL

25 July 2019
10AM – 6PM

This show focuses on traditional sports rather than livestock: hound trails, fell running, Cumberland & Westmorland wrestling, track racing, cycling; as well as a climbing wall, live music and circus skills.  A great day out to indulge in local culture and of course, the ever important food & drink.



Lowther Show – Lowther Castle, Penrith

10 – 11 August 2019
8.30AM – 6PM

Set in the grounds of the magnificent Lowther Castle, this is one of the counties biggest shows and dogs are most welcome! It aims to bring together the finest showcase of UK country life.  It’s a great family day out, with feature arenas, live music, at the mini Folk Roots Festival, Cumberland Wrestling, great food, children’s activities and of course the famous horse-driving trials, gun-dog events, and a sheep show.


Rydal Sheep Dog Trials & Hound Show – Rydal Park, Ambleside

15 August 2019
8.30AM – 7PM

Small but perfectly formed, this is a lovely traditional show, which started in 1901.  Sheepdog trials are the main focus, but the Shepherd’s Crook and Sticks competition is fascinating.  Hot food and a bar.


Grasmere Sports – Grasmere Showfield, LA22 9SL

25 August 2019
10AM – 6PM

This show is all about local and traditional sport:  fell run, tug-of-war, mountain bike racing, track racing, and wrestling.  You’ll also find hound trails and sheepdog demos. And of course lovely food and drink.



Hawkshead Show – Hawkshead Hall Farm, Hawkshead LA22 ONN

20 August 2019
7.30AM – 6PM

Tread in the footsteps of Beatrix Potter, who was a sheep farmer as well as a famous author, and regularly entered her livestock here, and later became a judge. Potter around and enjoy this pretty village, with agricultural and horticultural displays, local crafts, good food and drink.


Keswick Show – Pump Field, Braithwaite, Keswick CA12 5TD

26 August 2019
8.30AM – 6PM

This fabulous local show dates back to 1860, and is a great family day out, with the popular horse show in the show-jumping arena, livestock competitions, Cumberland Wrestling, sheepdog demos, a craft tent, a large children’s area and food and drink.



Whichever you decide to visit, a day out at any of these fabulous Cumbrian events will give you a brilliant flavour of our County’s traditions, food and drink and most of all, its friendly people.

Download our Lakelovers Summer Guide here.