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Christmas comes with many traditions – a visit to the theatre, a winter walk with the promise of mulled wine at the end, dancing and singing, decking the halls – whatever helps you to get in the festive spirit.  We caught up with our Cultural Concierge, Jeanette Edgar for her pick of heritage and culture events around Cumbria…

Holker Hall, near Cartmel

 Soak up the magical atmosphere of Holker Hall elegantly decorated for Christmas with a programme of festive entertainment. You’ll enjoy floral installations by local florists, and one of the many trees in the Hall decorated by the Cavendish’s chosen charity, St Mary’s Hospice. An extra treat is that the first two sections of the gardens will also be open so keep your wits about you – there have been sightings of a group of mischievous elves causing havoc!

A Cavendish ChristmasFri Nov 26-Sun Nov 28, Wed 1 Dec-Sun Dec 5, Wed 8 Dec-Sun 12 Dec, Wed 15 Dec-Sun Dec 19

Christmas at Holker Hall


Levens Hall, Levens near Kendal

Enjoy Levens Hall and its famous topiary gardens in a different light – visit in the early evening to explore the festively decorated main rooms of the House while the Topiary Garden will be beautifully lit. There will also be Festive Christmas treats  to enjoy,  while you browse the stalls of specially selected local suppliers and listen to some live music.

Christmas at Levens Hall: Thu Dec 16-Mon Dec 20

Rydal Mount, Rydal between Grasmere & Ambleside

Rydal Mount is having its first Christmas Gifts and Craft Fair on Sat 11 Dec-Sun 12 Dec

Featuring Cumbrian artists and designers including Jane Exley of the Woolly Rug co, Letty Ashworth of Lakeland Stitch, Sally Anne Lambert of Moongazer Cards and Jo Vincent Glass. Live music, craft workshops, mince pies and mulled wine. Signed copies of poetry and books by members of the Wordsworth family will also be available.

Rydal Mount Moongazer cards

Grizedale Forest

A walk in Grizedale Forest could be the answer to your Christmas gift buying. Head to the visitor centre and ‘makers row’ to meet six British craft makers who are displaying and selling works of art and finely crafted objects. Collectively, a printmaker, potter, basket weaver, rustic furniture maker, painter of giant plant pots & musical instrument restorer is Grizedale Forest Makers. They will open their studios for a gathering of festive cheer over the weekend of Sat Dec 4-Sun Dec 5 for Grizedale Forest Makers Festive Open Studios

Dove Cottage, Grasmere

On Christmas Day it’s Dorothy’s Wordsworth’s 250th birthday!
Book a visit on Wed Dec 22 and join in with a very special celebration at Dove Cottage, Grasmere where she lived and enjoyed many birthdays. For one day only, you can get creative, learn a period dance and have a lot of family fun.

Or explore the exhibition Dorothy Wordsworth: Writer Sister Friend, her story, told in her own words from original manuscripts. More than William’s sister, she was a writer, friend, collaborator, aunt, pioneering walker, local philanthropist, inspiring gardener, and – perhaps most famously – author of the Grasmere journal.

Wordsworth Grasmere is open until 23 Dec, and again from 28 Dec – 1 Jan Full holiday opening times: 

Christmas Crafts at Dove Cottage

Theatre by the Lake, Keswick

With puppetry, music and playful theatricality, travel in time this Christmas with this much-loved children’s classic. Theatre by the Lake is performing Tom’s Midnight Garden. 

Tom is sent to stay with his aunt and uncle in a mysterious old house. Bored and itching to go and play, Tom counts the days until he can go home. He hears the grandfather clock strike 13 and sneaks outside to discover a magical garden where he meets Hatty. Together they explore this amazing place. But all is not as it seems in the garden…

Book a special Christmas treat, there are performances from Fri Nov 26–Sat Jan 15

Crosthwaite, near Keswick

Music is always guaranteed to set a festive mood. Festival Of Christmas Music at Crosthwaite Church in Keswick is a popular annual concert. Their 2021 programme on Tue Dec 14 includes excerpts from Handel’s Messiah and seasonal readings.

Browse our winter break cottages here