Close Icon

Looking for things to do whilst on holiday in the Lake District? Why not browse our ‘What’s On’ guide for inspiration.

The Lake District has a packed, year-round, events calendar. You’ll find seasonal goodies, like Easter egg hunts, Christmas markets and pantomimes as well as local treats like country shows and sporting fixtures.

Some particularly coveted tickets include the boutique music festival Kendal Calling, Cartmel Races, which has hosted the likes of Tom Jones and Sir Cliff Richard and Kendal Mountain Festival, where the cream of the outdoor sports elite gather.

For spectator event with a difference, you can’t beat a day at a traditional local’s festival or fair, where you get a real feel for Lake District culture.  Appleby Horse Fair, Grasmere Sports and Hawkshead Brewery Beer Festival make for a great day out.

There are plenty of quirky family-friendly events too, including Chilli Fest and Muncaster Castle’s Festival of Fools.

For boat fanatics, the Windermere Boat Show is a must and classic cars from all over the region gather for the annual The Lakes Classic Vehicle Show.

For those that like to don a sporting vest and a number, the Lake District is home to prestigious fixtures too, including the ASICS Windermere Marathon and Fred Whitton Challenge, which is regarded by keen cyclists alongside major European events. New events like HonisterFest outdoor challenge sees the region’s top adrenalin-fuelled shops and attractions coming together to host events unique to the Lake District’s naturally challenging landscape.

Browse our guides for even more inspiration.

Lakes Culture

Literature, art, street theatre, singing and dancing all bring a rich cultural heritage to life here in The Lake District, Cumbria. The work of artists inspired by the landscape is celebrated in dozens of art galleries, castles and museums.

New for 2019 is Windermere Jetty: Museum of Boats, Steam & Stories, bringing to life the tales of the steam launches, sailing yachts, motorboats and record-breaking speed boats. Lakeland Arts, the brains behind the museum, also operates Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Blackwell Arts & Crafts Museum and the Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry.

Hunt for sculptures in the Forestry Commission’s Grizedale and Whinlatter forests, before discovering more about the legendary poet William Wordsworth at his former home, Dove Cottage. Spend an evening in Kendal’s Brewery Arts Centre or Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake; and witness yesteryear brought back to life through fascinating displays and exhibitions at some of Cumbria’s most historic National Trust sites like Sizergh Castle or Hill Top – the former home of Beatrix Potter. 2019 also sees the Lake District Summer Music International Festival take place between 27 July and 9 August.

Those – and countless more cultural experiences are all supported by Cumbria Tourism, the Lake District National Park and South Lakeland District Council, helping the cultural offering go from strength to strength each year.


Kendal – Gateway to the Lake District

The famous town of Kendal sits on the southern edge of the Lake District, making it the perfect place from which to begin a new adventure at this World Heritage site. Kendal may be most famous for its mint cake, but there’s so much more to this little town. Not only is it the home of the annual Kendal Mountain Festival, but it attracts some of the most diverse musical talent to venues like the Brewery Arts Centre – complete with its Vats Bar, as well as Bootleggers music bar – one of the most well-respected smaller, intimate venues on the north-west circuit.

Lakeland Arts – the team which is behind the brand-new Windermere Jetty: Museum of Boats, Steam & Stories, also runs the Abbot Hall Art Gallery and Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry ensuring visitors to the “auld grey town” can get their fix of heritage and culture. They can also get their fix of confectionary at the Chocolate Shop, complimented by one of the town’s remaining cobbled streets.

Take a stroll up the Kendal Castle – once owned by the family of Catherine Parr, who outlived her husband, King Henry VIII, drink to her at The Tap Ale Bar and relax by taking a riverside walk. Indulge in some sport and adventure at the dry ski slope, golf courses and driving range, or why not take on Kendal’s climbing wall? Vegetarians can also enjoy filling up at the The Waterside café, and for those who’ve had enough Cumberland Sausage, why not check out the Bangkok 7 thai restaurant.