Crisp, cold days and snow on the tops. Winter in the Lakes is a fantastic time for a short break, either in the build up to the festive season or afterwards; get yourself wrapped up, get out there – so much going on.
The towns and villages literally glisten at this time of year, and you’ll find them all with their own Christmas lights, markets, shopping and eating experiences to make your season magical.
1. Christmas Markets
We’ve two brand new Christmas markets at Windermere and Penrith. For the first time this year, enjoy two new local Christmas markets and a glass of mulled wine to get you in the festive spirit:
Penrith’s Winter Festival 2016: Sat 26th November – Sat 24 December
Windermere Ja German Christmas Market: Sat 10 – Sun 11th December
Join in one our traditional Christmas Fairs at Hawkshead, one of the Lake District’s prettiest villages, especially if we’ve had some snow – a favourite annual event for locals and visitors. Browse amongst the Christmas lights and decorations, enjoy the Jazz Band on Saturday, ending with the lantern procession & Carol Singing in the square; and live music on the Sunday. Hawkshead Christmas fair – 3 and 4 December.
2. Christmas Theatre
Theatre by the Lake – Keswick: Enjoy Neil Duffield’s stage adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s The Nightingale. The colour, movement and spectacle of Chinese theatre combine with the beauty of the nightingale’s song is a feast for the senses that will delight the whole family. They are also running some children’s workshops too, check the website for more details.
The Brewery Arts Centre – Kendal: The Brewery Christmas Show this year is ‘Secret Santa’ a ‘Kendal Christmas Tale’ other festive offerings are a live screening of the Nutcracker on 8 December, a Yuletide evening with Gervase Phinn on the 14 December; and the Albion Christmas Band on the 16 December. Panto in a Day: Oh Yes it is! For 7-14 year olds on 20 December at 10.30.
At Sizergh Castle, on December 10 and 11, Drama Students from Kendal College will perform Sleeping Beauty.
3. Meet Father Christmas!
He’ll be at Sizergh Castle on the December 3,4, 10 & 11 from 11.30-3pm with his helpers in their magical grotto. You get a timed slot so booking is essential. And they’re serving traditional Christmas lunches, yum yum..
4. Christmas Shopping:
in our towns and villages is always magical – they’ll all have their Christmas lights twinkling and plenty of good cheer and Christmas spirit whilst you browse the shops.
Branthwaite Brow, Kendal
5. Christmas Food and Drink
After all that shopping you’ll of course, need to try out our winter pubs and eateries – this is when the Lakes comes into its own, with log fires, real ales and hearty food. Many of them will be dog friendly too, so no need for pooch to sit outside, shivering!
6. Get out on the water…
– in a nice warm pleasure boat. Windermere Lake Cruises and Ullswater Steamers are all running a winter timetable: All the cruises will have hot drinks, snacks, and some of them have a festive flavour with mince piece, mulled wine and music, and you might even get to meet Santa himself on the special weekend Santa Cruises…
7. Get on board the Santa Express!
The Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway’s and Haverthwaite Railway have Santa Express at various dates through December. Ravenglass or ‘La’ll Ratty’ is a magical 14 mile return steam journey, you’ll meet Santa in his Dalegarth Gingerbread Grotto. Seasonal refreshments and you can even book lunch. Haverthwaite is a shorter trip, down by the south end of Windermere, on the road to Newby Bridge.
8. Get Crafty!
At Brockhole 3 & 4 December make your own handmade tree decoration, whilst listening to Lakeland Christmas tales, and enjoying some festive food. Every Friday in December, enjoy free parking too.
These are just a few of the things happening in and around the Lake District in the run up to Christmas. Whatever you are doing have a simply wonderful time!