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19 Things to Do In The Lake District This Christmas

5 December 2016

The Lake District is a wonderful place for you and your family to visit over the Christmas period. Whether you are just visiting for a couple of days, staying for Christmas, or you live locally, there is so much to see and do.

Check out our list of 19 things to do over the festive period, and you certainly won’t struggle to get into the festive spirit.

Winter Walks

While it may be cold around Christmas time, don’t let that put you off getting outdoors and experiencing the stunning beauty of the Lakes in winter. There are walks for all abilities, from child friendly trails, gentle ambles around the lakeside, or heading up into the mountains and taking in the stunning snowy scenery

The National Trust have suggestions for great winter walks which can be found here.

Allan Bank and Grasmere

Create your own festive wreath to take home at Allan Bank and Grasmere on the 10th of December, using foliage and natural items from around the grounds and woodland.

You can also go along to sing carols around the tree on 17th December. For more details of these festive events check the website.

Christmas Art Sale in Ravenglass

At the Muncaster Parish Hall in Ravenglass, Cumbria Printmakers are holding a Christmas Art Sale on the 3rd and 4th of December between 10am and 4pm.

Many local artists will be selling prints, cards, and original artwork, and coffee and mince pies will be available.

Hawkshead Christmas Fair and Beer Festival

In Hawkshead village, their Christmas fair will offer traditional seasonal shopping and entertainment.

As well as children’s rides, late night shopping, and craft and gift stalls, Hawkshead is also holding a beer festival in the local pubs, with a specially selected range of beers and festive ales.

Windermere German Christmas Market

In Windermere, 2016 will see the first Christmas market taking place over the weekend of the 10th and 11th of December.

With fantastic seasonal gifts, food and drink, live music and street entertainment, you won’t want to miss this one. You can even visit Father Christmas and his reindeers!

Kirkby Lonsdale Christmas Fair

Kirkby Lonsdale is pedestrianised for the weekend of the 2nd to the 4th of December. In addition to the town’s independent shops, a chalet village pops up in the heart of the town, selling gifts and crafts, as well as a Santa’s grotto and a beautiful Christmas tree.

There will be a festive parade, street entertainment, music, and the switching on of the festive lights. For more information see the website.

Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry

Have you ever wondered how Christmas was celebrated in the olden days? For a unique and educational activity, head to the Museum of Lakeland Life on 14th December to discover what a Lakeland Christmas was like in Victorian times. You can even read old Christmas cards!

Theatre by the Lake

The Theatre by the Lake in Keswick is great place to visit with the family or friends. Current productions include The Emperor and The Nightingale, and The Secret Life of Suitcases, with the Keswick Christmas Proms taking place on the 4th of December.

Santa Specials on Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway

For a magical family day out, bring your children along on the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway. With carols, festive treats and drinks (for the adults), and a visit from Santa and his elven helpers, this will be an unforgettable experience, and the children will love their presents. Tickets are available from the booking office.

Hayes Garden World

Hayes Garden World in Ambleside is the largest garden centre in Cumbria, and a great place to visit in all seasons.

For the festive period, the Hayes elves have been busy creating an incredible Christmas display. With something to suit absolutely everybody, browse a huge range of decorations and gifts. You can also visit Santa at his Grotto until the 23rd of December, or enjoy a bite to eat in the Terrace Café.

Visit The Rheged Centre

The Rheged Centre in Penrith has an abundance of fantastic family events on over the Christmas period. Why not watch a special screening of The Snowman, accompanied by a live orchestra playing Howard Blake’s beautiful score? The screening will take place on the 10th of December and tickets are available online.

Beatrix Potter Christmas Parties

At The World of Beatrix Potter, enjoy a magical tea party with Father Christmas. The event includes a special showing of Christmassy classic “The Tailor of Gloucester”, and delicious party food. Children will get to meet Santa, and even receive presents.

Your ticket also includes entrance to the World of Beatrix Potter attraction, so it’s great value. 


If you enjoy a good panto at Christmas time, watch Cinderella performed by the Youth Group of Grange Amateur Operatic Society at Victoria Hall in Grange-over-Sands on the 10th of December. Tickets are available from Victoria Hall, or Grange Information Centre, and there are matinee and evening performances.

Jack and the Beanstalk

In Carlisle at the Sands Centre, the panto version of Jack and the Beanstalk will run from the 12th of December, concluding with a Boxing Day performance. Starring Britain’s Got Talent winner George Sampson, it’s sure to be a hit and tickets are available online.

Peter Pan

The Forum in Barrow will be home to a panto production of Peter Pan. Watch this swashbuckling adventure starring the boy who refuses to grow up between the 13th and 30th of December. Click here for more information and to book tickets.

Flookburgh Band Carol Concerts

Flookburgh Band play their yearly carol concert at Victoria Hall in Grange-over-Sands on Saturday 17th December.

Then on Christmas Day, you can join the band in the square in Flookburgh for carols. You can sing along with carol sheets provided, and really get into the Christmas spirit.

Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

Gingerbread is such a wonderful traditionally festive treat, but is also available all year round from the Gingerbread Shop in Grasmere. Pop in if you are visiting the area, and see what all the fuss is all about!

Festive Food at the Sun Inn

Enjoy a festive menu including traditional roast turkey and Christmas pudding at the Sun Inn, in Crook near Kendal. A lovely country pub away from the hustle and bustle with wooden beams and open fires, it’s the perfect place to go for a nice cosy meal on a winter’s day.

The Joshua Tree Christmas Menu

The Joshua Tree in Kendal offers a delectable and very reasonably priced Christmas menu. The Bistro attracts rave reviews on TripAdvisor, and you do have to book ten days in advance and pay a deposit to secure your place – so plan ahead! See the menu here.


If you are visiting from outside the area, why not take a look at the accommodation options at one of our great parks? You can even give holiday vouchers as a gift! For more details visit our website.