Christmas is coming…
Winter is a magical time to visit the Lake District; from snow-capped mountains and frosted fells to glowing shop windows and welcoming pubs with roaring log-fires; there’s no better place to escape to this November and December. And with many of our cosy cottages featuring log-burners or open fires (should you wish to roast any chestnuts on them), a pre-Christmas break in the Lakes can be the perfect antidote to the manic festive rush.
And once you’re here there’s plenty to see and do, with opportunities aplenty to fill your stockings as well as your stomachs at one of the various Christmas markets and festivals taking place throughout the Lakes. From the popular Dickensian festival celebrating all things Dickens to the delectable Taste Cumbria Christmas Market – a festive feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds!
Here are some our favourite Christmas markets and festivals happening throughout the Lake District in 2019:
Holker Winter Markets, Friday 1st – Sunday 3rd November
Holker Hall, the historic family home and gardens near Grange-over-Sands, invites visitors to embrace the cold and take a wander through a variety of stalls within its grounds, packed with stalls selling local food, crafts and gifts. Browse whilst enjoying the live music, fire pits and hot food filling the crisp air with cheery sounds and delicious smells. A perfect pre-Christmas family day out.
Ulverston Dickensian Festival, Sat 23rd and Sunday 24th November
Travel back in time to a picture-perfect Dickensian Christmas at this hugely popular festival. A guaranteed memorable day out is on offer in this south Cumbrian market town which becomes snowed under with stalls selling a variety of gifts, crafts and delicious food & drink. The event also features a full brass band playing festive favourites, street entertainment and a Dickensian parade, the participants of which appear to have walked straight from the pages of a Dickens classic.
Taste Cumbria Christmas Market, Cockermouth Sat 7th and Sun 8th December
All the flavours of Christmas can be found at this popular festival. Taking place in Cockermouth, West Cumbria and adorn with some of the loveliest Christmas lights in the county, the event features a giant producers’ market, a hot food court, a bar along with entertainment, activities and fairground rides. This family-friendly food festival is guaranteed to get even the most Scrooge-like amongst us firmly in the Christmas spirit.
Hawkshead Christmas Fair, Sat 7th and Sun 8th December
This festive fair takes place in Grasmere, in the very heart of the Lake District. Featuring local crafts, food and drinks this friendly and welcoming family event also features live carol singing, a Santa’s grotto and a lantern procession at 4.30 pm on Saturday.
Windermere Christmas Celebration, Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th December
Promising “proper Cumbrian Christmas vibes” this weekend long event, now in its fourth year, features local food, live music, Santa’s Grotto and, new for 2019, an ice rink, all set in the idyllic Lake District market town of Windermere. There’s also a free shuttle bus, taking visitors from busy Bowness up to the celebration in nearby Windermere.
Christmas in Cartmel, Friday 20th December, 5pm
Come along to the charming Cartmel, near Grange-over-Sands, and enjoy mulled wine, mince pies, Cartmel Priory Festival, Father Christmas and his reindeer, Flookburgh Band and lots more.
Other Christmassy events well worthy of a visit:
Keswick Christmas Lights Switch on, Friday 22nd November - Featuring local firefighters, choirs, market stalls and a special appearance on stage by Peter Rabbit himself.
Keswick Victorian Fayre, Saturday 1st December - Free live entertainment including bands, choirs, Morris Dancers and children’s funfair. Charity stalls, selling a selection of Christmas homemade crafts, produce, festive food and drink.
Langdale Christmas Pudding Run, Saturday 7th December - Watch the festively dressed runners tackle the 10km course through the beautiful Langdale valley – or take part yourself – every runner is rewarded with a Christmas pudding!