It's not all mountains and walking! Throughout the year, the Lake District and Cumbria hosts a wealth of exciting and interesting events to suit all tastes. So, if you're planning your Lake District stay and what to know what's on during your visit, read on for details of the biggest Lake District events of 2020!
Ready to book your perfect self-catering cottage? Find it with our cottage search.
Keswick Film Festival, Keswick, 27 February – 1 March
Now in its 21st year, the Keswick Film Festival showcases an eclectic mix of films ranging from independent flicks to Hollywood blockbusters, from new releases to classic favourites, and from local productions to world cinema. They also present the Osprey Short Film Awards. This year’s films include The Personal History of David Copperfield staring Dev Patel; Blackbird with Susan Sarandon and Kate Winslet; The Kingmaker (pictured) about Imelda Marcos; and No Fathers in Kashmir.
See our Keswick cottages.
The Dalemain Marmalade Festival, 14-15 March
Celebrating its 15th year, this world-famous festival is all-things marmalade! Hosted by Dalemain Mansion near Penrith, there will be thousands of marmalades on display and available to taste. There will be marmalade lectures and workshops, cookery lessons, games, films, music and children’s activities! You can't get enough of the tangy preserve!
Take a look at our cottages around Penrith.
Keswick Jazz & Blues Festival, Keswick, 7-10 May
Keswick is one of the most popular and active towns in the whole of the Lake District and there is a huge choice of events throughout the year. The Jazz & Blues Festival welcomes musical guests from across the world with a fabulous repertoire of New Orleans, Swing and Classic Jazz and Blues. This year promises to be another dazzler with top musicians including Shreveport Rhythm, Spats Langham, Marla Dixon and many more!
Get in early with a cottage in the Keswick area.
Keswick Mountain Festival, Keswick, 15-17 May
One of Keswick’s biggest and most popular annual events, the mountain festival is packed full of outdoor activities, live music, food stalls, speakers, and sports events. Whether you want to take part in one of the races and challenges, try out a new adventure activity, or just enjoy the atmosphere, the Keswick Mountain Festival is a fantastic event that the whole family can enjoy!
Get ready for the festival with a cottage in the North West Lake District.
Boot Beer Festival, Boot, June
During the dark period when Foot and Mouth swept the county, visitors to the Lake District couldn't explore the countryside, but they could certainly enjoy the fabulous pubs! In Eskdale, the three pubs of the valley – the Brook House Inn, Boot Inn and Woolpack Inn – joined forces to put on the Boot Beer Festival and bring a ray of light to difficult times. Nowadays, the weekend of the festival is the busiest of the year and visitors come from miles around to jump from pub to pub and sample all the wonderful – mostly local - beers on offer (over 150 from nearly as many breweries!).
Great North Swim, Windermere, 5-7 June
Whether you’re a seasoned open water swimmer or have always wanted to give it a try, seeing the stunning surrounds of the Lake District from in the water is a truly fabulous experience. The Great North Swim takes place at Brockhole on Windermere and there are races ranging from a beginner- and family-friendly 250 metres to a challenging 10 kilometres for the most experienced swimmers.
Find a cottage near Windermere.
Cumberland County Show, nr. Carlisle, 13 June
A true celebration of farming, food and countryside – both traditional and modern – The Cumberland Show is a fabulous event that will delight all ages. There are livestock classes judging the best in cattle, sheep, horses and poultry; vintage vehicle competitions; a craft marquee; a food hall; trade stands; and plenty of entertainment throughout the day.
Browse our cottages in the North East of Cumbria.
Lakes Classic Vehicle Show, Grasmere, 21 June
Whether you’re a bit of a petrolhead or just love the nostalgia brought on by vintage cars and vehicles, the Lakes Classic Vehicle Show in Grasmere is bound to delight. Hosted on the edge of the pretty village amidst the best scenery of an area known as ‘Wordsworth Country’, enjoy browsing the vehicles on display and see if you agree with the judges when they choose the best in categories such as Best Bike, Best Van, and Best Car. You can also take part in other challenges such as a car pull competition and a pit stop challenge!
Take a look at our cottages in and around Grasmere.
Light the Lakes, various locations, 12-14 June
A truly awe-inspiring and thought-inducing event is Light the Lakes. Set up in 2012 to raise money for the orphaned children of murdered Detective Constable, Heather Cooper, people connected to the police force climbed a number of Wainwright fells and covered the peaks with light lamps to honour fallen colleagues. After raising over £30,000 in the first year, the event is now an annual one - open to everyone - that raises money for the charity Care of Police Survivors. It’s truly incredible to see the peaks of the Lake District lit up during a summer evening.
Light the Lakes takes place throughout the Lake District, so pick your peak before searching for a nearby cottage.
Holker Chilli Fest, Grange-over-Sands, September
Specialist chilli companies and chilli lovers from all over the country gather for the Holker Chilli Fest, which boasts entertainment, cooking demonstrations, and the popular chilli eating competition! If you’re not a huge chilli fan, don’t worry, there are also plenty of stalls selling real ale, gin, flapjack, and much more! All this takes place within the wonderful environs of Holker Hall and Gardens, home of Lucy Cavendish.
Find your perfect cottage near Grange-over-Sands.
Lakes International Comic Art Festival, Kendal, October
As the only event of its kind in the UK, and bringing together over 70 of the best comic artists from across the world, the Lakes International Comic Art Festival is an absolute must for anyone with an interest in this particular art form. The event takes place in Kendal – just outside of the Lake District – for the weekend and includes signings, talks, short films, exhibitions, workshops, and lots more. Past guests have included high-profile artists such as VIZ, David Silverman, Joe Kelly, Jeff Keane, Kripa Joshi and Satoshi Kiatmura.
Take a look at our cottages near Kendal.
The World’s Biggest Liar, Santon Bridge Inn, November
Held annually in November, the World’s Biggest Liar is a famous competition where competitors must tell the biggest and most convincing lie possible! The event is held in memory of Will Ritson, the 19th century landlord of the inn who was famed for keeping customers entertained with his tall tales!
Explore our cottages near Santon Bridge.
Ulverston Dickensian Christmas Festival, Ulverston, November
Touted as “probably England’s finest Christmas market”, the Dickensian Christmas Festival in Ulverston brings a bit of traditional Christmas magic to the thousands of visitors that attend each year. With plenty of free entertainment, festive food, costume competitions, horse drawn carriages, dancing and music, it’s a wonderful community-run event that will really get you in the mood for the season!
Browse our cottages near Ulverston.
We hope that the above events give you some inspiration for planning your Lake District trip! As if that’s not enough, other events include:
- North Lakes New Year Half Marathon, Cockermouth, 5th Jan
- Words by the Water literature festival, Keswick, 6-15 March
- Food and Drink Festival, Muncaster Castle, May
- Festival of Fools, Muncaster Castle, May
- Appleby Horse Fair, Appleby, June
- Woolfest, Cockermouth, 26-27 June
- Westmorland County Agricultural Show, Milnthorpe, 10 September
- Solfest music festival, nr. Aspatria, 28-30th August
- More events...
Keep up-to-date with all the upcoming events around Cumbria on our Twitter page.
Find your perfect cottage for your perfect event using our cottage search.
You may also be interested in: