There's always so much to enjoy during the festive season in the Lake District, and 2016 is going to be no different - Santa's going to be very busy keeping up this year!
Christmas markets and festive events
The 2016 Lake District calendar is just bursting with Christmas markets and fairs, where you'll find a warm atmosphere, tasty local produce, unique gifts, and much more:
• Kirkby Lonsdale Christmas Fair, 2nd-4th December
• Hawkshead Christmas Fair, 3rd-4th December
• Askham Hall & Gardens Christmas Market, 4th December
• Orton Farmers' Market, 10th December
• Windermere Ja German Christmas Market, 10th-11th December
• Taste Cumbria Christmas Market, Cockermouth, 10th-11th December
• Holker Christmas Food Market, Cark-in-Cartmel, 11th December
• Penrith Christmas Market, 11th-13th and 18th-20th December
A daily treat throughout December with the Keswick Live Advent 2016
If you're in Keswick between 1st and 24th December, don't forget to look out for the town's Live Advent event! At 4pm each day, a new Christmas advent window is lit, accompanied by a pop-up festive event - search for the Keswick Live Advent page on Facebook, pick up a map from the Tourist Information Centre, or visit keswick.org. And if you're staying in Keswick over Christmas or New Year, you can continue to follow the trail of illuminated windows until early January!
Take a look at our fabulous range of cottages in Keswick.
Festive fun at Rheged
There's so much on at Rheged this year that visiting is a must! Throughout December, adults and children alike won't be able to resist a go on the giant nine-metre indoor vintage Helter Skelter, and you can write to Santa or visit him while his reindeers take a rest in his magical forest (see website for dates)! Become an Elf for the day with one of several workshops and create special handmade wooden presents using traditional woodworking skills! There are also Christmas craft, cooking, storytelling and film events in the lead up to the big day - visit the website for full details of all these events and more, and to book. The fun doesn't stop post-Christmas either with the unmissable pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk on 29th and 30th December 2016!
We have a fantastic range of properties in the nearby Ullswater area.
Christmas Owls and Afternoon Tea at Muncaster Castle
This year Muncaster is hosting two festive events. The first, Christmas Owls by Moonlight, will take place on Saturday 10th and Sunday 18th December 2016, giving you the chance to see these beautiful creatures fly in low light. You'll be greeted with a hot drink, enjoy a two-course supper, and watch two flying displays, finishing off with an atmospheric walk through the gardens. Muncaster's second event this year is its Christmas Afternoon Tea in the Castle on Sunday 11th and Sunday 18th December 2016. Booking essential.
Take a look at our collection of cottages in Ravenglass.
Drama at the Theatre by the Lake, Keswick
Enjoy some drama this festive season at the Theatre by the Lake, which is hosting two family-friendly productions. The Secret Life of Suitcases features puppetry and is on between 13th and 23rd December 2016, following Larry as his world is turned upside down by a flying suitcase! The theatre's main Christmas production this year is The Emperor and the Nightingale, an adaptation of a fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson. Based in ancient China, it features fabulous puppetry, music, colour and movement, and is on until 14th January 2017.
Take a look at our properties in and around Keswick.
Meet Santa across the Lake District
Father Christmas will be making an appearance across the Lakes, but with many events already booking up, you'll need to move fast to avoid disappointment!
The Santa Express on the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway - Most dates are now sold out, but at the time of writing you can still book on a Santa Train and meet Father Christmas himself on 19th, 20th and 21st December, so don't delay booking!
The Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway - Take the one-and-a-half hour journey between Haverthwaite and Lakeside, and you'll be treated to a fun festive experience for children, in a decorated carriage with a great 'panto' atmosphere and carol singing! Adults receive a festive treat and seasonal drink, with Father Christmas and his elves delivering a present to every child.
Ullswater 'Steamers' - On 18th December, enjoy on-board activities with the Happy Elf and a Stu-di-doo Christmas Magic Show, and meet Father Christmas to hand over your Christmas letter! Tea or coffee and mince pies for adults, too!
Hayes Garden World - Visit Santa in his grotto every day from 3rd-23rd December, and receive a present and instant photo!
The World of Beatrix Potter Exhibition - Join a tea party with Father Christmas or enjoy a post-Christmas afternoon tea with Peter Rabbit himself and his special guest, The Tailor of Gloucester!
'The BFG in Pictures' at Tullie House, Carlisle
If you or your children are big Roald Dahl fans, you can see a new touring exhibition of the author's original artworks, including some of his unpublished illustrations, at Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery in Carlisle until early February 2017.
Pinocchio in the Puppet Theatre at the Upfront Gallery, Unthank, near Penrith
Told with puppetry and special effects, this production of Pinocchio brings together the very best bits from this well-known tale. Dates include 18th, 20th-24th, and 29th-31st December 2016 and 3rd and 4th January 2017.
Take a look at our cottages in the North East Lake District.
If you haven't already planned your 2016 Christmas or New Year getaway, you can find the perfect cottage for you by using the Sally's Cottages online search facility.
Other posts that you may find helpful in planning your visit:
Reasons to visit the Lake District in Winter
The food lover's guide to the Lake District, listing great places from which to buy delicious local treats for Christmas and New Year celebrations!
Sally's guide to shopping in the Lake District - perfect for anyone seeking those last minute presents and stocking fillers!