Christmas Capers in the Lake District


The Lakes always offers an astonishing variety of Christmas entertainment! Every year you'll find fantastic festive events in the Lake District and here are some of our favourites. 

Kirkby Lonsdale Christmas LightsWatch Santa hop on over to Ambleside, Kendal, Keswick, Barrow-in-Furness, Cockermouth, Windermere and Kirkby Lonsdale to switch on the Christmas Lights! The Keswick Christmas Lights Switch on is superb and will take place on Friday 13th November 2015. This is combined with Keswick's Traditional Christmas Fayre featuring street entertainment, decorations throughout the town centre and lots of market stalls all staffed by charities and local community groups.


It's a little known fact that Santa is quite keen on boats. Hop on one of the Keswick Launches on select dates in December and you'll cruise with Father Christmas himself! Children will be given presents and adults get mince pies – yum. 

On 12th December 2015, Santa will be cruising on the Ullswater Steamers. Join him for fun-filled activities on board with his friend - the happy elf - and a Christmas magic show! There are two departures from Glenridding at 10.30am and 1.30pm.

On 28th and 29th November 2015 and 5th, 6th, 12th, 13th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 23rd December 2015, Santa will be indulging his little-suspected love of steam trains. He'll be hosting train trips on the Ravenglass & Eskdale Steam Railway from the coastal village of Ravenglass all the way to Boot at the top of the Eskdale valley.

The Rheged Centre in Penrith are hosting festive films in their 3D cinema throughout the Christmas season. We can't wait to watch the live showing of The Nutcracker by The Royal Ballet on the 16th December.

Muncaster Castle in the Lake DistrictMuncaster Castle is one of our favourite places in this part of the world. This medieval castle-cum-stately home puts on a great show at Christmas, with elaborate Victorian decorations, illuminations and special effects in the garden, with tall tales told by staff in 19th-century costume. Or at least, we think it's costume – the castle is well known for its ghosts!

A favourite for all the family, Keswick's Theatre by the Lake will be showing performances of The Snow Queen from 27th November 2015 until early January 2016! They will also be hosting a Christmas Concert 'Keswick's Own Christmas Proms' on 7th December 2015 - watch professional singers Graeme Danby and Valerie Reid headline alongside the NASUWT Riverside Band, and the choir of St Herbert’s School. A festive feast of music and carols, topped off with a rousing traditional Last Night of the Proms finale will definitely get you into the seasonal spirit. 

There are a number of Christmas Fairs planned:

  • 17th - 18th October 2015: Rival Arts Early Christmas Food & Gift Fair
  • 13th November 2015: Keswick Food Fayre
  • 28th – 29th November 2015: Ulverston Dickensian Fair
  • December: Keswick Traditional Christmas Fayre
  • 5th December - 6th December 2015: Hawkshead Christmas Fair and Beer Festival 2015
  • 5th December 2015: Christmas on the Green at Milnthorpe.
  • 12th December 2015: Rheged Christmas Fair

If fine dining's more your thing, there are a number of upmarket eateries in the area, including Armathwaite Hall, which has delicious four-course lunches throughout December, and a serious Christmas Eve dinner with pre-dinner cocktails and pre-dinner entertainment. On Boxing Day, there's the same dinner, but with a casino afterwards!

Find cottages in the Lake District near these events. To view our Christmas Cottages, click here.