December Christmas Fun 2018


With Christmas just around the corner, we are more than a little excited! And guess what? We’ve had a little word with Santa’s elves, who tell us that the Big Man is going to be VERY busy in the Lake District this year. From festive boat rides to grottos and buzzing Christmas markets, here’s our rundown of Christmas events around the area. Make sure you’ve got your list ready!


Keswick Victorian Fayre
Christmas market in KeswickLocation: Keswick Market Square

Date: Sunday 2nd December 2018

Times: 10.30am - 4pm 

One of the highlights of Keswick’s yearly calendar is the Victorian Fayre, where the town centre transforms into a 19th century market with over 30 charity stalls selling a selection of homemade crafts, produce and festive food and drink. As well as a children’s funfair, entertainment is provided by local bands and singers on the large stage at the Moot Hall. As the name suggests, stall-holders and revellers come dressed in Victorian-era attire, so don’t forget your flat cap or petticoat!

Keswick Lions’ Santa Dash

Location: Fitz Park, Keswick

Date:16th December 2018.

Times: 10.45 a.m., Rudolph Romp 2.5 km race; 11.45 a.m., Santa Dash 5 km race; Registration at the Sports Pavillion from 10 a.m.

Before hitting the Christmas chocolates, here’s the chance to get those legs moving! Dress up as an elf, a reindeer or Santa himself for a fun and scenic run around Fitz Park. You don’t need to be Bob Graham to enter this one; all abilities can take part in either the 2.5km race (perfect for younger runners) and the 5km route.

Entry forms can be collected prior to the day from Kat's Kitchen or U Compute, Keswick. All proceeds will go towards Keswick Lions' support for local, national and international causes.

Beauty and the Beast at the Theatre by the Lake

Beauty and the Beast at the Theatre by the Lake in KeswickLocation: Theatre by the Lake

Dates: 23rd November-12th January, times vary

Suitable for ages 6+

The tale as old as time is making its way to the Theatre by the Lake for this much-anticipated winter production. Described as a ‘thrilling and inventive adaptation filled with music, dance and song,’ the classic tale of a beautiful young girl’s meeting with a troubled beast will delight children and adults alike. Even better, if you book a cottage through Sally’s Cottages, you can get discounted tickets for the show!

Make the most of your trip to the Theatre by the Lake by exploring Derwentwater, Keswick’s stunning lake situated right next to the theatre.

See all of our cottages in Keswick

Ullswater and the Eden Valley

Meet Santa at Rheged

Santa Claus at ChristmasLocation: Rheged Centre, near Penrith

Dates: Every weekend in December until the 24th

Time: 9.30am-4.30pm

Enjoy a magical meeting with Santa! Located inside the popular Rheged heritage centre is a candy cane forest where you can hang your Christmas wish on the special wishing tree. Before meeting Santa in his gingerbread house there’s an opportunity to write out your Christmas list ready for him. Visitors to the gingerbread house all receive a gift and a 4x6 photograph with Santa.

View all of our cottages near Penrith.

Santa & Christmas Magic Cruise with Ullswater Steamers

Location: Glenridding boat landings

When: 16th December, 10.30am and 1.30pm

All aboard for a fun-filled, festive ride on a ‘Steamer’ along one of the Lake District’s biggest lakes, Ullswater! Perfect for young families, enjoy a special Christmas magic show from popular local entertainer, Stu-Di-Doo, before meeting Santa himself. Come prepared: the Big Man will be collecting letters and - if you’re good – he might even hand out a few gifts!

Your ticket includes a 90-minute cruise, magic show, Christmas balloon, a gift for the children, return voucher for the adults and complimentary drink with a mince pie.

Fancy a stay in beautiful Ullswater? View our cottages in the area.


Windermere Christmas Celebration

Location: Victoria Street and High Street, Windermere

Dates and times: Saturday 8th December 2018, 11am to 6pm; Sunday 9th December 2018, 10am to 4pm

The third year of this festive family-friendly event in Windermere promises to be bigger than ever! The celebration features a Christmas market of over forty stalls selling local produce, a funfair, live music, and street entertainment - could the pesky Grinch make another appearance this year?

This year also features a special Elf Trail: using the clues scattered around the town, can you help Santa find his missing elves? If you’re successful at rounding them all up, Santa will be waiting to hear all about it in his grotto!

Browse all of our cottages in Windermere.


Taste Cumbria Christmas

Location: Main Street, Cockermouth

Date: Saturday, 8th & Sunday, 9th December, 2018

Times: 10am-4pm

One for foodies! Taste Cumbria runs festivals throughout the year at various locations across the county, including markets stocked with the best local produce Cumbria has to offer. The Christmas version of the festival takes place in Cockermouth, and is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the delicious food and drink with a festive twist. It’s also a perfect opportunity to pick up something special to add to your Christmas Day feast, or to buy a unique gift for a loved one. As well as a fairground for younger revellers, adults can enjoy the warmth of the beer and fizz tents. Prosecco anyone?

Explore all of our cottages in the Cockermouth area.


Carlisle Christmas Market

Location: Carlisle City Centre

Dates: Thursday 23rd – Sunday 3rd December.

Times: Monday – Wednesday, 9am-5pm; Thursdays, 9am-7pm; Fridays - Saturdays, 9am-5pm; Sunday 11am-4pm. 

Carlisle certainly knows how to put on a Christmas market! Lasting eleven days with over thirty stalls, this open-air market takes place in the city centre and features produce from local suppliers, including a special Made in Cumbria farmer’s market on Saturday 2nd December. Live entertainment is provided throughout the eleven days, including brass bands and street entertainers

Other events planned for Carlisle city centre over the festive period include a Winter Wonderland and Santa’s Grotto. Santa’s Grotto will be based in a magical marquee located outside of the Old Town Hall between Saturday 16 and Thursday 21 December. It will be open between 11am and 4pm (Saturday - Wednesday) and 11am and 8pm (Thursday).

The Winter Wonderland will be a sparkling festive extravaganza and will include woodland creatures and Santa’s little helpers. Visitors will be able to get their photo taken on a ski lift as a free keepsake.

The Wizard of Oz at The Sands Centre

Location: The Sands Centre, Carlisle

Dates: Monday 10 December - Monday 31 December 2018, times vary

We’re off to see the wizard!

Join Dorothy, Toto and co as they take to the stage for the Sands Centre’s Christmas pantomime version L. Frank Baum’s classic fairy tale. Suitable for all ages, the cast includes Britain’s Got Talent Winner Ashleigh Butler as Dorothy along with her dog, Crufts Agility Champion, Sully – expect amazing tricks! Also starring is Eurovision star and Carlisle girl Nicki French and TV impressionist Andrew Fleming.

Families from all over Cumbria travel to Carlisle for this annual show; be sure to see what all the fuss is about!

Fancy staying near the city? See all of our cottages near Carlisle

Christmas WreathWhatever your Lake District plans this December, find your perfect cottage with our cottage search.

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