What’s on this summer in Cumbria and the Lake District?

Posted on July 8, 2019 | Events, Information, News

There’s always plenty going on in Kendal, Kirkby Lonsdale, Penrith and the Lake District but there’s something for everyone this summer.

Whether you’ve recently moved into a new home in Cumbria or the Lake District or are visiting for the summer, there are lots of events to look forward to. Given the beautiful landscapes of this picturesque region, the focus is very much on enjoying the great outdoors, but there are plenty of options for those looking for cultural experiences, too.

For music lovers
Savvy festival-goers already know that Kendal Calling is one of the best outdoor music events of the summer. Set in the rolling pastures of Lowther Deer Park (worth the visit alone), this small, independent festival manages to attract some of the biggest names in popular music, year after year. This year, the festival is running over the weekend of 25-28 July, with headliners including The Courteneers, Doves, Manic Street Preachers and Tom Jones.

Set across a two-week period from 27 July to 9 August, Lake District Summer Music is an international arts festival based in the South Lakes and celebrating chamber music. The festival hosts around 40 separate events in intimate venues in Kendal, Windermere, Ambleside, Grange-Over-Sands and Ulverston. Expect internationally acclaimed artists from the classical music field, as well as award-winning film screenings and large-scale choral works. Check out the full schedule at the LDSM website.

If you love folk music, you’ll be drawn to Staveley, just outside Kendal, where the weekend of 2-4 August will see the village play host to the Lake District Folk Weekend. The Hawkshead Brewery is the main venue for events but there’ll be family friendly activities taking place all around the village. Artists come from around the country to perform here – expect to enjoy story and poetry readings, as well as street dancing and impromptu music sessions.

Al fresco theatre
The summer months are a great opportunity to enjoy theatre performances in the open air. This summer, you can enjoy touring theatre company Illyria perform Shakepeare’s The Tempest on the shores of Lake Coniston in the grounds of Brantwood. The only challenge is keeping your attention on the play when the backdrop is so eye-catching! Bring your own seating and picnic – although the Terrace Coffee House and Restaurant will be open for food and refreshments until the performance starts as well as during the interval.

Leighton Hall is a lovely venue for a family play. Why not book for a bona fide classic this year and take the kids to see an open-air performance of The Wind in the Willows? Attic Door will be staging their acclaimed production of Wind in the Willows in the grounds of the hall on 22 August. It’s an hour-long adventure that features everyone’s favourite characters as well as songs, puppets and plenty of opportunities to join in. A perfect treat for all the family.

Celebrate the outdoors
If you’d like a day of outdoor endeavour, followed by an evening of friendly music, fun and food, HonisterFest at Borrowdale near Keswick could be your best option this summer. Expect a full day of extreme activities including a fell run and gravel bike time trial (with the option of sports massages and holistic treatments as well) with a chaser of live music and Cumbrian food! A super chance to share the Lake District mountain experience with like-minded folk. The event is not for profit with donations being made to local charities Keswick Lions and Amy’s Care.

Meanwhile, aficionados of more traditional Cumbrian agricultural events can head for the Westmorland County Agricultural Show near Kendal – Thursday 12 September. The event regularly attracts 30,000 visitors and hosts show jumping and artisan food producers as well as farming classes.