Annual festivals and events take place across the region throughout the year, adding even more colour and excitement to your Lake District holiday. Some of the best-known annual Lake District festivals include:
Words by the Water – Keswick (March)
This vibrant 10-day Cumbrian literature festival brings together writers and readers to share their passion for books, words and ideas — in a picturesque setting next to beautiful Derwentwater. With author talks, discussions, workshops, lectures, book launches and special exhibitions, there’s plenty going on to appeal to a wide range of literature -lovers.
Keswick Mountain Festival – Keswick (May)
This annual adventure event packs in a whole host of sporting competitions and challenges, demonstrations, talks, films and stalls, and gives families the chance to try new outdoor activities for the first time — ranging from learning Bushcraft Skills to trying their hand at Slacklining and Zorbing. Entry to the Festival Village is free, as are all activities within that zone, and there’s plenty of variety to keep everyone entertained.
Kendal Calling – near Penrith (July)
This lively summer music festival is held every July at Lowther Deer Park near Penrith (although it was named after its original setting in Kendal). Alongside big name bands, dance acts and DJs there’s stand up comedy, slam poetry, fancy dress, circus performers, art installations, kids’ workshops, a teens and all family area, and the ‘Garden of Eden’ where you can enjoy massages, relaxation and other alternative treats – plus lots more!
Lake District Summer Music (LDSM) – Various venues (July / August)
LDSM’s annual festivals present diverse programmes performances by international musicians and ensembles, many of whom are visiting the Lake District for the first time. Atmospheric venues are chosen in towns across the region, from Ambleside to Windermere, ranging from historic churches to intimate local halls, adding to the event’s appeal.
Lakes Alive – Various locations (Summer-long)
This magical programme of world-class performance and arts events is held throughout the summer in stunning settings across the Lake District. It was first launched in 2009, and today attracts artists and visitors from far and wide. Creative shows see the skies above Bowness-on-Windermere transformed into a blaze of colour and light, and special performances that transform Derwentwater into a fantastical watery-wonderland – while street performers, circus acts, comedy and music are just a few of the other acts you can expect to encounter.
International Sheepdog Trials – near Penrith (September)
Dating back to the 1870s, this age-old tradition continues every year at the picturesque Lowther Park estate, attracting hundreds of sheepdogs from more than 20 different nations. It’s a four-day competition showing off the world’s finest sheepdogs and handlers, with the grand final taking place on the final day. The trials are accompanied by the family-friendly Food and Country Festival, which is packed with stalls, crafts, and demonstrations of country traditions such as dry stone walling and wood-turning, amongst other shows and activities.
This is just a very small selection of the annual events in the Lake District – and whatever time of year you visit the Howbeck Guest House, you’ll find something interesting happening nearby.