The Lake District and Cumbria are not just about hiking and scenic views!
They offer a diverse array of events throughout the year that cater to all interests.
So if you’re looking to make the most of your time in the Lake District, here’s a rundown of the top events in 2023.
Keswick Film Festival, Keswick | February
The Keswick Film Festival, now in its 22nd year, features a diverse selection of films, including independent movies, Hollywood hits, new releases, timeless classics, local productions, and international cinema.
Additionally, the festival hosts the Osprey Short Film Awards.
The Dalemain Marmalade Festival | May
The Marmalade Festival, hosted at the picturesque Dalemain Mansion near Penrith, is a spectacle not to be missed!
With thousands of marmalades on display, cooking demonstrations, fun for kids, informative talks, and lectures, the festival promises a delightful celebration of all things marmalade.
Keswick Jazz & Blues Festival, dates TBC
Keswick is a bustling and thriving town in the heart of the Lake District, offering a wide array of events throughout the year.
One of the highlights is the Jazz & Blues Festival, which attracts musical acts from around the world to perform New Orleans, Swing, Classic Jazz, and Blues.
Although the dates for the 2023 festival have yet to be announced, excitement is building, and we can’t wait!
Keswick Mountain Festival, Keswick | May
The Keswick Mountain Festival, one of the town’s largest and most well-attended events, offers a wealth of outdoor activities, live music, delicious food options, engaging speakers, and exciting sports events.
So whether you’re looking to participate in a race or challenge, explore a new adventure, or soak up the atmosphere, this festival is perfect for families and offers something for everyone.
Boot Beer Festival, Eskdale | June
During the challenging period of the foot and mouth outbreak in the county, visitors to the Lake District could not explore the countryside, but they could still enjoy the excellent pubs.
So the three pubs in Eskdale, the Brook House Inn, Boot Inn, and Woolpack Inn, came together to host the Boot Beer Festival, bringing joy during trying times.
Today, the festival weekend is one of the busiest of the year, attracting visitors from far and wide to hop from pub to pub and taste the diverse selection of local and regional beers.
So gather a group of friends and rent a bus, take the scenic Ravenglass & Eskdale miniature steam railway, or walk from one of the many cosy cottages in Eskdale.
Great North Swim, Windermere | June
The Great North Swim, held at Brockhole on Windermere, offers a unique opportunity to experience the breathtaking scenery of the Lake District from the water, whether you’re an experienced open-water swimmer or just starting.
With races ranging from a beginner-friendly 250 meters to a demanding 2-mile swim for the more advanced, there’s something for everyone.
And for those who prefer to stay on dry land, Brockhole also offers a variety of activities.
The Cumberland Show, nr. Carlisle | June
The Cumberland Show is a magnificent celebration of farming, food, and the countryside, showcasing traditional and modern practices.
The event is perfect for all ages and features livestock classes to judge the top cattle, sheep, horses, and poultry, vintage vehicle competitions, a craft marquee, a food hall, trade stands, and an array of entertainment throughout the day.
Lakes Classic Vehicle Show, Grasmere, June
A fun and exciting family-friendly day in the Lake District awaits you, with hundreds of classic cars, attractions, entertainment, games, food, and activities for people of all ages.
It’s the perfect way to spend Father’s Day!
This year, the event will be held at the new location of Staveley Recreation Ground, situated between Windermere and Kendal.
Light the Lakes, various locations | June
Light the Lakes is a breathtaking and thought-provoking event established in 2012 to raise funds for the children of murdered Detective Constable Heather Cooper, who were left orphaned.
In the first year, members of the police force climbed several Wainwright fells and illuminated the peaks with lamps to pay homage to fallen colleagues.
The event has since become an annual tradition, open to everyone, and raises money for the charity Care of Police Survivors.
In 2023, it will mark its 10th anniversary, making it a truly remarkable sight to see the Lake District peaks lit up during a summer evening.
Holker Chilli Fest, Cark-in-Cartmel | September
The Holker Chilli Fest brings chilli enthusiasts and companies from across the country for a day filled with excitement.
The festival features cooking demonstrations, live entertainment, and a thrilling chilli-eating competition.
Even if you’re not a big fan of spicy food, you can still enjoy various food and drinks like real ale, gin, and flapjack from multiple stalls.
The event takes place at the beautiful Holker Hall and Gardens.
Lakes International Comic Art Festival, Bowness-on-Windermere | October
The Lakes International Comic Art Festival, the only of its kind in the UK, is a must-visit event for comic enthusiasts.
The festival features a diverse collection of top comic artists from all over the world and takes place in the picturesque town of Bowness-on-Windermere.
With signings, workshops, exhibitions, talks, short films, and much more, the festival encompasses various comic styles and subjects, including sci-fi, superheroes, satire, politics, zombies, and manga.
Kendal Mountain Festival, Kendal | November
The Kendal Mountain Festival, a sibling to the Keswick festival, brings outdoor excitement to the south of Cumbria.
Immerse yourself in an adventure through film screenings, lectures, music, and art and listen to tales of bravery and daring.
This festival is a must-attend for aspiring explorers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.
The World’s Biggest Liar, Santon Bridge, November (date TBC)
The World’s Biggest Liar competition is an annual event hosted at the Santon Bridge Inn every November, where participants compete by telling the most imaginative and convincing lie.
The competition is in honour of Will Ritson, a 19th-century pub landlord renowned for entertaining guests with his captivating tall tales.
Ulverston Dickensian Christmas Festival, Ulverston, November
The Ulverston Dickensian Christmas Festival considered the UK’s top Dickensian event, captivates thousands of attendees each year with a touch of classic Christmas magic.
The festival features an array of free entertainment, delectable holiday food, costume contests, horse-drawn carriages, artisan stalls, dancing and music.
This community-run celebration is sure to get you in the holiday spirit!
We hope the above events have inspired you to plan your trip to the Lake District!
Disclaimer: Please note that every attempt has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided at the time of writing.However, it is essential to verify the information carefully before making any decisions based on the contents of this article.