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What’s on in the Lakes this Christmas

The most magical time of the year is at its very best here in the Lake District at Christmas. If you’re coming to stay with us in December, here’s a few highlights to keep you entertained, day and night.

A Christmas market

Up in Carlisle, the city centre is transformed into a festive winter wonderland this December with the return of the Carlisle Christmas Market. Featuring local and visiting traders, the market has over 40 Alpine style chalets and festive themed trading units selling a wide range of gifts, crafts, food and drink.

Shoppers can find everything from handmade Christmas decorations to fresh macaroons, and lots more. Hot, fresh food is available, as well as speciality food and drink to take home. In among the smells and tastes of the food stalls are wonderfully presented craft and gift chalets, selling handmade trinkets and presents. Christmas favourites, such as mulled wine and cheese and stocking fillers, are available to buy. Every day until Dec 17.

Festive Carlisle

Christmas with the Wordsworths

At Wordsworth Grasmere all through December there are seasonal activities to enjoy each day of the week. These include daily gallery tours to see the highlights of the beautiful Museum. This is where you can learn the stories behind some of the special objects on display, including a letter written by William and Dorothy to Coleridge on Christmas Eve in 1799.

On Thursdays you can go behind the scenes and find out about the treasures that are cared for here, including Dorothy’s Christmas letter to Lady Beaumont in 1805. Or each day, you can settle into a cosy corner and enjoy reading winter-themed poetry, from Wordsworth to contemporary poets.

On Wednesdays, artists can pick up a Christmas card template and have a go at sketching a wintry scene for a loved one. Whether it’s a frosty Dove Cottage, Wordsworth’s ice skates or a cheerful robin in the garden, the recipient will treasure this card forever. All materials will be available, but you’re welcome to bring your favourite pens and pencils. And each Friday you’re invited to notice nature. William and Dorothy Wordsworth spent most of their time outdoors, walking, writing and connecting with the natural world. Here’s a chance to wander through the garden-orchard and woodland, enjoy readings of their winter writing, and learn to see the wonders of the everyday.

Full details here.

Christmas in the style of Wordsworth

Victorian Christmas

Up at Townend at Troutbeck, just above Windermere, there’s the chance to step back in time with a Victorian Christmas. The fire is roaring, the house decked with traditional festive foliage and the smells of Christmas fill the air as Townend opens its doors on Wednesdays throughout December.

Visitors can explore the house by candle-light and experience the 400 year old house how it would have looked during the late 1800s. The Victorian cooking demonstrations will be ongoing throughout the day. Pick up a 12 Days of Christmas trail sheet when you arrive to learn more about the history of one of this holiday”s most iconic carols.

Find out more here.

Christmas at Townend

Magic at the theatre

Our wonderful Theatre by the Lake in Keswick has a delightful production running until January 7, A Little Princess. It’s a story to entertain audiences of all ages, a real gift of play based on the story by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

It tells the life story of a girl brought up in India who is sent to boarding school in England. And though there’s sadness along the way, there’s ultimately a wonderful tale of friendship with some beautifully-played characters you will love.

Onto this cleverly-designed stage setting, add visions of food and light and warmth, a dream sequence that’s beautifully choreographed, and some exquisite puppetry including a cat called Malcolm, and you have a Christmas gift to treasure.

A Little Princess


Go for a winter wonderland walk

We have visitors who like to climb the high fells in winter, and we have visitors who like to sit in a cafe, or on one of the wonderful cruise ships on Windermere. But you can still have adventure without hitting the heights. Take the ferry from Bowness across to Claife, and pick up the lovely lakeshore path that gives you a woodland atmosphere with fabulous views of the high mountains. After a few miles of easy walking, you’ll come to the magificent Wray Castle, one of our favourite places, and one of our favourite cafes, too – Joey’s. If you prefer, this route can be done by bike, and we can tell you where to hire a road or mountain or electric bike for your stay. The castle is closed for the season, but the grounds are beautiful and you’ll see some very special trees here.

But if you want to head to the hills, we have the maps, and all the information you ned to kit yourself out safely for a really magical experience in the mountains.

Snow on the tops

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