Think of Cumbria and what springs to mind? A rural retreat complete with hearty hikes and snug pubs? If these are the images scudding across your mind’s eye, you’d not be wrong. Yet there are more things to do in Cumbria than its outdoor image might suggest. Tourism actually began here back in the 1700s, when clergyman Thomas West published a Guide to the Lakes. It banished forever the idea that Cumbria was wild and inhospitable. It’s thanks to West that when we think of the Lake District, we think of a chocolate-box landscape. Yet the ideal of the ‘picturesque’ is both a blessing and a curse: good for tourism, yet occasionally overshadowing the contemporary art that is made, performed and shown here year-round.
Cumbria is full of artists, from those taking part in the C-Art fest to those exhibiting at Blackwell and Abbot Hall; for them, the landscape’s ability to turn in a moment from benign beauty to lowering skies continues to inspire. It is this that has piqued our interest – and will, we hope, keep yours.
Picnic Cinema is back this September with a series of screenings of Withnail & I at Sleddale Hall aka Crow Crag — the cottage from the cult classic film.
An incredible wonderland of outdoor arts, masquerade and pint carrying competitions in Penrith.
The Lakes International Comic Art Festival is back in the Cumbrian town of Kendal, bigger and better than ever, and with plenty of storytelling treats in both words and pictures.
Featuring over 200 artists and performers, immersive arts experiences and kids activities, Kendal Calling is a great, family-friendly festival set in the stunning Lake District.
A great event for families with children. A parade of hand-made torches circulates the whole of Kendal, with local schools, businesses, and organisations competing to put on the best show.
The four-day Kendal Mountain Festival is always packed with exciting activities for everyone from children to pensioners. Happening virtually in 2021, this year’s event is no less of an outdoors extravaganza.
Elaborate vases, intricate centrepieces, and ceramics – Potfest in the Park celebrates the creative possibilities of clay.
An annual gathering of Gypsies and Travellers in Appleby in the form of a traditional fair where horses are washed, trotted and sold.
Celebrate the brilliance of 20th century design, fashion, vehicles and entertainment at this award-winning festival set around Morecambe’s famous art deco Midland Hotel.