Sustainability is a theme that resonates throughout the Eden Valley, which stretches from Sedbergh to Penrith. A country drive through its lanes, dotted with galleries, churches, tea shops and rural villages, feels like a closely-guarded secret. Appleby-in-Westmorland is the Eden Valley’s principal staging post, a charming old market town that has hung on to its traditional butchers and bakers (and possibly candlestick-makers). It also hosts an annual horse fair (June) said to date back to 1750.
Bringing creative edge to it all is Eden Arts, an organisation that puts on all manner of quality cultural events in venues ranging from village halls to stately homes. Theirs is the inspired Picnic Cinema (Aug-Sep), screenings of classic films staged in outdoor locations such as Lytham Hall and Muncaster Castle. Eden Arts is also responsible for C-Art, which sees artists’ studios open right across the county, and the Winter Droving (Nov) party in Penrith.
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.
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.