While the great outdoors is by far the biggest attraction of Cumbria, the county’s arts and culture community is also well-equipped. Besides countless fire-side folk sessions, music venues in Cumbria’s towns and cities offer regular live performances by touring artists, as well as talented local musicians – with many offering the perfect setting to kick back and relax after a day on the hills.
Here are our picks
Brewery Arts Centre, 122A Highgate, Kendal, Cumbria, LA9 4HE - Visit now
The main arts hub of Kendal offers a wide-ranging live music schedule, as well as film, comedy, theatre and more, across its site – which opened in 1972 on the old premises of Vaux Brewery. Honeyfeet, Oysterband and I Am Kloot’s John Bramwell currently feature in the venue’s programme, which often includes a couple of gigs each week.
Old Fire Station, Peter Street, Carlisle, CA3 8QP - Visit now
A converted fire station in the City of Carlisle, this venue offers a variety of spaces for live performances, workshops, exhibitions and more, encourage local art and artists and attract international acts. Acts on the more folk and country end of the spectrum, such as The Rutles, Alabama 3 and Lindisfarne, currently feature in its programme.
The Brickyard, Richmond Hall, 14 Fisher Street, Carlisle, CA3 8RN - Visit now
Opened in 2002, The Brickyard is Carlisle’s longest-running independent music venue, offering live performances in an intimate 320-capacity, century-old church hall. Miles Kane, Supergrass’ Gaz Coombes and Ginger from The Wildhearts currently feature within its diverse range of shows.
Florence Arts Centre, Florence Mine, Egremont, Cumbria, CA22 2NR - Visit now
This mixed-used space – on the site of Cumbria’s last iron ore mine – has offered workshops, film, art and live music since 2008. As well as regular jazz, ukulele and open mic nights, the centre hosts touring artists such as Gary Lucas, who was a member of Captain Beefheart’s band.