Culture in South Lakes
Courtesy of Lakeland Arts

Things to do in the Lakes this Summer

Creative Tourist

If this summer is all about the staycation, then those based in the North couldn’t be better served, with one of Britain’s largest and most picturesque national parks on their doorstep. But this isn’t just a call for urbanites to escape the big smoke and head into the hills in finer weather, there’s also a fantastic amount going in the region culturally over the next few months, too. We round up some of our favourite things to do in the Lakes this Summer.

Refuge: The Art of Belonging at Abbot Hall is not be missed, highlighting the personal experiences of migration and resettlement in Britain faced by some of the most significant artists of the early 20th century as a result of the Second World War. And to celebrate the 200-year-anniversary John Ruskin’s birth, the stately home turned art gallery will also be hosting a major exhibition offering a rare opportunity to view the leading Victorian art critic, draughtsman and watercolourist’s artistic output alongside that of his hero, the pioneering Romanticist J. M. W. Turner, whom he famously described as ‘the greatest of the age’.

Next door to the hall, Child Labour: Hidden Stories of Cumbria at Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry delves into the little-documented reality of life for many young people growing up in the region from the Industrial Revolution onwards. On the banks of Lake Windermere, the truly spell-binding Blackwell – The Arts & Crafts House is preparing to transform its beautiful stretch of lawn, overlooking the Coniston fells, into Messina, Sicily, ready for an open-air performance of Shakespeare’s timeless classic, Much Ado About Nothing. And lastly, Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories is celebrating the opening of its new model boating lake with a host of child-friendly activities, including the chance to make your own Dreamboat using recycled materials. (The widely-acclaimed museum is well worth checking out in itself, with a remarkable collection of boats that help tell the story of the Lakelands region.)

Pair with a wander up one of the (gentler) fells and a hearty round of afternoon tea and you can’t go wrong.

Here are our picks

  • 1. Blackwell, The Arts and Crafts House

    Courtesy of Lakeland Arts

    Blackwell, The Arts and Crafts House, Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House, Bowness-on-Windermere, Cumbria, LA23 3JT - Visit now

    Unlike many of the ‘historic houses’ that dot the English countryside, Blackwell in Cumbria embodies the entire opposite of rarefied stately-home-stuffiness.

  • 2. Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories

    Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories in Cumbria
    Courtesy of Lakeland Arts

    Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories, Rayrigg Road, Windermere,, Cumbria, LA231BN - Visit now

    A brand-new museum dedicated to the simple, timeless pleasure of boating on the banks of one of England’s largest and most picturesque lakes.