The Lake District is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, pulling in around 18.5 million visitors a year.
However, many tourists choose to visit the area in the summer months, with the Lakes becoming synonymous with summer boat tours, ice cream trips and sunny (sometimes) hillwalking.
Many people, then, miss out on what the Lakes have to offer during the winter months. From Christmas markets to pantomimes, from boutique shopping to festivals, you can do it all within the heart of the Lake District.
Here, we’re going to give you a rundown of the best that the Lakes has to offer around Christmas and New Year.
The Lake District is home to hundreds of quaint towns and villages, many of which hold their own markets in the months running up to Christmas.
Offering local produce, Santa’s Grottos, carol singing and warming mulled wine, these markets are the ideal way to get into the Christmas spirit in Cumbrian style.
There are a whole host of Christmas themed events throughout the Lakes.
Muncaster Castle is running a range of activities such as their Christmas Owls by Moonlight event, as well as their festive On The Wild Side. Offering exclusive access to the castle and gardens in the festive period, as well as bird of prey displays and refreshments, both events are set to be full of Christmas cheer.
If antique railways are more up your street, then the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway are running their annual Santa Express event throughout December. Suited for both children and adults alike, a 14-mile journey on this traditional steam train through the wintery countryside will warm your cockles, greeted with either a present for the children or a gift voucher for the adults at the end.
See A Show
No Christmas is complete without a festive show. Whether it’s a classic pantomime, a carol concert or a more refined ballet, there are plenty of opportunities throughout the local areas.
The Theatre by the Lake is holding performances of The Secret Garden throughout December, while Rheged is showcasing The Nutcracker by the Royal Ballet and the Brewery Arts Centre are holding their own festive production of Little Red and the Big Bad Wolf.
There are also plenty of carol concerts throughout the Lakes to get into the Christmas spirit. The National Trust property, Allan Bank, is holding its own carol concert around the Christmas tree. You can find out more information here, along with the property’s other festive events.
The Lakes are home to lots of independent boutiques and artisan producers which offer the perfect opportunities for a spot of Christmas shopping.
The Lakes Distillery, located close to Bassenthwaite Lake, is Cumbria’s only distillery, producing the Lakes Gin, Vodka and ONE (a blended whisky). Offering tours, tastings and a shop, this independent retailer is ideal for those who enjoy a tipple in the festive period.
If you’re more of a sweet tooth, then no trip to the Lakes is complete without a visit to the renowned Grasmere Gingerbread shop. Offering both their namesake and a host of other sweet treats, this shop makes for the perfect festive gifts.
For more luxurious shopping, try Cumbria Crystal. Located in the market town of Ulverston, they are the last producer of completely hand-blown and hand-cut luxury English crystal in the UK and have been showcased in Downton Abbey, James Bond, and many other period dramas.
Hillwalking is typically reserved for the summer months but often some of the most beautiful scenery in the Lakes is revealed later in the year.
With snow-capped mountains and frosty fields, the National Trust has put together a list of the best winter walks in the Lake District here.
Not everyone enjoys relaxing on their breaks and we have the perfect solution.
Working in partnership with See Events, we can provide guests with activities such as clay pigeon shooting, archery, and orienteering, as well as 4×4 off-road driving for the more intrepid festive thrill seekers.
For more information, visit our page here.
Package Festive Breaks
We also offer a range of festive breaks ideal for a Christmas getaway.
With our three day seasonal Christmas package, you can join us for a festive celebration full of food, music, and fun. With this package, you are treated to a Festive Afternoon Tea on arrival and a Boxing Day cruise on Lake Windermere, along with much more.
We also offer a two or three day New Year’s Eve package, allowing you to see in 2018 in style. Full of fun entertainment, midnight celebrations and gourmet food, this is the perfect way to conclude your year.
We also offer guests the opportunity to make use of the Low Wood that is situated only five minutes drive from Broadoaks. This luxurious experience makes a perfect addition to any visit to the Lakes.