What’s On 2017

Northumberland Music Festival in Grasmere – 13/14 Jan

The Northumberland Music Festival at the Wordswoth Hotel and Spa in Grasmere includes full length operas, classical and traditional music. Highlights include Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Verdi’s Rigolleto, a full length performance of The Pirates of Penzance, The Northumbrian Ranters and a concert performance by Graeme Danby.



THE SLEEPING BEAUTY – LIVE FROM THE BOLSHOI (12A) – showing at Zeffirellis Ambleside – 22 Jan


On her 16th birthday, a curse by the evil Carabosse causes the beautiful Princess Aurora to fall into a deep slumber for 100 years. Only the kiss of a prince could awaken her…
In this resplendent and magical classic, the Bolshoi dancers take us on a dream-like journey
through this classic fairytale complete with jewel fairies, a magical kingdom, a youthful
princess and a handsome prince in this purest style of classical ballet. The Bolshoi’s sumptuous staging with its luxurious sets and costumes gives life to Perrault’s fairy tale unlike any other. A must-see!


Big Garden Birdwatch with RSPB Grizedale Forest 22 Jan


Free Family Activities, drop into the Yan. Join in with the RSPB’s annual survey of birds in the UK. Get help identifying birds, explore the forest and make something for your garden to attract lots of birds.


THE SWAN LAKE – RECORDED AT THE BOLSHOI (12A) – showing at Zeffirellis Ambleside – 5 Feb


At moonlight on the banks of a mysterious lake, Prince Siegfried meets the bewitched swanwoman Odette. Completely spellbound by her beauty, he swears his faithfulness to her.
However, the Prince realizes too late that Fate has another plan for him…
A ballet of ultimate beauty and a score of unparalleled perfection born at the Bolshoi in 1877. In the dual role of white swan Odette and her rival black swan Odile, prima ballerina Svetlana Zakharova exudes both vulnerability and cunning through superb technical mastery,
alongside the powerful and emotional Siegfried, Denis Rodkin. Including breath-taking scenes with the Bolshoi’s corps de ballet, this is classical ballet at its finest.

Montane Trail 26 and Trail 13 Grizedale – 5 Feb


Taking place from Grizedale Forest Visitor Centre close to Hawkshead in the Lake District, this popular location for both trail runners and mountain bikers is perfect for our event series. The route will largely take place on forest trails with some stunning views of Coniston Water and also Lake Windermere if you choose the Trail 26 option. If you think the route will be flat then think again, Grizedale Forest and the surrounding areas provide challenging hills and rolling trails throughout the route.

Comedy Night at the Laundrama – 10 Feb


Hosted by local comedian and writer John Lebbon, our Comedy nights guarantee to keep you giggling.


Valentine’s Stargazing at Grizedale – 14 Feb


Hosted by a professional astronomer you will be guided through the beauty of the night sky. Suitable for adults £10. Booking essential.

Hill Top – Beatrix Potter Guided Walk – Love of a lifetime – 19 Feb


Walk in Beatrix Potter’s footsteps through parts of the south Lakes she loved so much and learn how we’re continuing to look after what she left us. Join our ranger on a guided walk around the village and nearby countryside of Near Sawrey, which Beatrix Potter described as “a perfect little place”. The walk is approximately 2.5 miles. Booking Essential

Montane Trail 10 Dalemain – 26th Feb


The Trail 10 Dalemain is a 10k trail running event that takes from Dalemain Estate near Ullswater in the Lake District. The trail running race is a 10k course that consists of two different loops in a ‘figure of 8’.

The course is very much like a cross country run, it’s mainly grassy fields with a small section of road.

Dave Spikey – Juggling on the Motorbike Comedy Tour – 10 March


In this show he will look back on his remarkable life and his incredible journey from working class lad to Chief Biomedical Scientist to much loved comedy performer and writer via Phoenix Nights, Eight out of Ten Cats, Bullseye, Dead Man Weds, Magnolia, The Royal Variety Show, Parkinson and many more. He often reflects that maybe none of this would have happened and he might still be looking down his microscope today if it wasn’t for the juggler on the motorbike.

Romeo & Juliet matinee – 21 March


Exhilarating, sharp and hilarious, Merely Theatre Company present young love in all its raw and savage beauty, offering an authentic Shakespearean experience for the 21st century.

The show drives through action-packed thrills and tender intimacy to crushing loss.   Lovers from feuding families wed in secret, but their plans are torn apart by bitter violence. A desperate attempt to reunite them goes awry, and their union falls apart with tragic consequences.

Five actors take on multiple roles to deliver the tale with the company’s signature style of urgency, humour and clarity.  Book now for a stirring, visceral theatrical experience.

Twelfth evening performance – 21 March


Exhilarating, sharp and hilarious, Merely Theatre Company present young love in all its raw and savage beauty, offering an authentic Shakespearean experience for the 21st century.

In Twelfth Night, unlikely lovers collide in a tale of identical twins, disguises, deceptions, and mistaken identities.  Shipwrecked, a young woman must find her place in a man’s world. She becomes a man, in love with her master, and loved by the woman she must woo for him. Hope keeps love alive, even to the edge of madness. It puts everyone right where they least expected, but exactly where they needed to be.

The five actors use endless imagination (and rapid costume changes!) to mount a production that proves raucous and joyous, witty and moving.

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM – LIVE OPÉRA DE PARIS – showing at Zeffirellis Ambleside – 23 March


Numerous choreographers have delved into Shakespeare to find dramatic material for their ballets, beginning with Jean-Georges Noverre, an ardent defender of the “action ballet” and Marius Petipa, who was the first to use Mendelssohn’s stage music. George Balanchine, who also loved the score, would prove no exception. In 1962 he created his version of Shakespeare’s comedy for New York City Ballet. Faithful to the Bard’s vocabulary whilst adding a subtle touch of pantomime, he portrays a complex love story in two acts and six scenes.
Theseus, Duke of Athens, and Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons, become caught up in a domestic quarrel between the king of the elves and the queen of the fairies which results in the intervention of the mischievous Puck and his magic potion along with a troupe of amateur actors. The denouement is celebrated in the form of a grand virtuoso entertainment.
One of George Balanchine’s rare narrative ballets, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is entering the Paris Opera Ballet’s repertoire. The sets and costumes for this production have been designed by another magician of the stage, Christian Lacroix.

Earth Hour Star Walk – 25 March


Come and enjoy the darkness of Earth Hour in Grizedale Forest and discover the wonders of the deep dark skies. Adults £10 Child £5 Family £25. Booking essential.

Coniston 14 Road Race 2017 – 25 March


The Race is Coniston’s largest annual community event and is organised by a small committee from the village. Each year over £20,000 is raised from the Race and this is donated to about 30 local charities and clubs. A social evening is organised in early summer when cheques are presented to these organisations.

Great Grizedale Trial Run – 2 April


A scenic traffic free 10 mile trail race through the forest. Booking essential.

Bowness Bay Blues Festival  – 7/9 April


The Rotary Club of Windermere present the sixth Bowness Bay Blues Festival, with top-quality blues music in some wonderfully atmospheric venues surrounding the waters of Windermere. There will be about 20 bands over the weekend, with headliners The Stumble, Geoff Achison & the UK Souldiggers (from Australia and featuring Sam Kelly on drums), roots band LaVendore Rogue and high-energy R&B band the Revolutionaires.
Other bands confirmed are the Ash Wilson Band, Elderly Brothers, Evie Plumb, Benjamin Bassford, Catfish, Dean Newton, Robin Bibi Band, Scarlett, Samantha Holden Band, Troubadour, the Setting Suns and South Quay. For the second year running there will be a 2-hour Twilight Blues Cruise on Windermere, courtesy of Windermere Lake Cruises, featuring Matt Woosey, a very talented British acoustic guitarist, singer and songwriter.

Night Sky Safari – 22 April


Join professional astronomer Robert Ince for an evening of stargazing at Grizedale. Adult £10 Child £5 Family £25. Booking essential.

Lakeland Loop Cycle Sportive – 23 April


The Lakeland Loop Sportive is a challenging cycling sportive that takes place in April 2017.  Starting from the New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel in Great Langdale, the Loop is approximately 69 miles long, taking in some of the finest views of the Lake District and some its most challenging climbs. Experienced cyclists will require a gear ratio of 39/27, a compact chainset or triple chainset is strongly advised as the hardest climbs to the end of the route and are generally reached in a fatigued state. Protective helmets (ANSI standard) are compulsory

JULIUS CAESAR – LIVE FROM THE RSC – showing at Zeffirellis Ambleside – 26 April


Angus Jackson directs Shakespeare’s epic political tragedy, as the race to claim the empire spirals out of control.
Caesar returns from war, all-conquering, but mutiny is rumbling through the corridors of power.
The Rome season in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre opens with the politics of spin and betrayal turning to violence

Keswick Half Marathon and Fun Run – 30 April


Keswick Half Marathon is said to be one of the most scenic half marathons in the country. The challenging course takes you around Derwent Water with an extra loop into the Newlands valley. The race was set up by Keswick Rugby Club in order to raise funds for the club and the youth coaching program. We are one of only a handfull of small clubs in the country to have a full time rugby development officer who spends the majority of his time in the local schools. The half marathon is one of the events that helps to fund this coaching program so your support is greatly appreciated. Come and take part in this very popular annual event. The route is a circuit of Derwent Water, with a loop into the Newlands valley, probably the most scenic 13 miles 192.5 yards in the country.

Barrow to Keswick Walk – 6 May


The 50th Keswick to Barrow Walk will take place in May 2017. There will be a few small differences and special things happening to mark the occasion. Keep an eye out for a re-launched Keswick to Barrow website, and further announcements about the 50th walk celebrations. Team registration opens in mid-January for both the 40-mile Keswick to Barrow Walk and the 21-mile Coniston to Barrow Walk. Acceptance is on a first-come first-served basis. Demand is expected to be high, so make sure that any of your team members who haven’t done the walk previously are registered as individuals before team registration opens. There is no entry fee, but it is a charity event so minimum sponsorship rules apply.

The Fred Whitton Challenge – 7 May


The Fred Whitton consists of a 112 mile sportive around the Lake District, starting at Grasmere and taking in climbs of Kirkstone, Honister, Newlands, Whinlatter, Hardknott & Wrynose passes.

Brathay Windermere Marathon and Family Fun Day – 21 May


Following a 26.2 mile course which is a complete circuit of Windermere, England’s largest lake, the Brathay Windermere Marathon takes in Hawkshead, Newby Bridge, Bowness and Waterhead. The Family Fun Day is held in conjunction with the marathon. Spectators and supporters of the marathon, visitors to the area and the local community are invited to Brathay Hall Estate to help support the runners and enjoy a range of entertainment, activities and refreshments. There will be everything from a jazz band, local brewery beer tent, BBQ, high ropes challenge course, canoeing, children’s activities and plenty more to keep everyone busy throughout the day.


ANTONY & CLEOPATRA – LIVE FROM THE RSC showing at Zeffirellis Ambleside – 26 April


Iqbal Khan directs Shakespeare’s tragedy of love and duty, picking up the story where Julius Caesar ends.
Following Caesar’s assassination, Mark Antony has reached the heights of power. Now he has neglected his empire for a life of decadent seduction with his mistress, Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt. Torn between love and duty, Antony’s military brilliance deserts him, and his passion leads the lovers to their tragic end.

Cartmel Races 27/29/31 May


The Whit Holiday meetings

Jazz Night – GEOFFREY KEEZER AND GILLIAN MARGOT at Zeffirellis Ambleside – 1 June


GRAMMY-nominated pianist Geoffrey Keezer features scintillating and soulful vocalist Gillian Margot for an evening of duets.
With his highly regarded discography, unique compositions, and acclaimed performances in a variety of configurations, pianist Geoffrey Keezer commands the attention typically reserved for the living legends of jazz.
Gillian Margot is the rarest sort of singer – the kind that makes people sit up and listen. She has an exquisite voice, a disarmingly wide range and a style that is deeply rooted in the tradition of the great jazz vocalists, yet she possesses a gift of storytelling and emotionally intelligent lyrical delivery that is refreshingly free of “jazz singer” clichés.

The National Trust Grasmere Gallop – 3 June


This year’s Grasmere Gallop takes place on Saturday 3 June amidst the spectacular surroundings of Grasmere Village and Rydal Water. Fast gaining a reputation as one of the friendliest fell races in the Lakes, each year we see more and more first-time runners, Nordic walkers and families racing alongside seasoned fell-runners. You can choose a 5.7k, 10k or 17k run or you could join the Nordic Walk.

Keswick Mountain Festival  – 8/11 June


The Keswick Mountain Festival will take place from 19th to 22nd May 2016 in the heart of the Lake District. The Festival programme is made up of guided activities including MTB biking, hiking, canoeing, navigation training, ghyll scrambling, climbing and so much more, to be enjoyed with friends and family. There will also be a fantastic line-up of challenging sporting events including Triathlons, Trail Races, Open water swims and a Sportive. At Crow Park in Keswick there will also be an incredible selection of kids activities, local food stalls, exhibitors, camping, live music and great views.

Lakes Charity Classic Vehicle Show 18 June


The Lakes Charity Classic Vehicle Shows are organized by the Windermere & Ambleside Lions Club.  All proceeds from our events are donated to worthwhile local charitable causes.

The Great North Swim – 19/11 June


The perfect challenge for all abilities, from first-timers to Olympic champions, you can choose from half mile, one mile, two mile and five kilometre courses, safe in the knowledge expert safety kayakers are with you every stroke of the way. The course starts and finishes on dry land with a run or walk into the water.   A fun day out for participants and spectators alike, enjoy exciting elite races featuring world class athletes, the Made in Cumbria farmer’s market and on site entertainment, all set in the incredible scenery of the Lake District national park.


Cartmel Races 30 June


Ambleside Rush Bearing – 1 July


This is a festival celebration associated with the ancient custom of annually replacing the rushes on the earth floors of churches, rushes being a general term for rushes, reeds and sweet smelling grasses. Once widespread, very few places now continue this tradition. Although the church plays a leading role, today Rushbearing is a community event. The bearings vary from large ornate devices such as hoops, staves and crosses to simple sheafs carried by children. Composed mainly of rushes cut from nearby lake shores, they are highly decorated with mosses, flowers and greenery.

Windermere Triathlon – 2 July


The Windermere Triathlon takes place at England’s longest and most iconic lake.  Set in the heart of the Lake District National Park with stunning views in every direction, The Windermere Triathlon is without doubt one of the most scenic, fun, and exciting Olympic Distance Triathlons in the country.

Cartmel Races 22 & 24 July


The Barbeque meeting

Coniston Country Fair – 23 July


Set in a stunning setting on the shores of Coniston Water, Coniston Country Fair is a traditional Lakeland Show offering visitors an enthralling insight into traditional Cumbria Life. The show attracts thousands of visitors and local alike each year and there is something for everyone with shows for Fell Foxhounds, Terriers, Beagles and Lurchers. Farming is represented with shows for Herdwick Sheep and Sheepdogs as well as traditional Cumbrian Walking Sticks.

Ambleside Sports – 27 July


For 200 years, locals and visitors to Ambleside have enjoyed watching and participating in this traditional Lakeland Sports Day. Gates are open at 10am and the first race begins at noon. The attractions at the 2016 event include: Cumberland & Westmorland Wrestling, Hound Trails, Foot & Cycle Races, Guides & Fell Races, Children’s Races, Crafts & Local Business Marquee, Catering Marquee, Licenced Marquee, Catering units, Trade Stands & Barbeque.

Cumbria Steam Gathering – 29/30 July


For over four decades, the Cumbria Steam & Vintage Vehicle Society Ltd has been bringing together vintage vehicles from far and wide to Cark Airfield in Flookburgh, near Grange-over-Sands, for one massive summer gathering.

The Vale of Rydal Sheepdog Trials and Hounds Show –  10 Aug


The 114th Vale of Rydal Sheepdog Trials & Hound Show takes place at Rydal Park, Ambleside and features sheepdog trials, beagle, harrier and hound show, hound trails, stick show, gun dog demo and dog dash.

Hawkshead Show – 22 Aug


The annual Hawkshead Show has traditional craft and trade stands, horse classes, dog shows, sheep classes, stick classes, hound trailing, horticultural, floral art and home baking. Refreshments available.

Cartmel Races 26 & 28 Aug


The August holiday meeting.

The Grasmere Sports & Show – 27 Aug


The 2017 Annual Grasmere Lakeland Sports, now celebrating 166 years of existence, has been a regular annual event since 1868, unbroken except for the two periods of the First and Second World Wars. Now one of the most popular traditional events in the English Lake District, participants compete in a variety of sports, including Cumberland Wrestling, Fell Running and Hound Trails.

Westmorland County Show – 14 Sept


The annual Westmorland County Show offers something for everyone and is one of Britain’s oldest and Cumbria’s largest livestock show with about 30,000 visitors attending each year. The Westmorland County Show boasts a wide range of the best that English agriculture has to offer. This includes cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, horses, poultry, alpaca’s, hounds, dogs and rare breeds.

Coniston Adventure Team Challenge – 16 Sept

Set in the heart of the beautiful Lake District, the Coniston Adventure Team Challenge offers a fun, multi disciplined event.
In teams of 4-6 you’ll hike to the summit of Coniston Old Man 2,634 feet (803m), mountain bike through the forest of Grizedale and kayak a glorious course on Coniston Water.
Breakfast, lunch and hot drinks are provided to all team members throughout the day and all teams have the opportunity to camp over the event weekend or book your own accommodation in the Lake District.

Hawkshead Village Bonfire & Fireworks – 4 Nov

Spectacular Fireworks display held on the Village Recreation Ground – Free entry but donations are asked for on the gates. Food and beverages available.

Ambleside Father Christmas Cruise & Christmas Lights Switch On – 18 Nov


The annual Ambleside Christmas lights switch-on involves a Father Christmas cruise followed by a parade through the Lake District town at dusk, featuring hundreds of paper lanterns. Young and old turn out to witness the spectacular procession and the Christmas street lights throughout Ambleside town centre are switched on, as if by magic, by Santa Claus!

Ulverston Dickensian Christmas Festival – 25 Nov


The annual Dickensian Christmas Festival takes place in Ulverston. It’s one of the most popular Dickensian Festival events in the country and attracts thousands of visitors each year. Why not savour the wonderful atmosphere of a traditional market town in the Dickensian era.

Hawkshead Christmas Fair – 2/3 Dec


Hawkshead Christmas Fair and Beer Festival Come & join us for a very special Christmas fair in the beautiful village of Hawkshead in the heart of the Lake District.


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