Christmas events in the Lake District holiday cottages

Christmas events in the Lake District

Ruth 09 January 2020

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Christmas in the Lakes is a magical time of year and throughout November and December, local villages kick off festivities with an array of wonderful winter celebrations and events. This is a lovely way to get into the festive spirit, find some unique gifts, taste some delicious food and enjoy Christmas merriment. So if you’re looking for something different to do this year, why not arrange a stay in one of our Christmas cottages in the Lake District and experience it for yourself?

Here are some events for your diary...

Ambleside Christmas lights and lantern procession

When: 16th November 2019

Every year on the second or third Saturday in November, the people of Ambleside parade through the town at dusk, carrying hundreds of paper lanterns. Young and old turn out to witness this spectacular procession, as traffic is halted and Christmas street lights throughout the town centre are switched on, as if by magic, by Santa Claus. From noon, the market place in the town centre comes alive with street performers, live music and festive shopping. This all-day event is followed by an impressive firework display in Rothay Park where hundreds gather to admire the festive lights. Ambleside Christmas lights is an event not to miss!

From Instagram: The lanterns of Ambleside light up the streets.


Highlight: A brass band will play during the lantern procession bringing Christmas cheer to all who watch.

A cottage nearby: North Cottage – sleeps 2

Ulverston Dickensian Festival

When: 23rd & 24th November 2019

Attracting thousands of people every year to enjoy the wonderful atmosphere of a traditional market town in the Dickensian era, Ulverston puts on a tremendous annual show marking the start of the Christmas season, and bringing a little Christmas magic to all its merry visitors. The historic market town is full of cobbled streets lined with fantastic shops, great pubs and cafes which all make for hours of fun. The Dickensian festival boasts a huge variety of free entertainment, events for children and fabulous festive stalls selling lots of unique gifts, food and crafts.

From Instagram: The brass band fills the streets with festive tunes


Highlight: There is a local parade around the town with the option to join in, in costume, and have some fun!

A cottage nearby: The Woodsman Cabin – sleeps 6

Christmas in Penrith

When: From 1st December 2019

This Lakeland town becomes a magical winter wonderland during Christmas with celebrations happening for a whole month before the big day. On this particular event, there will be a number of activities taking place in Penrith that you won’t want to miss. The Christmas lights switch-on will take place in the afternoon accompanied by festive tunes for the Penrith Town Band, the Lakeland Music singers will fill your hearts with joy with their Christmas choir and you can enjoy a local shindig at various establishments which offer live music into the night. Look out for mischievous elves, Santa’s post boxes and beautifully dressed shop windows around the town. From November 24th-26th and December 1st-3rd, the Christmas Bazaar, with its traditional wooden chalets selling festive wares, will also grace the market in Penrith.

Highlight: There will be a festive performance by Hunter Hall School in the Market Square which will surely put a smile on your face.

A cottage nearby: Rockery House Cottage – sleeps 4

Hawkshead Christmas Fair

When: 7th and 8th December 2019

This is a wonderful weekend with over 50 indoor and outdoor seasonal craft and gift stalls, street entertainers including jugglers, stilt walkers and magicians and, of course, Father Christmas. On Saturday, the town square becomes host to a lantern procession, and you can enjoy Christmas carols whilst sampling local food and drink on offer at the festive stalls. Across the weekend, the village centre also holds a beer festival, perfect for finding your new favourite drink. And for the kids? Well, Santa will be there and they will no doubt want a go on the child-friendly rides!

From Instagram: Local artists sell their hand-crafted items, perfect for Christmas gifts.


Highlight: Santa's Grotto welcomes the children to meet Santa and discuss their Christmas list.

Cottages nearby: Applerigg (sleeps 5) and Morning Room at Sawrey Knotts (sleeps 5, 1 dog welcome)

Windermere Christmas Celebration

When: 13th - 15th December 2019

Held on the streets of Windermere, close to the shores of the enormous lake, this family-friendly Christmas market celebrates all things local with a truly feel-good event. More than 40 stalls will showcase local produce, hand-crafted gifts, winter fashion and festive homeware. You can enjoy fun performances by local choirs and the brass band while you potter around enjoying mulled wine and yummy treats and don’t forget to take the kids for a visit to Santa’s Grotto.

From Instagram: The children will love Santa's Grotto at Windemere's Christmas Celebration.


Highlight: There will be an opening night held on Friday 13th where there will be an ice rink to enjoy!

A cottage nearby: Woodland Retreat – sleeps 6

Father Christmas Tea Party

When: 14th - 23rd December 2019

This year, the World of Beatrix Potter in Bowness-on-Windermere is hosting a very special event: a series of tea parties with Father Christmas. Meet Father Christmas in his sleigh and receive a special present, watch a Christmassy animation and enjoy a tasty lunch packed with bite-sized festive treats – all in the place that's home to the childhood magic of Peter Rabbit and friends.

Highlight: Enjoy a screening of ‘The Snowman’ in a cosy setting and meet Father Christmas on his sleigh – the kids might get a gift!

Cottage nearby: The Pavilion At Applethwaite Hall – sleeps 4

When it gets nearer the big day, come and join us for a picture-perfect Christmas in the heart of the Lake District. There is a good chance of snow on the high fells, and there is the certainty of mulled wine and roaring fires in the local pubs - perfect after a bracing walk. Experience these festive events this winter along with so much more whilst staying in one of our Christmas cottages. We've got cottages of all shapes and sizes set in stunning locations across the Lake District to suit couples, groups and families. There is something for everyone! 

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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