As we say hello to autumn, an exciting roster of cultural events awaits. Cumbria’s vibrant artistic heritage is highlighted at exhibitions, festivals and shows across the county, with everything from comic art to famous classic paintings. Join us this October and discover a world of arts and culture in Cumbria.

Autumn is The Perfect Time to Discover Arts & Culture in Cumbria

There’s a chill in the air and you may be looking to spend a little more time indoors - which makes this the perfect time to discover one of our cultural attractions. As the leaves turn from green to gold, we head to our museums, galleries, theatres and more, for cosy hours of exploration followed by warming brews and an even warmer welcome in our Cumbrian cafes.

The Lake District, Cumbria, has been home to numerous well known artists, poets, writers and creatives, and their legacy is entwined in our heritage.Beatrix Potter, William Wordsworth, John Ruskin and Stan Laurel have all made their mark here, and their lives and works can be discovered across the county.

Holker Hall

Photo: Holker Hall

Then there are our historic homes and castles. Many are open for all to enjoy, with their extensive grounds a stunning sight as they gradually shift into autumn colours. 

What’s On this October

Deep Time Art Exhibition

Deep Time

As part of new public art programme Deep Time - Commissions for the Lake District Coast, leading international artists and designers Rachel Whiteread, Piet Oudolf, Roger Hiorns and Olafur Eliasson have submitted proposals for a stunning large-scale artwork for the Lake District Coast. Each artist and their teams have spent time in Cumbria to develop their plans, which actively reflect aspects of the area's landscape, people and place.

Visitors can view the proposals for FREE and leave feedback for the judging panel as part of a public exhibition at the following locations:

The Beacon Museum, Whitehaven: 10 September - 9 October

Windermere Jetty Museum: 20 October - 20 November


Part of a wider coastal improvement project to shine the spotlight on this largely undiscovered stretch of coastline, Deep Time is commissioned by Copeland Borough Council and funded by HM Government’s Coastal Communities Fund, Sellafield Ltd’s Six Social Impact multiplied programme and Arts Council of England.

Lake District International Comic Art Festival

Lakes Comic Art Festival

This popular festival, highlighting all things comic art, celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2022. Held in Bowness-on-Windermere over the weekend of October 14 - 16, it brings comic artists from across the globe together for a weekend of family-friendly fun and activities.

There will be live drawing, creative workshops, talks, presentations, debates, exhibitions and even a comic market place. There’s also FREE family fun at Windermere Jetty Museum, with Little LICAF activities as well as comic art themed crazy golf.

Winter Droving

Held annually, the Winter Droving is back in its full form after three years in waiting - and this year’s event promises to be better than ever! This quirky celebration of rural life brings fun, food, masquerade and fire to the Cumbrian town of Penrith. There’s street theatre, local market stalls, live music and the highlight of the day: a fire and lantern procession which travels through the town, watched by thousands of spectators.Visitors are encouraged to don masks and many make their own for the occasion - so it’s time to get creative!

Carlisle City of LIghts

Carlisle City of Lights

See landmarks in Carlisle lit up at this popular sound and light experience in the city centre, including Carlisle Castle, Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery. This year, the event forms part of the Hadrian’s Wall 1900 Festival, which celebrates 1900 years of the iconic Roman frontier. 

Time slots from 7pm to 9pm each day. Tickets can be purchased here.

Forty Farms exhibition

Forty Farms at Rheged

Gain an insight into the everyday lives of 40 farmers across the Lake District and Cumbria at this exhibition from British Life Photographer of the Year, Amy Bateman. Held at Reghed near Penrith, it’s a fascinating insight into farming life across the region. Travel from Lakeland fells to coastal marshes on the Solway firth; discover award-winning cheese makers; learn about diversification and tradition; and immerse yourself in rural life through photography, film and words.

Free admission. Open daily 9am-5.30pm.

Find out more here.

Don’t Miss: Rembrandt at The Beacon Museum, Whitehaven

Rembrandt’s masterpiece, ‘Saskia van Uylenburgh in Arcadian Costume’, is currently on display at The Beacon Museum in Whitehaven. On loan from the National Gallery in London, it offers a unique opportunity to see an original Rembrandt in Cumbria.

September 24 2022 – January 8 2023 / Book tickets online here.

Holker Hall Christmas

‘Tis (almost) the season to be jolly 

As autumn gives way to winter, and Christmas approaches, there are plenty of ways to celebrate arts and culture over the festive period. 

Rydal Mount, William Wordsworth’s former home, will be hosting a Christmas market over the weekend of 10 - 11 December.

- Visit one of our country houses for impressive Christmas decorations and a festive atmosphere. Some host their own Christmas markets, while many have onsite cafes for mulled wine and mince pies to fuel your cultural exploration.

- Keep an eye on our local theatre programmes - many put on seasonal productions in the run up to Christmas.

Ready to explore Cumbria’s art and culture? View more here.  




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