A warm welcome to a summer of culture in the South Lakes. From live theatre and music to art exhibitions and interactive museum displays, there is plenty for all the family to discover.

Summer blog

Celebrating the Reopening of Abbot Hall, Kendal

Abbot Hall art gallery in Kendal reopened in May following extensive renovations to the Grade-I listed Georgian building.
Abbot Hall houses an outstanding collection of British art, featuring work by Barbara Hepworth, David Hockney, John Ruskin, Kurt Schwitters and JMW Turner as well as hosting temporary exhibitions.
Showing from 20th May to 30th December is a major exhibition by internationally renowned British artist Julie Brook. What is it That Will Last is an exhibition of film, sound, drawing and photography across both floors of Abbot Hall and offers a rare insight into an extensive body of work made in remote locations in Scotland, Japan and Cumbria.

A Touch of Magic - Beatrix Potter 

For fans of Beatrix Potter and the magical characters she created there is much to enjoy this summer.

The Old Laundry Theatre

Photo: The Old Laundry Theatre

Happy Birthday Peter Rabbit at The Old Laundry Theatre, Bowness-on-Windermere

  • Dates: 1st July to 3rd September 2023

It’s Peter Rabbit’s birthday. Hop into your seats and join in the party! Celebrate the occasion with Peter, Benjamin Bunny, Jemima Puddleduck and a host of other favourite characters brought to life in this captivating family show featuring beautifully handcrafted puppets and enchanting original songs.

Book Tickets here

Visit Hill Top, Beatrix Potter’s Former Home

Beatrix Potter penned the famous Peter Rabbit stories at Hill Top near Hawkshead. Today, this beautiful traditional Lakeland Farmhouse is managed by the National Trust. On display this year is a newly acquired, handwritten letter by Beatrix Potter which was written at Hill Top in 1913, shortly after her marriage to William Heelis. Never seen by the public before, the letter is on display this year, the 110th anniversary year of William & Beatrix’s marriage.

 Booking is recommended to guarantee entry to Hill Top House.

Armitt museum

Photo: The Armitt Museum by Naik Media

Beatrix Potter Passions in Paint at The Armitt Museum, Ambleside

Discover the early interests of Beatrix Potter in this beautiful exhibition of artwork from her younger years, displayed at Ambleside's Armitt Museum. Elsewhere in the museum, see a wide range of interesting and unusual objects from the history and heritage of Ambleside and its people.

Walk in the Footsteps of William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy spent much of their lives in the South Lakes, finding inspiration in their natural surroundings. Begin with a visit to Wordsworth Grasmere, home to Dove Cottage as well as a modern museum telling of William’s life and Dorothy’s fascinating Grasmere Journal.
From Dove Cottage, Wordsworth moved to Allan Bank in 1808. Today Allan Bank is managed by the National Trust and on Wednesday 14th June, 11am & 2pm you can enjoy a guided lichen walk. The Lake District is one of the best places in the UK to study lichens.

Rydal Mount

Photo: Rydal Mount 

Wordsworth chose Rydal Mount as his final home, staying here until his death in 1850. You can even visit Hawkshead Grammar School Museum, where he was educated as a boy

Discover History & Heritage

Laurel and Hardy

Photo: Laurel and Hardy Museum

South Lakeland is home to fascinating museums which celebrate the many aspects of our culture and heritage.
In Coniston village, The Ruskin Museum tells the story of Coniston and the many interesting people who have lived and worked in the area.

Lakeland Motor Museum near Newby Bridge is home to a fantastic collection of motor vehicles and houses exhibitions on the region’s rich industrial heritage.
In the market town of Kendal discover The Quaker Tapestry Museum, home to an international tapestry project, and Kendal Museum, which is one of the UK's oldest museums, and housed in a former wool warehouse.
Art and architecture combine beautifully at Blackwell – The Arts and Crafts house. The house is a rare architectural gem in the heart of the Lake District and offers a perfectly preserved snapshot of early 20th-century living.
For fans of the silver screen, a trip to Ulverston and The Laurel & Hardy Museum is a must. Stan Laurel was born in the town and with Oliver Hardy, became one of the most famous comedy duos in the 20th century.

Dates For Your Diary

May Bank Holiday Activities at Windermere Jetty Museum

  • 27th May to 4th June (10am to 4pm)

Family-friendly activities are taking place over the school holidays. Activities are self-led and include pond dipping and crafting float boats. Discover more here.

Steam Weekends at Stott Park Bobbin Mill

  • 27th - 29th May Spring Bank Holiday; and 26th - 28th August Summer Bank Holiday.

See the Bradley's of Brighouse steam engine demonstration, take a tour of the mill and watch a bobbin being made in seconds! Make sure to explore the beautiful surroundings of the mill too.

 All The Stories You’ve Lived: The Barberellas live in concert at the Quaker Tapestry Museum, Kendal.

  • Monday 29th May (2pm - 4pm)

The Quaker Tapestry Museum is opening on Bank Holiday Monday for a special family concert. Concert tickets include a discounted entrance to the museum for that day.
Nature as a Teacher – Family Workshop at The Armitt Museum, Ambleside

  • Tuesday 30th May (1.30pm to 4pm)

An immersive afternoon workshop for the whole family. Meet Leah Boden and Lynn Seddon as they lead you through beautiful books, practical crafts, and an inspiring talk to help you and your family get the most of your time in nature.

Tickets £5.00  (Children Tickets Free) | Book online here.
Rozi Plain at Brewery Arts, Kendal

  • Saturday 3rd June (Doors 7:30pm)

Rozi Plain is a phenomenal contemporary folk-rock musician and member of This Is the Kit. She has toured with the likes of Devendra Banhart and KT Tunstall and is renowned as a relentless and magnetic touring musician.
This April, Rozi Plain will have her first taste of arena shows after being invited to support Paramore on their UK & Ireland tour before diving into her solo tour that arrives at Brewery Arts in June!

Tickets £13.50  | Book online here.
Family Concert: Travelling By Tuba, The Coro, Ulverston

  • Wednesday 7th June (6pm to 7pm)

 Kids go free at this special family concert, which takes you on a whistle-stop tour of music through the ages, from Vikings to Romans, Tudors and Victorians, featuring a tribute to Last Night of The Proms with an exploding Tuba!

Book Tickets online here.

Tracery – Venice and The lakes Interlaced by Déirdre Kelly – Brantwood, The Home Of John Ruskin

  • Now until 11th July.

 An exhibition of works by artist Déirdre Kelly, which combines John Ruskin’s love of both The Lak District and Venice. Taking inspiration from Venetian lace makers, intricate designs are traced into maps of the Lake District to create beautiful artistic pieces.
Brought To Light Photography Exhibition - Wray Castle

  • Now until 29th October (Saturday to Wednesday, 10am - 4pm)

 Produced in collaboration with the Armitt Library and Museum Centre in Ambleside, Wray Castle is shedding new light on fabulous old photographs in its Brought to Light exhibition, featuring historic prints by two of the Lake District’s great photographers: Herbert Bell and Rupert Potter (father of Beatrix Potter).
Discover the Treasures of Townend

  • Now until 27th October (Tuesday - Friday, 10am - 3pm)

2023 marks the 75th anniversary of Townend being formally opened by the National Trust in 1948. To celebrate there is a new spotlight exhibition, Treasures of Townend in the picture room. The exhibition highlights interesting pieces from the Townend collection, exploring over 400 years of family history.
Women in Forestry exhibition at Grizedale Forest

  • Now until 10th December

This exhibition celebrates the contribution of the Women's Timber Corps (part of the Women's Land Army) - also known as Lumberjills - during the Second World War. Nearly 5,000 women carried out a wide range of forestry tasks during this time, from felling and loading to driving tractors and operating sawmills.
Discover more about culture in south lakes, be inspired and experience living heritage: visit visitlakedistrict.com/cultureinsouthlakes and plan your trip.




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