The festive season is fast approaching, and the Lake District, Cumbria, is the perfect place to get into the Christmas spirit. Explore pretty towns and villages, mulled wine in hand; or browse the stalls at a city centre market. Here's our run down of festive events taking place this Christmas. 

Carlisle Christmas Market

Photo: Carlisle Christmas Market / Discover Carlisle

Christmas Markets

Get into the festive spirit with a visit to one of our Christmas markets: enjoy seasonal food and drink, and pick up local gifts to take home.

Taste Cumbria Christmas: 9 & 10 December

If you like festive food and drink, you’ll love Taste Cumbria Christmas. Held in Cockermouth, this popular food festival highlights the best of Cumbrian produce, with a local makers market; outdoor picnic area with live music; and a hot food court. There will also be plenty of gifts and homewares to shop for the perfect Christmas gift. 

Kendal Christmas Market: 9 December

An enchating Christmas market in the town of Kendal, with unique gift stalls; food & drink; festive music; and Santa's grotto.

Natural Christmas Market: 9 December

Head to Barrow Outdoor Market from 10am to celebrate and sample local produce and products; and meet the people who make them. There'll be local stalls, live animals, and festive music to enjoy at this festive market held in partnership with Westmorland and Furness Council and Rare Breeds Survival Trust.

Virtual Christmas Market

For something a little bit different, head to the Virtual Christmas Market for a selection of local gifts including food, drink, accommodation, experiences and more. Relax with a brew or mulled wine, and get a piece of Cumbria delivered to your door. 

For more festive events ideas and inspiration, keep an eye on what's on in the Lake District, Cumbria on our events page.

*** The below events have taken place - check back in 2024 for new dates ***

Christmas in Cartmel: 24 November

Head to Cartmel to see Santa’s sleigh pulled by Friesian horses at the village’s popular Christmas in Cartmel Festival. There’s also live music and a Christmas market to enjoy.

Ulverston Dickensian Festival: 25 & 26 November

Step back in time at Ulverston’s popular Dickensian Festival and welcome in the festive season at this Christmas market with a traditional twist. The smell of mulled wine and roast chestnuts fills the air as you wander along cobblestone streets, sampling local produce and picking up gifts made in Cumbria.

Kirkby Lonsdale Christmas Fair: 30 November - 3 December

The charming market town of Kirkby Lonsdale is the perfect place to get into the Christmas spirit. The annual Christmas Market takes over the main square between 1 - 3 December, filling it with local food and drink producers and gift stalls. There's also the town's popular weekly Charter Market on 30 November to kick things off.

Carlisle Christmas Market: 1 - 17 December

This December, Carlisle’s city centre will transform into a festive winter wonderland thanks to a magical Christmas Market. Discover festive gifts, food and drink in over 40 Alpine style chalets: there’ll be everything from decorations and gifts to mulled wine and macaroons.

The market will be open daily from the 1st until the 17th December.

Hawkshead Christmas Fair: 2 & 3 December

An ever popular event in the picturesque village of Hawskhead, with plenty of giftware as well as delicious local food and drink. Stroll through narrow cobblestone streets, mulled wine in hand, as you soak up the festive atmosphere. There are also street performers, live music performances and plenty more to enjoy.

Keswick Victorian Fayre: 3 December

Celebrate the Christmas season in the north Lakeland town of Keswick, at the popular Victorian Fayre. Stall holders and fair goers alike dress in Victorian costume; there’s also live music, festive games and a funfair for children to enjoy.

Sedbergh Late Night opening: 6 December | 5 - 8pm

Head to the traditional market town of Sedbergh this December for an evening of Christmas shopping, as local shops stay open ‘til 8pm. Father christmas will be in attendance, with Santa’s Grotto open for families to visit. There will be live music, market stalls, and lots more.

Barrow Christmas Lights

Photo: Barrow Christmas Lights Switch On 2021

Christmas Lights Switch On Events

See our towns and villages light up for Christmas with lights switch on events taking place across the county this winter.

Keswick Christmas Lights Switch On | 17 November

See this picturesque market town sparkle at Keswick's Annual Christmas Lights switch on, with entertainment for all to enjoy. 5:30pm - 8:30pm.

Ambleside Christmas Lights Switch On | 18 November

This popular community event includes Father Christmas boat cruises, local market stalls, a lantern procession and a fireworks display. 12pm - 6pm.

Barrow Christmas Lights Switch On | 18 November

Head to the coastal town of Barrow for an evening of festive fun, as their Christmas Lights switch on in style. Last year’s event saw live music in the town square as well as fairground rides and plenty more. 3pm - 6pm.

Maryport Christmas Lights Switch On | 18 November

An afternoon of festival fun, packed with family friendly entertainment leading up to the big event, which will see the town sparkle with Christmas lights. 3pm - 5pm (lights on at 5pm).

Penrith Christmas Lights Switch On | 18 November

Head to Penrith for an afternoon of festive fun, with live music and a Christmas parade. At 6pm, the lights will be switched on in the town centre with a special guest. 2pm - 8pm (lights on at 6pm).

Cockermouth Christmas Lights Switch On | 19 November

Enjoy entertainment, Christmas stalls, and plenty more at this family friendly Christmas lights switch on in Cockermouth. Rumour has it the Grinch himself will be in attendance! 1pm - 6pm (lights on at 6pm).

Carlisle Christmas Lights Switch On | 19 November

A star-studded event with fun for all the family, headlined by Chesney Hawkes. Entertainment between 3pm - 5:30pm, with switch on at 5pm.

Workington Christmas Festival and Light Switch On | 25 November

Head to Workington Town Centre for a days of festivities, culminating in a Christmas lights switch on event. 11am - 5pm.




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