Innovative Pop Up Theatre Comes to Grasmere

What could be better than enjoying some of the UK’s best new plays, writers, performers and comedians with a backdrop of the stunning Lake District? Well this September, Grasmere is the place to experience just that.

Popping up and plugging in from Thursday September 14th to Sunday 17th, Paines Plough will be bringing their Roundabout theatre to Grasmere. Having had a sold out festival at The Brewery Arts Centre last year, the Grasmere event is set to be the same and has attracted even bigger names to perform.

What looks like an outdoor garden marquee houses a state of the art pop up theatre with seating, lighting, sound and a stage. The location in this Lake District village is In the green opposite Heaton Cooper Studio, Broadgate, Grasmere LA22 9SX.

pop up theatre grasmere
Inside the Roundabout pop up plug in theatre

Offering something for everyone from children to adults look out for Black Mountain a tense psychological thriller by winner of the Harold Pinter Commission, Brad Birch, dry and extremely funny stand-up comedian Alun Cochrane, Sarah McDonald-Hughes’ family-friendly play, How to Be a Kid (4 showings during the event) and Henry Normal one of the UK’s most revered and successful comedy writers and producers. If you don’t know him then how about his co-writing work such as Alan Partridge and The Royle Family and producing for the likes of Uncle and Gavin & Stacey.

Bring a picnic, make a day of it and walk and wander around Grasmere. Grasmere Water is a delightful walk or head up onto the fells where you’ll be able to view the theatre site from above. Enjoy lunch or dinner in one of the restaurants, pubs or cafes in Grasmere Village before heading to your chosen performance.

Where to stay? If you’ve not been to Grasmere before then you’re in for a real treat. There’s lots of places to stay but our tip is Raise View on White Bridge. Lovely rooms with views of Helm Crag, an honesty bar and freshly cooked breakfasts. The quality is confirmed by their recent Superior Award from Cumbria Tourism. Rooms on start from £120 for doubles, £65 for their single room or choose the Silver How suite for a real treat. Visit, http://www.raiseviewuk/ to view rooms and to book.

To purchase tickets and for the complete line up visit

Take an antiques road trip to Hunday Manor Hotel in the Lake District

The Rotary Club of Workington in association with Hunday Manor Hotel presents an afternoon with Eric Knowles from TV’s Antiques Roadshow on Sunday August 6th 2017.

Starting at 3pm bring along a small treasured item, some of which will be valued by Eric just like on one of the BBC’s longest running and most popular television programmes, Antiques Roadshow thanks to Eric and the other experts.

This full afternoon event is much more than simply a valuation session. Eric will be bringing his wickedly funny personality giving a talk on his life in the world of antiques with stories, quips and hilarity. Eric combines the very highest of antique knowledge with humour spanning his long and varied career.

hunday manor hotel workington

And the Hunday Mnaor Hotel couldn’t be a letter location. This intriguing, beautiful and attractive building overlooking the Solway Firth and Cumbrian Coast dates from the 18th century and is steeped in history. Originally a manor house called High Lodge, it was the National Coal Board miner’s rescue centre between and 1951 and 1968 and originally known as Winscales Rescue Centre.

The Rotary Club of Workington have used Hunday Manor Hotel as their meeting location for years and what good this organisation does for the Western Lake District, Workington and Cockermouth areas.

Tickets are just £15 each including a cream tea and are available from John Head: 01900 604890, or Hunday Manor Hotel: 01900 61798. For more information on Hunday Manor including accommodation for the evening, visit

Hawkshead a Highlight For Shoppers this Christmas

Christmas Fairs are being advertised up and down the country of all sizes. From Christmas themed farmers markets to large scale craft and gift events, now is the perfect time to buy some extra special Christmas gifts and to stock up on decorations, table settings and foodie treats.

Being as the Lake District is home to some exceptionally talented crafts people and artists so too excellent food producers, it is no wonder this region is the ideal place for a Christmas fair. Being an exceptionally pleasant place to visit is the icing on the Christmas cake.

hawkshead christmas fair 2016
Hawkshead, a delightful village in the heart of the Lake District and a great place for a Christmas fair. The Hawkshead Christmas Fair will be taking place on the weekend of Saturday December 3rd 10am-5pm and Sunday the 4th 10am-4pm. The Market House on two floors and the Beatrix Potter Gallery will house the indoor craft and gift stalls as well as outside stalls including food and beverages. There will be over 50 of these in total to peruse during the two day fair.

But really, the Christmas fair is also a festival as live entertainment will be ringing around the village throughout the weekend. There will be choirs, jugglers, stilt walkers and live music that are all sure to get everyone well and truly in the Christmas spirit and create a great weekend for the whole family.

If travelling from afar then the Hawkshead Christmas Fair website has recommendations of places to stay including the Cuckoo Brow Inn at Far Sawrey that is both family and dog friendly.

The ultimate Grand Day Out in Langdale in October

This Grand Day Out is much more than just a great day out. It is a celebration of the beauty of Cumbria and the Lake District held over 3 days from Friday October 14 to Sunday October 16. Further more it is a fundraising event to help support the Cumbria Community Foundation and the Mountain Rescue Teams. The first Grand Day Out was held in January 2016 and was a great success and raised much needed funds for the Cumbria Community Foundation Flood Appeal and the voluntary services who worked above and beyond to help save people and their homes during the terrible floods of December 2015.

Cumbria and the Lake District has risen out of that awful time but there are still people who have not been able to return to their homes and still flood defence work and support to undertake. Welcome the Grand Day Out Langdale.

grand day out langdale lake district
There will be everything from guided walks to a mountain bike mystery tour event and a Sunday road cycle. For families there’s stargazing, family adventure quest and film screenings at Sticklebarn and even four legged friends have a dog walk in partnership with the dog adventure accessory company Ruffwear. Naturally, in the heart of running country in the Lake District, this activity will take centre stage. Firstly there will be a 10km trail run sponsored by The National Trust on Saturday before the much awaited ultimate ‘Stickle Grind’ uphill fell race on Sunday from 11am. This is the first of its kind in the Lake District and is set to attract fell runners from far and wide. Not only is it a special event but the winner will walk away with a prize of a two night stay at the Brimstone Hotel on the Langdale Estate, kindly donated by them and worth £850.

The prestigious 5 star Brimstone Lake District Hotel, said “we are proud to be involved with such a Grand day Out and particularly the challenging fell race, there are very few events of this kind in the area and we wish all the racers luck and good speed. We will be there on the day to cheer you all on.”
For more information on the Langdale Grand Day Out visit,

Ambleside #theplacetobe to watch stage 2 Tour of Britain

More excitement than ever is circulating around Ambleside in the Lake District with the imminent arrival of the Stage 2 of the Tour of Britain passing through. Stage 2, Carlisle to Kendal is a 187 km route with plenty of gradients and most definitely brimming full of beautiful scenery.

Instead of blinking and missing these elite riders fly through the streets of Ambleside, spectators will be able to watch the big screen with excitement building as they fly down from Carlisle, past Ullswater, through Keswick, down to Grasmere and Ambleside and onto the summit finish on Beast Banks in Kendal.

The aptly named “The Struggle”, just a short distance from Ambleside town centre, is the location for the Skoda King of the Mountains climb. Although it’s sure to a fantastic spectacle being up there at the top of this climb, being able to watch it from Ambleside on the big screen gives everyone the best of both worlds.

tour of britain ambleside lake district
It means even more for the Ambleside community as well as lovers of this vibrant market town after the devastating floods back in the December 2015. Thanks to Ambleside Together, the big screen is certain to make this the ultimate Tour of Britain stage for the riders, organisers and hopefully the best in the history of the event. Free entry to the event in Ambleside is from 9.45 with live coverage from 1pm till 4pm on the big screen.

Don’t miss out on the chance of seeing the likes of Olympic silver medallist and multiple Tour de France sprint stage winner Mark Cavendish and now the latest news that Sir Bradley Wiggins will be riding this stage as well. Still not booked accommodation? It’s booking up fast but the Old Vicarage bed and breakfast in Ambleside has a small amount of rooms remaining starting from £100 based on 2 people sharing. Highlights – delicious breakfasts, swimming pool hot tub and sauna and dogs stay free. Visit for more details.

The Lakes are Alive this August Bank Holiday

Kendal will be coming alive this August Bank Holiday weekend being the setting for the new cultural programme and festival, Lakes Alive. Starting on Friday 26 August until Sunday 28, enjoy spectacular happenings showcasing contemporary culture in the backdrop of the fells and the historic market town of Kendal.

Locations are both indoor venues including the Brewery Arts Centre, St Thomas Church and The Factory and outdoor Maudes Meadow, Nobles Rest on Low Fellside and Kendal Castle.
Diverse, creative, intriguing, interesting, exciting, educational, hands on and fun is what Lakes Alive is all about. Whether you’re into music, sculpture, dance or crafts, the arts are covered with something to entertain the whole family. Each event is free during the three days with only Other Suns requiring a ticket where Friend or Foe presents Legends of Flight, Gary Daly (China Crisis) and Will Plowman (A Future Without), a night of live music and AV performances at the United Reform Church on Saturday August 27.

lakes alive kendal cumbria
The final event, Minimum Monument, is set to be the most exciting, an art installation like never before at the iconic Kendal Castle. The artist Néle Azevedo will be inviting people to help to make and place 3000 ice sculptures around the castle and then watch them slowly melt away.

It is naturally going to be a busy weekend in Kendal with limited hotel rooms remaining for visitors outside of the county. Riverside Hotel in the centre of Kendal has a small number of rooms left for the weekend starting from £124 including breakfast. Book direct and receive a £10 voucher to spend in the hotel either in their restaurant or bar.

For a great way to spend the final weekend of the school summer holidays, Kendal and Lakes Alive is most definitely #theplacetobe
For full programme and line up visit

Hop Skip and Jump to the Lake District this summer

What a time to visit the Lake District. It’s the summer holidays and a staycation has never been so appealing. It is also a very special year for region, the 150th anniversary of Beatrix Potter. Not only can visitors enjoy the beautiful Lake District but also be entertained with events and activities galore to celebrate one of the most famous children’s authors.

An absolute must thing to do this summer is go and watch the very special production “Where is Peter Rabbit?” Based on the original tales by Beatrix Potter the show features voices of Mirium Margoyles and Griff Rhys Jones with music by Steven Edis and lyrics by Alan Ayckbourn.

peter rabbit lake district
Playing every day except Friday’s from now until September 4th with 3 performances, 11am, 4.30pm and 7pm (7pm during school holidays) at The Old Laundry Theatre in Bowness on Windermere. Suitable for children of ages 3+. During the school holidays, the performances are due to be very busy so book ahead and guarantee seats via the website here or by telephone 08445 040604.

The Damson Dene Hotel, close to Bowness, offers family friendly accommodation in special rooms as well as the choice of booking in the separate family annex. Rooms either have a double and 2 singles or a double and bunk beds. The extensive, landscaped grounds are perfect for nature spotting, perhaps you’ll be able to find some of Beatrix Potter’s characters hiding away?

Absolutely Ambleside for Lake District Sports

If July couldn’t be more of a fantastic time of the year to visit Ambleside, Windermere and the South Lakes, the must visit event of the year takes place on the last Thursday of the month annually. Ambleside Sports being held on Thursday 28 July 2016 on Rydal Park is #theplacetobe for the day for families, sports lovers, traditionalists and simply just for fun and spectating.

This highly regarded day is now in its 200th year and is the one of the biggest events on the fell running calendar attracting the very best Lake District and Cumbria based fell runners as well as those from outside of the county both track and fell opportunities. There’s also cycling races to take part in or watch, hound trails and Cumbria & Westmorland wrestling. It’s a day for the whole family, those of all ages when it comes to both races and events to take part in and activities and entertainment.

ambleside lake district sports events
Alongside the sports and spectacles will be trade stands from local businesses, plenty of local food and beverages courtesy of Made and Cumbria and various other vendors and a giant barbeque. Five hours of sports and very much more.

Lovers of traditional Lakeland sports and attendees of Ambleside Sports for some considerable years, the Rothay Garth Bed & Breakfast in Ambleside is a great choice for somewhere to stay on the day or as part of the short break. Handy car parking and within walking dstane of Rydal Park, room start from £94 including breakfast.

For information on the Amble Sports visit,

An unbelievable festival line up in Ulverston this July

ulverston cumbria festivals
Ulverston is most definitely the place to be in Cumbria this July with events galore. Starting with Saturday 2nd July and it’s the annual Ulverston Hospice Carnival. A full days entertainment for the whole family in the centre of the town with a street market, food stalls, flats, dancers and bands with proceeds going to St Mary’s Hospice.

But it is the following weekend where visitors will really be spoilt for choice. Over Friday 8th to Sunday 10th July experience and enjoy retro, vintage and folk. Firstly Retro Rendezvous, a vintage festival offering a true step back time experience. There’s a vintage tea room, rock & roll music and memorabilia, retro craft and clothing stalls, classic cars and live music. Alongside this is a special vintage cycling festival À L’ancienne, back for a third successive year after extremely popular 2014 and 2015 events. Organised by Sportive Lakes, bring along your bike of any era pre 1987 to show or choose to enter either the 47km or 81km retro cycling sportives.

Finally and it’s all about folk music in Ulverston again July 8th to 10th. From folk music performances to storytellers and dancers, the festival is all about promoting and supporting the folk music traditions of Cumbria but especially in Furness. The performances and events will be taking places in various locations throughout the town centre. A full line up and programme can be found here

Where to stay?
Just 8 miles from Ulverston is the Newby Bridge Hotel. Offering easy access to Ulverston whilst having views over Lake Windermere. Combine with a few days in The Lakes too. The hotel has a large car park, restaurant, bar and leisure facilities.

Get going (in a relaxed manner) to Grange-over-Sands this June

Grange-over-Sands, a delightfully relaxing town on the Cartmel Peninsula transformed from a small fishing village to a thriving Edwardian town by the Furness Railway back in the 1850’s. The town still exudes Edwardian style but at a much slower pace than in its heyday. What brings so many to visit and live in Grange-overSands is the climate, one of the warmest in Northern England.

Now visitors are also treated to exceptional food in the town as well as in neighbouring village such as Cartmel so too arts and music events.

grange over sands whats on

As summer approaches, festivals and outdoor events are occurring left, right and centre with Grange being no exception. June 11th is a particularly big day this year for Grange-Over-Sands with the annual Edwardian Festival taking place, now in its 23rd year. This festival celebrates Granges Edwardian heritage with music, acts and dancers as well as over 40 stalls selling gifts, crafts and foodie produce from local suppliers and makers. Best Edwardian dress and best stall competitions will be run during the day and refreshments in various forms will be plentiful to purchase.

Onto Sunday’s throughout the summer starting on May 29th, “Music in the Park” concerts. The bands include local brass, retirement and junior players and the location, the Park Road Gardens bandstand in Grange-over-Sands. If the weather is inclement, the concerts will be held in the Victoria Hall but fingers crossed for sunny Sunday’s in Grange!

So it’s never a better time for visitors to Grange-over-Sands to stay over either for the full weekend or even just a Sunday night stay after the “Music in the Park”. Bay Villa operates a Slow Life policy and makes an ideal place to stay on a Sunday evening. For information and room availability, visit