Lake District Events Calendar 2018

Lakes Ignite 2018 Time Mirror by Di Mainstone is now at Blackwell, The Arts and Crafts House Time Mirror by Di Mainstone is at Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House for Lakes Ignite 2018 Some Fern by Kerry Morrison (1997) - Grizedale Forest Sculpture Dove Cottage in Grasmere Elisabeth Frink, Goggle Head and Easter Head, © Frink Estate and Archive executors. Courtesy of The Ingram Collection

Diaries at the ready for another exciting year of outstanding culture in the beautiful Lake District! With its vibrant literary legacy and the UK’s first forest for sculpture, this celebrated cultural landscape provides an abundance of inspiration and exploration throughout the year.

2018 saw the return of Lakes Ignite, from January to July, with six specially commissioned contemporary artworks inspired by the Lake District’s UNESCO World Heritage designation. You can still visit Time Mirror at Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House, Mountains We Made at Grizedale Forest, Slung at the Rheged Centre and the Arctic Char at Ambleside Salutation.

Spark your imagination with Lakes Ignite 2018 – a celebration of contemporary art in a World Heritage cultural landscape!

For further Cumbrian cultural delights, 2018 has an impressive line-up of art, music, theatre and festivals. From celebrations of classic literature and classical music to unmissable comedy and international comic art creativity – there’s some Lakes Culture for everyone!

So check out these great things to do in the Lake District in 2018 and start planning your Lakes Culture adventure today…

// LAKES IGNITE 2018 – various venues in the Lake District

Lakes Ignite 2018
Lakes Ignite 2018

Lakes Ignite 2018 presented six specially commissioned contemporary artworks to celebrate the Lake District’s designation as a World Heritage site. From January to July 2018, six artists brought their creative vision to the Lakes with a unique collection of artworks that were free to visit and explore. Each installation provided a different perspective on our World Heritage story using very different media including metal, wood, mirrors, inflatables, performance and virtual reality.

You can still visit four of the artworks… Find out more here

// TIME MIRROR, at Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House, Bowness-on-Windermere

18 May – September

Time Mirror by Di Mainstone is now at Blackwell, The Arts and Crafts House
Time Mirror by Di Mainstone is now at Blackwell, The Arts and Crafts House

You can now experience Time Mirror by Di Mainstone at Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House overlooking Windermere and the Coniston Fells. It is one of six contemporary pieces of art for Lakes Ignite 2018, which include performance, sculpture and an inflatable installation, at various locations across the Lake District in response to the Lake District becoming a World Heritage site.

Time Mirror is an interactive sculpture, made from polished steel that will allow audiences of all ages to experience and capture the stunning Lake District surroundings in an experimental and abstract way.

Located in the grounds of Blackwell, Time Mirror is ‘Blackwell Blue’ inspired by the colour blue of the peacock frieze and tiles in the Arts and Crafts House as well as the artist Yves Klein.

Find out more here

// INSPIRED BY NATURE, Grizedale Forest Visitor Centre

24 May – 23 September

Inspired by Nature - new Forestry Commission and the Royal Society of Sculptors exhibition at Grizedale Forest
Inspired by Nature – new Forestry Commission and the Royal Society of Sculptors exhibition at Grizedale Forest

To celebrate Grizedale Forest’s 50th Anniversary of Arts and Culture in the forest, the Forestry Commission and the Royal Society of Sculptors have opened a new exhibition of artworks. The exhibition showcases the work of 9 sculptors who have responded to environmental themes including farming, climate change and forest stories. The pieces utilise a diverse range of materials to represent human interaction with the natural world, such as a figure by Linda Johns delicately sculpted with pine needles, a small figure by Anna Gillespie crafted with cast acorn caps, through to Julian Wild and Neil Ferber’s more geometric forms.

Set in the heart of the Lake District National Park – a UNESCO world heritage site – Grizedale Forest was the first place in the UK to develop art in the landscape and is ‘the UK’s first forest for sculpture’.

Find out more here

// WHERE POPPIES BLOW, Wordsworth House & Gardens, Cockermouth

Saturday 10 March to Sunday 28 October 2018

Join former Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion at a Thursday evening talk at Wordsworth House in Cockermouth
Join former Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion at a Thursday evening talk at Wordsworth House in Cockermouth

A special exhibition commemorating the end of the Great War and celebrating the role of nature in helping sustain Britain’s troops through the horrors of battle. Where Poppies Blow also includes a season of evening talks, on Thursday 7 June, former Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion will share his love of First World War poet Edward Thomas, author of Adelstrop, and read from his own forthcoming verse memoir, Essex Clay.

This fascinating series of Thursday evening talks take place in the atmospheric dining room of Wordsworth House, on 19 April, 10 May, 7 June and 20 September – for further details and tickets please visit the National Trust website

Where Poppies Blow will be open from 11am to 4pm every day except Friday, from Saturday 10 March to Sunday 28 October 2018. Entry is free with admission to the house and garden.

Find out more here

// A WORLD OF WORK, Brantwood, Coniston

12 April – 2 September

Hunt Emerson’s tribute to Ford Madox Brown’s Pre-Raphaelite masterpiece Work at Brantwood
Hunt Emerson’s tribute to Ford Madox Brown’s Pre-Raphaelite masterpiece ‘Work’ at Brantwood

This spring and summer Brantwood’s Blue Gallery plays host to an exhibition exploring the theme of Work. The exhibition will include Hunt Emerson’s tribute to Ford Madox Brown’s Pre-Raphaelite masterpiece ‘Work’, together with pieces from other artists across three centuries exploring the same theme.

Visitors will also be able to preview Hunt Emerson & Kevin Jackson’s masterful Ruskin comic ‘How to Work’, the third and final instalment of their Ruskin comic trilogy, which will be launched in October at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival, in Kendal. Entry to the exhibition is included in the admission to Brantwood.

Find out more here

// IN SEARCH OF MARY SHELLEY: THE GIRL WHO WROTE FRANKENSTEIN, Dove Cottage, Grasmere

5 May – 27 August

Illustration from Frankenstein (1831 edition) written by Mary Shelley
Illustration from Frankenstein (1831 edition) written by Mary Shelley

2018 marks the bicentenary of the publication of Frankenstein, the literary masterpiece that today is world famous as source of two of our most enduring archetypes, the obsessive scientist and the almost-human he creates. Lesser known, perhaps, is the story of the teenager who wrote it.

Daughter of philosopher William Godwin and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, and wife of Romantic Poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Shelley grew up in a world of political passion and scientific curiosity and within a household at the very centre of the era’s radical new thought.

This exhibition, curated by award winning poet and writer Fiona Sampson to coincide with her new biography In Search of Mary Shelley: The Girl Who Wrote Frankenstein, will explore the circumstances that shaped Shelley as a child and a young woman – the making of the girl who wrote Frankenstein.

Find out more here

// 2018 SUMMER SEASON, Theatre by the Lake, Keswick

24 May – November 2018

Summer Season 2018 at Theatre by the Lake
Summer Season 2018 at Theatre by the Lake

The Summer Season 2018 at Theatre by the Lake is once again set to stage a spectacular selection of home-grown productions, including vintage comedy, an adaptation of a much-loved novel and an acclaimed double bill from one of Britain’s finest playwrights. The three Main House productions are:

// Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense – a play from the works of P.G. Wodehouse by The Goodale Brothers in which three actors play a multitude of characters in an inventive and totally bonkers send-up of Wodehouse’s iconic double act.
// Single Spies by Alan Bennett – one of Britain’s best loved playwrights turns his attention to the Cambridge spy scandal of the 50s, with two beautifully written comic vignettes (An Englishman Abroad and A Question of Attribution) which shed light on the fascinating characters of Guy Burgess and Anthony Blunt.
// Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility adapted by Jessica Swale – a sparkling tale of the Dashwood sisters and affairs of the heart in a gorgeous adaptation by the Olivier award-winning playwright who adapted Theatre by the Lake’s Christmas show The Secret Garden.

The Studio productions are a world premiere of Rails by Simon Longman, telling the story of two bored and lonely teens whose lives collide over the course of a long hot summer and Bold Girls by Rona Munro, set in Belfast in the early 90s, Bold Girls explores female friendship against the backdrop of a city in upheaval.

Find out more here

// Elisabeth Frink: Fragility and Power – Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal

22 June until 29 September

Elisabeth Frink, Goggle Head, © Frink Estate and Archive executors. Courtesy of The Ingram Collection
Elisabeth Frink, Goggle Head, © Frink Estate and Archive executors. Courtesy of The Ingram Collection

This summer Abbot Hall Art Gallery presents a major exhibition of work by emotive sculptor Dame Elisabeth Frink – a quarter of a century after her death. Featuring bronze sculptures, maquettes and works on paper made throughout the artist’s career, the exhibition celebrates one of the most exciting sculptors of the twentieth century.

The exhibition coincides with another Abbot Hall show which focuses on Frink’s greatest influence – Auguste Rodin. Rodin: rethinking the fragment runs from 10 August to 27 October and explores how Rodin, the originator of modern sculpture, was inspired by art of ancient Greece and Rome. Rethinking the fragment will feature The Thinker, on loan from the Burrell Collection in Glasgow, alongside three objects from the British Museum.

Both exhibitions will be the subject of two evening lectures at Abbot Hall – Elisabeth Frink and her Influences takes place on 13 September and Auguste Rodin and his Influences on 27 September. Both start at 6pm. Standard admission for each talk is £15/Friends £10. Book on both lectures for £20/Friends £15.

Find out more here

// FEMALE TROUBLE – PAULA REGO & REBECCA SCOTT, Cross Lane Projects, Kendal

28 June – 24 August

Female Trouble: Paula Rego & Rebecca Scott - exhibition at Cross Lane Projects
Female Trouble: Paula Rego & Rebecca Scott – exhibition at Cross Lane Projects

Female Trouble is the opening exhibition at Cross Lane Projects, a new art space in Kendal. Including artworks by Paula Rego & Rebecca Scott, the exhibition brings female subjectivity to the fore, drawing counterpoints between Scott’s paintings, that rework and playfully subvert public images of women from fashion magazines, and Rego’s prints depicting images of abortion and female genital mutilation. Rego’s work is known for revealing complex stories about the sinister side of sexuality, and her feminism underlies everything she does.

Female Trouble is co-curated by Vanya Balogh and Rebecca Scott, featuring a selection of Paula Rego’s lithographs and etchings from the collection of Paupers Press.

Cross Lane Projects is open Thursday to Sunday, 12 to 6pm daily – find out more here

// LAKE DISTRICT SUMMER MUSIC FESTIVAL, various venues in south Lake District

Saturday, 28 July – Friday, 10 August 2018

Lake District Summer Music by Tony West
Lake District Summer Music by Tony West

A long-standing international music festival of classical, jazz and opera, hosting over 40 events in splendid intimate venues throughout the southern Lake District. Each year this highly acclaimed festival features world-famous artists, world premieres and new collaborations. Details of the 2018 programme will be released during the week commencing 7 May on the Lake District Summer Music Festival website

// PICNIC CINEMA WEEKENDER, Muncaster Castle, Ravenglass

Friday 10 and Saturday 11 August

Picnic Cinema at Muncaster Castle
Picnic Cinema at Muncaster Castle

Picnic Cinema return with their big screen to the iconic setting of Muncaster Castle, and set-up camp (literally) for the weekend of 10 and 11 August. Organised by Eden Arts, the full Picnic Cinema experience is more than just outdoor cinema, it includes dressing up, camping over, and letting your hair down!

This years screenings are The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert (15) on Friday 10 August and The Big Lebowski (18) on Saturday 11 August.

Winning an Academy Award for costume design, be prepared to showcase the very best Drag in your wardrobe with glam dresses, feathers and frills, heels, flip-flops and all. This film was MADE for Picnic Cinema!

The Coen brothers classic The Big Lebowski turns 20 this year and has inspired its own festival and themed bars around the world. Channel your inner Dude with cardigans, dressing gowns and White Russians.

The Muncaster Castle Weekender boasts two nights of revelry, complete with the usual fun and games, on site BBQ and café, dancing and the chance to camp in the grounds of this iconic castle. You can choose to stay for the evening, a night or the whole weekend.

If camping isn’t your thing, there is the option to upgrade with belle tents provided by Belle Hotel. This gives you the option to turn up to a readymade tent, complete with a range of different furnishing options (booking info can be found on the Picnic Cinema website) and Muncaster Castle also provides onsite accommodation at the Coachman’s Quarters and nearby Pennington Hotel.

For more info and tickets please visit the Picnic Cinema website

// LAKES ALIVE, Kendal

7 – 9 September 2018

The Lake District National Park is delighted to present the return of Lakes Alive – a major family-friendly arts festival taking over Kendal for a weekend in September 2018. Join in spectacular happenings and explore brand new cultural experiences and performances at locations in Kendal and the wider Lake District National Park.

Find out more here

// THE LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL, various venues in Kendal

12 – 14 October 2018

Artwork for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2018 by Petteri Tikkanen
Artwork for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2018 by Petteri Tikkanen

For creative KERPOW – make a date in your diary for LICAF 2018! The only event of its kind in the UK celebrating the best comic art from around the world. The festival takes over the beautiful town of Kendal on the edge of the Lakes for a full weekend of exhibitions, live draws, masterclasses, trails, films, workshops and more!

Find out more here

// WINTER DROVING, Penrith

27 October 2018

Eden Arts - Winter Droving extravaganza in Penrith (photo John Burrows)
Eden Arts – Winter Droving extravaganza in Penrith (photo John Burrows)

The Winter Droving is a magical festival in Penrith that celebrates all things rural, traditional and fun. The festival features street performances, local markets, dog fancy dress and the event highlight… a torch lit procession through the town featuring fire, lanterns, masquerade, music and mayhem.

Find out more here

// KENDAL MOUNTAIN FESTIVAL – Various venues in Kendal

15 – 18 November 2018

Kendal Mountain Festival (photo Stuart Holmes Photography)
Kendal Mountain Festival (photo Stuart Holmes Photography)

The award-winning Kendal Mountain Festival is the UK’s premier mountain film festival and is the most diverse event for outdoor enthusiasts in the world.

Find out more here

// MORE LAKES CULTURE

For the year-round cultural offer in the Lake District check out our Top 20 Things to do in the Lake District

// DATES FOR 2019

// KENDAL CALLING, Lowther Deer Park, Penrith

25 – 28 July 2019

Kendal Calling
Kendal Calling

See you in the fields for Kendal Calling 2019… the multi award-winning independent festival of music, arts, food & drink has announced the dates for 2019. With previous headliners including Elbow, Stereophonics, Manic Street Preachers, Happy Mondays and 18 stages filled with everything from disco to folk it’s set to be yet another amazing weekend in the stunning surroundings of the Lake District National Park.

Find out more here