Lake District Events Calendar 2018

Lakes Culture 2018 calendar of events Some Fern by Kerry Morrison (1997) - Grizedale Forest Sculpture Time Mirror by Di Mainstone will be at Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House for Lakes Ignite 2018 Dove Cottage in Grasmere

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 also sees the return of Lakes Ignite, from January to July Lakes Ignite 2018, with six specially commissioned contemporary artworks inspired by the Lake District’s UNESCO World Heritage designation.

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

January to July 2018

Lakes Ignite 2018
Lakes Ignite 2018

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

Find out more here

// PERCY KELLY: LINE OF BEAUTY, A RETROSPECTIVE – Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery, Carlisle, Cumbria

*EXTENDED* until Sunday 18 February

Crosby Villas – © Estate of Percy Kelly, showing atCrosby Villas – © Estate of Percy Kelly, showing at Percy Kelly: Line of Beauty, A Retrospective at Tullie House from 23 September 2017 - 28 January 2018
Crosby Villas by Percy Kelly – © Estate of Percy Kelly

This major retrospective celebrates the extraordinary talent of Cumbrian artist Percy Kelly (1918-1993). For the first time major examples of Kelly’s artistic output are brought together in a rich display of over 100 works, many of which have not been on display before. The exhibition spans over 65 years from 1928 aged 9 up to his death in 1993 aged 74.

The exhibition is specially curated by Chris Wadsworth, the leading expert on the life and work of Percy Kelly.

Find out more here

// LAND | SEA | LIFE – Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal

Until 17 February 2018

See 70 works by over 40 leading artists including Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Graham Sutherland and Laura Knight in this fascinating collection. The show also features a number of works by Edward Burra (1905-1976), an English artist who has not previously been exhibited at Abbot Hall Art Gallery. LAND | SEA | LIFE is an exhibition of works, curated by Abbot Hall Art Gallery, on loan from The Ingram Collection, which is recognised as one of the UK’s most significant collections of Modern British Art.

Find out more here

// THE GREAT PRINT EXHIBITION – Rheged, Penrith

Until Sunday 18 February 2018

Gamrie Seatown by Bryan Angus at The Great Print Exhibition 2017
Gamrie Seatown by Bryan Angus at The Great Print Exhibition 2017

This major exhibition of printmaking in all its forms is the largest of its kind in the UK. Featuring over 350 artworks by more than 60 printmakers, The Great Print Exhibition at Rheged is a excellent opportunity to buy original artworks, watch printmakers in action and discover more about print as an art form.

Find out more here

// DETAIL IN NATURE – Brockhole, Windermere

Until 28 February 2018

Partridge papercut by Cumbrian artist Ellie Chaney
Partridge papercut by Cumbrian artist Ellie Chaney

Brockhole, the Lake District Visitor Centre, is opening a new gallery space from 1 December 2017. The Gaddum Gallery will present free exhibitions all year round, alongside a number of artist-led workshops. The first exhibition on show is ‘Detail in Nature’ by Cumbrian artist Ellie Chaney, which celebrates the setting of the gallery on Windermere shore and explores the ecology of the grounds, from the ancient woodland to the lake through a delightful collection of papercuts and prints.

Find out more here

// LAKELAND SINFONIA CONCERTS – Kendal, South Lakes

Until April 2018

Jonathon Heyward (photo by Jeremy Ayres Fischer)
Jonathon Heyward (photo by Jeremy Ayres Fischer)

The Lakeland Sinfonia Concert Society is an Arts Council sponsored charity which promotes orchestral concerts in Kendal. From October to April it brings internationally renowned orchestras such as the BBC Philharmonic, the Halle, the Manchester Camerata and Royal Northern Sinfonia to the South Lakes with internationally esteemed musicians. It also promotes the local Lakeland Sinfonia, giving local musicians the opportunity to work with great conductors and soloists.

For more information about the concerts and booking details, please visit the Lakeland Sinfonia website

// MASTERPIECE – CLAUDE MONET, HAYSTACKS: SNOW EFFECT, Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal

12 January – 28 April 2018

Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Kendal (photo by Tony West)
Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Kendal (photo by Tony West)

A rare opportunity to discover the magic of a Monet masterpiece in an intimate gallery space at Abbot Hall. Be transported to the landscape of one of the world’s most famous artists and founder of French Impressionist painting. The haystacks in the painting stood in a field to the west of Monet’s house in Giverney, France, where his famous water lily gardens were situated. In autumn and the relatively mild winter of 1890 Monet persuaded the local farmer to leave the stacks in his field so he could make a series of paintings. Monet went on to produce over thirty haystacks paintings at different times of the day and season, capturing the effect that the changing light had on their form.

Find out more here

// NORTHUMBRIAN MUSIC FESTIVAL ON TOUR, The Wordsworth Hotel and St Oswald’s Church, Grasmere

23 and 24 January 2018

St Oswald's Church, Grasmere, photo Dave Willis (Cumbria Tourism)
St Oswald’s Church, Grasmere, photo Dave Willis (Cumbria Tourism)

Enjoy an unforgettable evening of musical enchantment this January with the North Wales Opera Studio. The concert is performed in St Oswald’s Church, with a delightful dinner at the 4 star Wordsworth Hotel, in beautiful Grasmere in the Lake District.

Find out more here

// WOMEN’S LIVES THROUGH LETTERS, Dove Cottage, Grasmere

1 February – 19 March 2018

Journal on display at Dove Cottage (photo The Wordsworth Trust)
Journal on display at Dove Cottage (photo The Wordsworth Trust)

With 200 years between us, how far can we truly get to know the women of the Wordsworth Circle? This exhibition will explore the lives of these remarkable women through their letters. We’ll discover intimate details about their homes, families, and living in a literary world, as well as shared experience of the human condition: gossip and humour, illness and grief, and friendship and love.

This exhibition is part of a Women in Cumbria project organised in partnership with other Cumbrian museums.

Find out more here

// KESWICK FILM FESTIVAL, Alhambra Cinema and Theatre by the Lake, Keswick

22 – 25 February 2018

Keswick Film Festival
Keswick Film Festival

Set against a stunning Lake District landscape in all its winter grandeur, the 19th Keswick Film Festival invites you to experience a selection of top quality films from some of the world’s greatest festivals. Including thought-provoking documentaries, retrospectives, very special guests and the Osprey short film competition, Keswick Film Festival 2018 is a definite diary date for all film fans.

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

// ASKHAM HALL MUSIC FESTIVAL WEEKEND, Askham, near Penrith

Friday 23 – Sunday 25 February 2018

Askham Hall in the Lake District
Askham Hall in the Lake District

Askham Hall is situated in a secluded part of the Lake District just over the hills from Ullswater and set the in the heart of Cumbria’s historic Lowther Estate. This February the 13th century stately home turned restaurant, will host a special weekend of concerts, each followed by a feast-style dinner in the Front Hall. Pianist, Noam Greenberg and violinist Helena Winkelman will be among the international musicians heading to the Lakes for this third Askham Hall Music Festival Weekend.

Find out more here

// WORDS BY THE WATER, Theatre by the Lake, Keswick

9 – 18 March 2018

Theatre by the Lake, Keswick
Theatre by the Lake, Keswick

Words by the Water, at Theatre by the Lake in Keswick, is the North West of England’s premier festival of words and ideas. Fiction writers, poets, journalists, academics and politicians gather at this scenic spot adjacent to Derwentwater to talk about books, writing and experiences. With multiple events taking place over 10 days, including talks, workshops, discussions and special exhibitions, Words by the Water 2018 promises an exciting and enticing literary spectrum to appeal to all lovers of language!

The Words by the Water festival programme is now available on the Way With Words website

// 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

// PRINTFEST, Coronation Hall, Ulverston

5 – 6 May 2018

Printfest 2018 will be at Coronation Hall in Ulverston from 5 - 6 May
Printfest 2018 will be at Coronation Hall in Ulverston from 5 – 6 May

Founded in 2001, Printfest is the UK’s foremost artist-led printmaking festival, offering a fantastic opportunity to view and purchase artworks, meet the artists and find out more about printmaking through various workshops and demonstrations.

Find out more here

// KESWICK JAZZ AND BLUES FESTIVAL, Various, Keswick

Thursday 10 – Sunday 13 May 2018

Keswick Jazz Festival from 10 May to 13 May 2018
Keswick Jazz Festival from 10 May to 13 May 2018

This year will be the 27th Keswick Jazz and Blues Festival… A fantastic four day celebration of New Orleans, swing, hot club, classic, traditional and mainstream jazz and blues. The festival promises unmissable musical razzamatazz, showcasing a roster of fabulous international guests and UK talent at various venues throughout Keswick in the Lake District National Park.

Find out more here

// FREERANGE COMEDY FESTIVAL, Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal

18 – 20 May 2018

Jenny Eclair at the Freerange Comedy Festival 2017, Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal
Jenny Eclair at the Freerange Comedy Festival 2017, Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal

The annual feast of fun and laughter at the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal this year will include comedy workshops, comedy shows and comedy clubs. Suitable for anyone who likes to laugh.

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

// 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

 

// KENDAL CALLING, Lowther Deer Park, Penrith

26 – 29 July 2018

Kendal Calling
Kendal Calling

See you in the fields for Kendal Calling 2018… the multi award-winning independent festival of music, arts, food & drink now returning for its 13th year. 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 another amazing weekend in the stunning surroundings of the Lake District National Park.

Find out more here

// LAKES ALIVE, Kendal

7 – 9 September 2018 (TBC)

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

Michael Cho artwork for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2017
Michael Cho artwork for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2017

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

October 2018 (date TBC)

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