Despite the recent weather in Cumbria, large areas of the county are still open for you to enjoy. The Fairy Godmother is still waving her wand and Father Christmas is waiting for you in his grotto – don’t keep him waiting!
There are loads of festive events to enjoy over the Christmas period. Here are some of our favourites...
Santa Express at Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway
There’s more festive fun to be had aboard the Santa Express which is back once again with a magical experience both young and old will love. Reserve a seat on this 14 mile steam journey and you’ll be able to meet Father Christmas at Dalegarth in his Gingerbread Grotto, on board the cosy train as it chugs through the wintery Cumbrian countryside. Little ones will receive a gift from Santa and adults will be treated to a gift voucher. (Until 23 December).
Cinderella at The Sands Centre – Carlisle
Christmas isn’t complete without a good old fashioned panto and it doesn’t get much more festive than the tale of Cinderella and her wicked stepsisters – best start practising your heckles now. This magical production will delight big and little kids alike and stars soul legend Sheila Ferguson as Fairy Godmother, Dancing On Ice winner Sam Attwater as Prince Charming, and The Voice UK finalist Leanne Jarvis as Cinderella. (Until 31 December).
The Snow Queen at Theatre by the Lake – Keswick
Treat the family to a Christmas performance of The Snow Queen at Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake. This tale of friendship, kindness and adventure set amongst the coldest season is based on Hans Christian Anderson’s classic, and is guaranteed to warm your cockles. (Until 16 January).
Christmas Wonderland at the Rheged Centre – Penrith
Nothing says Christmas like a Helter Skelter, well maybe not, but who doesn’t love that dizzy feeling you get as you whizz round a fairground favourite, especially when it’s Christmas coloured and decked with twinkling lights. More festive fun can be had in Santa’s cosy cottage. Wander along the candy path, discover magical elves and Santa’s sleigh, before you meet Mr Claus to tell him what you really want for Christmas and receive a special gift. (Various dates).
Classic Drive in Day at Lakeland Motor Museum – Backbarrow
Take a break from the turkey and tinsel and join the Lakeland Motor Museum for a Boxing Day celebration of all things engine-based. Petrolheads and vintage enthusiasts alike will love this rubber-burning celebration of everything from the latest high-performance sports cars to the golden age of motoring. Drool over iconic vintage vehicles, sleek sports cars, motorbikes and superminis displayed by eager collectors who’ll be happy to tell you more about their beloved models. There’ll also be a special ‘Drive and Ride In’ event which will see dozens of enthusiasts drive away the Boxing Day blues at the Lakeland Motor Museum. (26 December).
Lowther Castle Christmas Fair
Add a bit of grandeur to Christmas by browsing for gifts with a difference at the Lowther Castle Christmas Fair. Bag beautiful crafts and giftware, many from local artists and designers before relaxing in the café with a selection of festive inspired treats, from mincemeat crumble slices to spiced mulled wine. (Until 24 December).
German Christmas Market at Hayes Garden World - Ambleside
The Germans know a thing or two about Christmas and Hayes Garden World have recreated plenty of Bavarian traditions at their annual Christmas market. Marvel at spectacular displays of lights, trees and Christmas decorations as you browse stalls stacked with traditional decorations and crafts, and sample some delicious German-inspired treats. Anyone for a warming glass of Glühwein? (Until 23 December)
And say hello to 2016 in Cumbria too…
Bring in 2016 at The Inn on the Square in Keswick, as they celebrate their first New Year’s Eve. The party kicks off with mulled cider and mince pies on arrival, a sparkling cocktail and canapés reception, plus a four-course dinner, and that’s just on 30 December. Come the big day, you’ll be treated to a full breakfast, receive two-for-one entry to the Lake District Wildlife Park, and as evening sets in, a six-course Gala dinner followed by a masquerade cocktail party and a glass of bubbly at midnight. If that wasn’t enough, you’ll finish up with a leisurely brunch washed down with a mimosa and a five-course farewell surf and turf dinner on New Year’s Day.