What’s on in the Lake District

The Lakes come to life in the autumn, when the colours on the fells are at their best, and there’s plenty to keep everyone entertained. So what’s on in the Lake District in November? Here’s our top tips of things to do..

Friday Nov 2: Bonfire night in Coniston at the Sports and Social Club ground has a huge fire followed by a really spectacular fireworks display. This is one of the biggest events of its kind in the area. Times: Gates open 5.30pm, Bonfire 6.15pm, Fireworks 7pm. Lots of food stall. Admission is free but donations towards to cost of fireworks are welcomed. Shepherds Bridge Lane, Coniston, LA21 8AL

Bonifre night

Friday Nov 2: Fireworks at Hayes Garden World. The huge garden and shopping centre at Ambleside is staging a late night opening along with a fireworks display. It’s a chance to do some Christmas shopping with gifts for all the family here under one roof, and watch the fireworks as well. 6-9 pm, tickets only. Tickets : Adults (16+) £10; Children (3-15) £6, Children (0-2) Free


Saturday Nov 3: Fireworks and an outside bar at our local pub, the Britannia Inn. Weather permitting, beer and mulled wine and soft drinks will be served in the garden, and the firework display is at 8pm. There’s a charity collection for our local Langdale School.


Saturday Nov 9: an unusual one for a rainy day, at the Abbott Hall Museum in Kendal, the start of an exhibition by Grayson Perry which runs through the winter. It’s called Julie Cope’s Grand Tour, Julie being a fictional character created by artist Perry. Her story is told through the two tapestries and extended ballad presented in this Crafts Council touring exhibition. The tapestries are shown alongside a graphic installation, and specially commissioned audio recording of The Ballad of Julie Cope, a 3000 word narrative written and read by Perry himself that illuminates Julie’s hopes and fears as she journeys through life.


Saturday Nov 10, starting at 12 noon, the Dunnerdale fell race. If you want to run, you must enter in advance, but otherwise come along to see some of the area’s top runners in action over this five mile course, starting at Broughton Mills Village Hall. Entries, via the website, include a post-race pie!



Thursday November 15, the opening of a new exhibition at the Heaton Cooper studio’s archive gallery in Grasmere, Mountain of Destiny: Kanchenjunga 1929.  This is a display of previously unseen photographs of a remarkable historic mountaineering expedition to the world’s third highest mountain by a German team. The photographs are from the private collection of the British transport officer on the expedition, and are curated by Jonathan Westaway from the University of Central Lancashire. In 1929 Germany launched its first Himalayan mountaineering expedition under the leadership of Paul Bauer.

Kanchenjunga exhibition

Its goals were explicitly nationalistic, motivated by a desire to rebuild a faith in German manhood and to finally leave behind the defeat and humiliation experienced in the First World War. But the expedition brought them into contact for the first time with the multi-ethnic world of the Himalayas.  The photographs taken by Bauer and his colleagues Julius Brenner and Dr Eugen Allwein all exhibit a strong ethnographic sensibility, sensitive to the ethnic diversity of the region.


Thursday to Sunday Nov 15-18:  Kendal Mountain Festival, the annual gathering for those who love and enjoy the outdoors with a packed programme of films, talks and music. Discover who will win the International Film Competition or the Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature, come along to the hear directly from world-class filmmakers, athletes and adventurers or enter the 10k trail run which climbs out from the town centre and up to Scout Scar. Specialist sessions cover everything from paddlesports to free-flight via caving and outdoor swimming. Live music each evening, and throughout the weekend there will be a full programme of free Basecamp talks and demos from the world’s leading brands.


Saturday November 17. Ambleside lights and lantern parade, a day-long festival bringing light into the winter darkness, with Christmas cruises across the head of Windermere, the arrival of Father Christmas to switch on the town’s lights, and a huge parade, at dusk, when hundreds of home-made Chinese paper lanterns are carried through the town centre. From noon there are stalls and music in the Market Cross and Market Place areas of the town. Mince pies and mulled wine are on sale.

The lantern parade assembles near the White Platts mini-golf centre at the foot of Compston Road at 4pm. The festival ends with a firework display in Rothay Park at 5.30.

 Saturday and Sunday, November 24/25: Ulverston Dickensian Festival. The centre of Ulverston goes back to the Dickensian era for a weekend festivity. Street music, street food, a brass band playing carols.