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18 Things to do in Cumbria and the Lake District this Easter

easter in the lake district

21 March 2018 11:01

18 activities for you and the family to do this Easter, hand-picked by Absolute Escapes.

Finally, after what felt like a never ending winter, spring is here! The days are stretching out, temperatures are rising, and flowers are blooming all over.

And Easter is just around the corner.

What better time to gather your loved ones and head for the country's favourite national park? The improving weather means it's the perfect opportunity to bag some fells (here's 5 Lake District fells we recommended earlier).

But if that's not your scene, or you fancy giving something else a go, there's a plethora of events and activities to keep you occupied in the Lakes this Easter.

You can soak up some culture, learn a new skill or give the kids a truly special experience.

We've handpicked some of the most exciting events and activities you can enjoy in the Lakes over the Easter holidays.

Thinking of coming, but still need somewhere to stay? Have a look at Absolute Escapes Lake District holiday cottages, or Eden Valley cottages.

18 Things to do in the Lake District This Easter.

  1. Charlie Whinney - Man Bends Tree - Grizedale Forest

    Tue 9th January - Sun 13th May

    Charlie Whinney makes magnificent pieces from steam bent wood. The Man Bends Tree exhibition shows his transformation over the last decade from architect, then designer to full-time sculptor. You can pop down to Grizedale Forest over Easter and see his sculptures analysing man's relationship with nature.

    Whinney's 2017 sculpture, the Mountains we Made, will also feature as a permanent addition to Grizedale's forest sculpture collection. The piece was made with wood from Grizedale Forest itself and commissioned the Forestry Commission, Lakes Culture and Lakes Alive as a response to the Lake District gaining World Heritage Status.

  2. Shows at Keswick's Theatre by the Lake

    Referred to by The Independent as "the most beautifully located and friendly theatre in Britain", Theatre by the Lake sits right on the edges of Derwent Water in Keswick, with spectacular views of the fells from its shore.

    Over the Easter period, Theatre by the Lake is putting on are a variety of shows. So, if you're in the Lakes why not get a bit of cultural enrichment as well as enjoying the great outdoors?

    Shows being performed over the period include:

    Hymn to Love - Homage to Piaf - Fri 23rd March - Tue 10th April

    Olivier Award-nominated actress, Elizabeth Mansfield, breathes life into 15 Edith Piaf songs in this production about the late songstress' life.

    A Streetcar Named Desire - Tue 3rd April - Sat 7th April

    An updated take on Tennesse Williams' classic tale.

    Great Expectations - Tue 10th April - Sat 14th April

    Charles Dickens' timeless masterpiece in a powerful new theatrical adaptation.

  3. Ullswater Steamers - Teddies Go Free

    Fri 30th March - Sat 15th April

    All children with teddies get to travel for free on Ullswater Steamers over Easter. There's also a teddy trail for children to explore and try and find all the bears.

  4. Bye Bye Babys - Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons tribute - Beggar's Theatre, Millom

    Sat 31st March

    A live musical tribute to Franki Valli and the Four Seasons. The show features 31 songs, in four-part harmonies just like the real thing.

    If you're a Frankie Valli fan, why not come and find out why Bye Bye Babys is Europe’s number 1 tribute?

  5. Easter Pache Egg Play - Furness

    Mon 2nd April

    Put on by Furness Morris, Cumbria's oldest Morris side, these revivals of late 19th and early 20th century plays give a taste of the region's Easter traditions.

    Featuring characters such as Lord Nelson, Saint George, an Evil Knight and a quack doctor, these plays humorously deal with death and rebirth. The plays last 15 minutes and are followed by Morris dancing.

    Suitable for all ages, they are taking place at the following:

    10.15am Baycliff village square, near Ulverston LA12 9RW

    11.15am Gleaston Village square, near Ulverston LA12 0QF

    12.30pm Ulverston, Market Cross LA12 7LR

    2.15pm Ulverston, Ford Park LA12 7JP

  6. Herstory of Keswick at Keswick Museum and Art Gallery

    Fri 19 January - Thu 10 May

    To mark the centenary of women's suffrage, Keswick Museum and Art Gallery is hosting an interactive exhibition uncovering the history of the area through the eyes of its women.

    The exhibition tells the stories of more than 30 women ranging from those celebrated nationally and internationally to working class women who toiled in Keswick's yards and other industries.

  7. The Right Sort of Woman exhibition at Beatrix Potter Gallery, Hawkshead

    Sat 10 February - Sun 28 October

    Another event to mark the hundredth anniversary of women's suffrage. This exhibition allows a rare chance to see Beatrix Potter's illustrations in person.

    As well as examples of what Beatrix was most famous for, the exhibition also gives you an insight into her involvement in the local community. This includes her help in introducing district nursing to the region and her exploits as a businesswoman and landlady.

  8. Claude Monet at Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal

    Thu 1st March - Sat 28th April

    Not the artist himself, he's been dead for over 90 years. But the rare chance to see an authentic masterpiece by the world-renowned pioneer of French impressionist painting.

    Monet's Haystacks: Snow Effect from 1891 will be on show at Kendal's Abbot Hall Art Gallery for you to feast your eyes upon.

  9. Paint Like Monet workshop

    Thu 5th April

    If after seeing a real life Monet, you fancy trying your hand at producing similar, the gallery is also hosting a Paint Like Monet workshop. On Thu 5th April, professional artist Hamish McLain will guide you along the way to producing your own in the style of the French master.

  10. Dragons and Chocolate at Lowther Castle and Gardens

    Wed 21st March - Thu 19th April

    Dragons have been laying eggs in the grounds of Lowther Castle and Gardens. Bring your kids along and see if they can find them all and earn some chocolate treats.

  11. Drop in Easter and Spring craft sessions at Brockhole on Windermere

    Sat 24th March - Sun 15th April

    Regular, hourly craft activities to help keep your kids occupied over the Easter period. Brockhole has excellent views of Windermere and also plenty of other activities, so kids will never be short of something to do.

  12. Fairy and Dragon World at Hayes Garden World, Ambleside

    Sat 24th March - Sun 15th April

    Winner of Best Garden Centre Attraction at the 2017 national Garden Retail Awards, Hayes' Fairy and Dragon World is back for 2018.

    You and your children can search through the enchanted forest to find fairy doors and dragon eggs. There's even a giant piano for you to try and get a tune out of, and games of hook the unicorn and dragon.

    Once you find the dragon eggs can you get them back into the nest without waking the dragon?

    After you've finished, you can enjoy a sit down and a snack at the Toadstool cafe.

  13. Giant Spring Trail and Easter Egg Hunt at Brockhole on Windermere

    Sat 24th March - Sun 15th April

    You and your kids can search through the blooming gardens of Brockhole for hidden Easter eggs.

    All you have to do is turn up and pay £3 and there's a surprise gift at the end! What's not to like?

  14. Secret Solway tour - 3 hour guided minibus tour at Carlisle Tourist Information Centre

    Thu 29th March 10:00 to 13:00

    Sat 7th April 13:00 to 16:00

    Tue 10th April 13:00 to 16:00

    There's more to Cumbria than just the Lakes, and with the Secret Solway Tour you can take in one of its lesser known but fascinating parts.

    This guided minibus tour takes you along the Solway estuary, a place filled abundant with wildlife and stunning views across the Solway firth to Scotland and the Lake District to the south.

    So, why not do a bit of exploring this Easter and uncover a hidden gem in England's most north westerly corner?

  15. Teddies Go Free at Easter at Muncaster Castle

    Fri 30th March - Mon 2nd April

    Kids with teddies get free entry to Muncaster Castle over Easter weekend!

    On Easter Sunday and Monday the Giant Easter Egg Hunt takes place at 12.30, with prizes for all participants. Entry into the hunt costs a small fee and places are limited so be sure to book yours as soon as possible.

  16. Easter Treasure Hunt at Kong Adventure

    Sat 31st March - Sun 15th April

    Kong Adventure's hard play area is infested with dragons over the Easter period! Can your kids brave the danger and find the treasure lurking inside?

    Kids collect a Kong map from reception and navigate their way to clues so they can work out the password and uncover the treasure.

    A perfect activity if the weather’s less than ideal. Parents can even relax in the Kong cafe while kids put on their intrepid Easter explorer hats.

  17. Cadburys and National Trust Easter Egg Hunts

    Cadburys and the National Trust are teaming up to offer a range of Easter egg hunts at a range of locations in the Lake District and Cumbria over the Easter weekend.

    Enjoy breathtaking locations while your kids hunt for delicious Cadbury's chocolate prizes.

    Egg hunts take place at the following locations on the following dates:

    Derwent Water

    Mon 2nd April

    Wordsworth House and Garden

    Fri 30th March - Mon 2nd April

    Buttermere

    Fri 30th March

    Allan Bank

    Fri 30th March - Mon 2nd April

    Whitehaven Coast

    Sat 31st March

    Tarn Hows

    Fri 30th March - Mon 2nd April

    Ennerdale

    Fri 30th March - Mon 2nd April

    Townend

    Fri 30th March - Mon 2nd April

    Wray Castle

    Fri 30th March - Mon 2nd April

  18. Derwent Island House Open Day at Derwent Island

    Thu 12th April 10:15 to 14:30

    One of only five days of the year that you can visit the secluded isle and the luxurious Georgian house at its centre.

    After paddling across Derwent Water by canoe, you'll receive a 45 minute guided tour of the house. Afterwards you can explore the gardens and island as you like.

    There are eight slots available to book throughout the day, so make sure to book so you don't miss out a chance to experience this unique locale.

Bonus: Springtime Photo Opp

As well as enjoying all these activities, Easter also gives you the opportunity to enjoy something a little less structured: the hunt for a perfect bluebell picture.

Spring and Easter time mean there'll be bluebells in abundance in Cumbria. Like a brilliantly blue natural carpet, bluebells cover the ground in the spring months. And make for some truly remarkable photos.

April and May give you your best chance to find them. Three Cumbrian places notable for their bluebells are Rannerdale Knotts near Buttermere, Low Wood by Wastwater and Rusdale Valley near Newby Bridge. Have a look in these locations and you're almost guaranteed to be greeted by a floor full of the blue flowers. Or why not try and find your own little patch? Bluebells are common in woodland areas, think of the adventure you could go on to get the perfect photo?

Already got some beautiful bluebell photos? Why not send them to us and we can feature them on  the Absolute Escapes Facebook page.

Got anymore exciting things to do in the Lakes at Easter? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter and we'll see if we can improve our list. Not long left til Easter now, but if you're still looking for somewhere to stay, why not have a look at Absolute Escapes last minute Lake District holiday cottage deals?

About the author

Shirley Thomson is the owner and director of Absolute Escapes Lettings and has been for over ten years. Her passion is for the Lake District, so she established Absolute Escapes to offer a personal service to those wanting to stay in the Lakes. She deals with every part of the business herself from finding cottages and managing bookings. If you're looking for a Lake District cottage or an Eden Valley cottage, Shirley's the woman for you.

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