• 16 November 2017

    Lake District Festive Fun

    Santa's reindeer

    We love Christmas time in the Lakes when all the towns and villages look even prettier with their Christmas lights and decorations, we are often lucky enough to get a backdrop of snow covered fells too. There are some wonderful Christmassy events over the next few weeks so we have shared a few of our favourites.

    Kendal Christmas Lights Switch On – Sunday 19th November

    Santa has already set off with his reindeer from the North Pole to make it to Kendal for this Sunday. The streets are transformed into a sparkling, twinkling winter wonderland after Santa is pulled through the town by his trusty reindeer to turn on the Christmas lights. Plenty of festive fun throughout the afternoon with mince pies, mulled wine and live entertainment.

    Coniston Lights Switch On – Friday 24th November

    Coniston make a real party of their event with the whole village joining in. Entertainment from 3.30pm including a lantern procession through the picturesque streets after which Father Christmas will do the honours and turn on the lights. If you have never visited Coniston this is a great excuse to explore a lovely Lakeland village.

    Keswick Traditional Victorian Christmas Fayre – Sunday 3rd December

    Keswick is always a popular town to visit and their Christmas Fayre has a fabulously festive atmosphere that is guaranteed to get even the most Scrooge like people in the Christmas mood. Over 30 market stalls, live music, entertainment from quirky local characters and of course Santa will be hiding out in his Grotto where you can visit him and his six Cairngorm reindeer.

    Windermere Christmas Market – Saturday 9th / Sunday 10th December

    Just up the road from us Windermere host a fantastic, family friendly celebration of Christmas, it’s so good it runs right across the weekend so you get two days to enjoy the festivities. Record numbers of market stalls are expected this year so great if you want to get that Christmas shopping sorted with plenty of food, drink and craft stalls to look around, many of them local producers. Don’t forget to take a break from the Christmas shopping to enjoy the entertainment, live musical performances and of course Father Christmas. They have even ordered some snow so you have the perfect Christmassy day out.

    Carols Around the Tree. Allan Bank. Grasmere – Saturday 16th December

    Don’t just keep your singing voice for the shower, come and join in an afternoon of carol singing at the beautifully picturesque Allan Bank. Enjoy a traditional afternoon singing carols around the Christmas tree at this stunning National Trust location. Spend the day and explore the many walks nearby or make yourself comfy next to the fire in the impressive Allan Bank property as you gaze out at the stunning views with your mug of something hot and a homemade mince pie.

    We are only a short drive away from all these places so why not treat yourself to a pre-Christmas break and have some festive fun in the Lake District.  

  • The weeks are flying by and Christmas is just around the corner but have you ever wondered where some of our favourite traditions came from? One more recent tradition we all look forward to is the Ambleside Christmas Lights event which this year takes place on Saturday 18th November. Santa will arrive not by his traditional sleigh but by steamer across Windermere Lake, although he will revert back to his usual mode of transport once he arrives in Ambleside. There then follows a lantern procession followed by a fantastic firework display to officially celebrate the start to the Christmas countdown.

    Here are a few of our favourite traditions and how they came about

    Christmas cards

    We all love receiving and sending cards, nothing says Christmas is on it’s way than sitting down with your glass of wine and Christmas songs to write your cards. There wasn’t much festive spirit on the minds of the then Public Records Office (now the Post Office) when they introduced them in 1843 as a way to encourage people to use their services and boost business. By 1900 the tradition had caught on throughout Europe and we were all busy sending Christmas cards.

    Mince pies

    You can never eat too many mince pies, although it’s probably a good thing we only scoff them at Christmas. There’s nothing better than a homemade one with a big dollop of cream! Early mince pies actually included meat in them along with other fruits and spices thanks to Middle Eastern cuisine influences brought back by the Crusaders. Commonly they had 13 ingredients and were an oval shape, thankfully by Victorian times the meat had disappeared and they more closely resembled the mince pies we munch through today.


    The excitement begins on Christmas morning when you jump out of bed to see what Santa has left in your stocking! This tradition goes back St Nicholas, or the Gift Giver as he was also named, when he once dropped bags of gold down the chimney of a poor man who had no dowry for his unmarried daughters. The gold fell into the stockings he had left hanging to dry and the tradition was born. Unfortunately the only gold you are likely to get now in your stocking is the foil wrapped chocolate coins.

    Christmas crackers

    Christmas dinner isn’t complete without a few bangs, dodgy jokes and the obligatory paper hat that never fits properly and ends up floating in your gravy. London sweet maker, Tom Smith, can be credited with the invention of the Christmas cracker back in the late 1840’s. Inspired by paper-wrapped French bonbons they didn’t actuallybecome popular until he added the ‘bang’ when you pulled them.

    Christmas pudding

    A Christmas tradition we definitely couldn’t live without and one we always find room for even after a monster sized portion of Christmas dinner. The pudding can be traced right back to the Middle Ages but it wasn’t until the mid 17th century when it evolved into the dessert more recognisable of today with dried fruit and alcohol. Plum pudding was favoured by the Victorians and was traditionally made a week before Advent, known as ‘Stir up Sunday’.

    Why not join us for the annual Ambleside lights event, it’s a great weekend full of festive fun and Christmassy magic.


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