Half-term guide: what's on in Cumbria

The Muncaster Festival concludes with the International Jesters Tournament
The Muncaster Festival concludes with the International Jesters Tournament

The final half-term holiday of the school year is upon us, which means that there isn't too long to wait until the big summer break.

But before that, there's still so much happening across Cumbria, from outdoor adventures to indoor activities.

Here's our guide to some of what's coming up this half-term.

Friday May 26 to Monday 29
SUP Fest - Lake District Paddle Boarding, Keswick, presents its annual Stand Up Paddleboarding festival, which is all about the paddleboarding, getting together with other paddlers, and new paddlers, camping, hanging out, eating and drinking.


Saturday May 27
Beatrix Potter Magic Lantern Show - a traditional magic lantern show in the Old Laundry Theatre studio, Bowness, where Beatrix Potter tells her own story, from childhood onward, discovering herself as an illustrator, story writer, biologist, conservationist and farmer.

Party in the Park - the free party at Vulcan Park, in Workington, will be packed with live music on the Melodrome Stage, a fun fair, children’s entertainment including craft activities, face painting and storytelling, and a local market. The event has been organised to celebrate Workington's 20th anniversary of twinning with the French Town of Val De Reuil.

Saturday May 27 and Sunday 28
Taste Cumbria - returns to Ulverston for the fourth year, and there is more happening than ever before. One of the highlights of this two-day extravaganza will see the Sir John Barrow Monument turned into a Michelin-starred restaurant.

Saturday May 27 to Monday 29
Binoculars and Telescopes Open Weekend - RSPB Leighton Moss, near Silverdale, offers an opportunity to try out binoculars, telescopes and digiscoping and receive impartial advice.

Saturday May 27 to Saturday June 3
Pixie People and Fairy Folk - at Lowther Castle and Gardens, a week of whimsical fun gives visitors a chance to catch a glimpse of the magical world where the little people dance and play. Make your own wand and head dress and take part in other activities in the Wonderland Workshop, or follow the Fabulous Fairy and Plucky Pixie Trail through the enchanted gardens.

Sunday May 28
Classic Cars in the Park - the popular event is back at Hutton-in-the-Forest, where visitors to this stunning historic house, near Penrith will be treated to displays of classic cars, light commercials, motorcycles and classic Land Rovers, as well as an exciting auto jumble and a host of trade stands.

Tuesday May 30
Spring Animals with Silverband - at Brockhole, near Windermere, meet sugar gliders, baby guinea pigs, fluffy chicks, lizards and baby owls and have the opportunity to handle them.

Sunday May 28 to Tuesday 30
Muncaster Festival - at Muncaster Castle and Gardens, families can enjoy the ever-popular event, culminating in the International Jesters Tournament on the final day. There’s plenty to keep you occupied, including circus and ukulele workshops, walkabout comedy, bands and orchestra, face painting, archery, chainsaw carving and Meet the Ancestors with Wild Dog Outdoors.

Sunday May 28 and Wednesday May 31
Tea With Peter Rabbit - the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction, Bowness, hosts a scrumptious party lunch with your favourite Beatrix Potter character, Peter Rabbit.

Wednesday May 31
May Fairy Day - at Kirklinton Hall and Gardens, Magical Mel and her troop of fairies and elves will allow families to trip down to see her in her glen, whilst also enjoying lots of activities, stalls and food.

Animal Handling - Wetheriggs Animal Sanctuary will holding their ever-popular animal handling sessions at the Dock Museum, in Barrow. Visitors will get to meet and stroke a selection of cute and cuddly animals, including rabbits, chicks, ducklings a lamb and a kid. Advanced booking is essential.

Lempen Puppet Theatre Company - the Coronation Hall, Ulverston, welcomes storyteller, Peter Grimm for an unusual journey that weaves it’s way through a medley of well known Brothers Grimm tales, to finally unlock his imagination and free his stories.

Thursday June 1
Free Crafting - join the National Trust for free crafting at the Dock Museum, Barrow, exploring the heritage of Fell Foot Park using natural resources. This pop-in workshop runs from 11am, with final participants joining in at 3pm.

Messel's Makers - visitors to the reimagined Rosehill Theatre, Moresby, will learn the art of mosaic, creating scenes inspired by Oliver Messel’s way of reusing and repurposing materials that we throw away or recycle in everyday life. The Mini Messel’s Makers craft workshops teach new skills and you can take home some crafts to treasure.

Steam to the Hills - join a Lake District National Park Ranger at Ravenglass Station for a guided walk back to the sea over Muncaster Fell after riding on the Ravenglass and Eskdale railway.

ZooLab - the circus-themed show features some of the animal kingdom’s most amazing contortionists, acrobats and weightlifters. Expect to meet, touch and handle some amazing creatures including giant African land snail, cockroach, snake, tree frog and much more, with three sessions at Rheged, near Penrith.

Wildlife Story Time - join Becca from West Cumbria Rivers Trust at Florence Arts Centre, Egremont, for an exciting story about local animals, and to create and share your own stories. Becca has a huge store of random wildlife facts and loves to be tested.

Thursday June 1 and Friday 2
Whitsun Wordsworth - Wordsworth House and Garden, Cockermouth, will put the seal on a great Whitsun holiday, as visitors taste flowers and touch bugs with some guidance from a costumed servant, just as the young Wordsworths would have done. Sessions run at 11.30am and 2.30pm both days.

Fairy Fun - Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway is offering free child travel when a child is dressed as a fairy, mermaid, elf, unicorn, or any other mythical creature, and travelling with a full fare-paying adult. There will also be Magical Station Gardens at each end of the line, and a Unicorn Trail for young visitors.

Talkin Adventure - activity day camps run at Talkin Tarn, near Carlisle, full of activities such as archery, canoeing, kayaking, orienteering and raft building. These days are aimed at ages eight to 14, and lunch is included.

Friday June 2
Don't Dribble on the Dragon - the fabulous new book by Steven Lee is brought to life at Rheged, near Penrith, with magic designed by TV legend Paul Daniels. Tom is a toddler with a cool older brother, a secret dragon, and a dribbling problem that just won’t stop.

Beatrix Potter Craft Day - at the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction, Bowness, enjoy some fun and free crafts and take home what you make.

Friday June 2 to Sunday 4
Kendal Walking Festival 2017 - the inaugural festival features 23 guided walks of varied difficulties and events in and around Kendal. Each walk is guided by a walking enthusiast from one of Kendal’s many walking groups who’ve offered their expertise because of their love of Kendal and its surrounding area.

Saturday June 3
#30DaysWild - at Eycott Hill Nature Reserve, near Penrith, celebrate the start of the month-long nature challenge at this family fun day and get some fantastic ideas for Random Acts of Wildness.


Osprey Evening - join reserves officer Paul Waterhouse at Foulshaw Moss, near Grange, for a talk, followed by a guided walk to the viewing platform to see them for ourselves at the best time of the day.

Throughout half-term

Old Hall Farm - the historic working farm reopened this spring ahead of the half-term holidays, and among the new attractions are a Milk Bar serving all kinds of dairy delights including Jersey milk coffees, hot chocolates and new milkshakes.

Fairy & Dragon World - at Hayes Garden Centre, in Ambleside, you can explore the Enchanted Forest, visit the Toadstool Café and leave with a special gift bag.

Alpaca Walking Experience - at Lingholm Estate, near Keswick, this new experience offers visitors the chance to walk and paddle on the shores of Derwentwater with the Alpacaly Ever After alpacas.

Free Rock Climbing - the King Kong climbing tower will be in place at Rheged, near Penrith, where children can scale the walls for free in a safe environment.

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