IT’S February – not Christmas and not yet Spring.  But fear not.  There are plenty of exciting, fun, and unexpected things to do this month.

Here’s your Brighter February bucket list brought to you by The Cumberland, providers of Brighter Banking from Cumbria.

FIT Cumbria Health and Fitness Show

February 1 – 2; Rheged, near Penrith

This one might change the rest of your year.  Stands, health and fitness brands galore, classes to try out, talks and workshops to spark your motivation.

Michelin-starred Afternoon Tea

HRiSHi at The Gilpin Hotel, Windermere

Rainy February day? In need of a little loveliness? They call it ‘Posh Scran,’ and they aren’t kidding. This Michelin-starred restaurant’s Afternoon Tea is a Cumbrian-themed delight, including sticky toffee pudding soaked in Lakes Distillery caramel vodka, and a very cute Percy Sheep panna cotta.

City of Lights exhibition

February 12-15; Carlisle Cathedral

Immerse yourself in an astonishing light display that will transform the city’s historic site. Inspired by the 1969 moon landing, visitors can walk through the Cathedral and experience a journey through the universe, galaxies, space, and creation, through stunning sound and light effects. 

Drag stars in adult panto

February 14; The Sands, Carlisle

Celebrate Valentine’s Day a little differently with the outrageous and hilarious adult panto Sinderella. Not the traditional version of the fairytale, this one includes stars of the Ru Paul Drag Show. Andrew Thomson and other members of The Cumberland Customer Care Hub are going. He said: “Drag is a lot of fun. I’m really looking forward to it.”

News and Star: Andrew Thomson of The Cumberland Customer Care Hub Andrew Thomson of The Cumberland Customer Care Hub

Cathedral Quarry 150 ft abseil with Path to Adventure

February 19; Near Coniston

Warwick Davis did it with ex-SAS soldier, Bear Grylls…and you, too, can abseil down the heart-stopping drop of Cathedral Quarry with the help of the expert team which worked on the ITV show.  You’ll also get a guided walk around the woods and seventeenth century slate mines at the National Trust site. 

The Boys are Back!

February 20; The Sands, Carlisle

Go on, you know you want to. A boy band feast – 911, 5IVE, A1, and Damage - all on one night. Expect non-stop Eighties and Nineties pop classics. Between them, they have hits to spare and millions of records sold worldwide.

Sounds of Dusk at Eycott Hill

February 21; Eycott Hill, near Penrith

Experience Cumbrian magic, for free. This is part of the Friends of the Lake District Dark Skies Festival. Cumbria Wildlife Trust will welcome you to its magnificent nature reserve in the Mungrisdale valley, where Atlantic salmon have recently returned to the beck. As twilight gathers, listen for short-eared owls and keep your eyes peeled for deer and badgers.

Sedbergh Book Town

Sedbergh, Westmorland Dales

Got an empty weekend? Sedbergh, the only Book Town in England, is a portal to countless discoveries. Explore Westwood Books which has 70,000 titles alone. Or Book Cafes like Al Forno Italian Kitchen, with hand-crafted pizza alongside books on Italy, or the Three Hares café where lunch – seasonal and locally sourced – is on offer, alongside a good read.  Even the chippy, Haddock Paddock, has books on the side. And a bus shelter is now a Book Shelter.

Keswick Film Festival

February 27 to March 1; Theatre by the Lake, Alhambra Cinema Keswick and Rheged near Penrith

One of the best-loved film festivals in the UK, it draws visitors from afar. Catch hits such as BAFTA or Golden Globe listed Parasite, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, The Farewell. Plus, unique offerings like the second-ever showing of Ken Russell’s Dance of the Seven Veils, banned by the BBC after its first appearance in 1970. Ken’s wife, Elize, is one of the festival’s special guests.

Home Barista Workshop

February 29; Carvetii Coffee Roasters, Threlkeld

Ever wanted to wow your friends with your barista skills? The award-winning speciality coffee experts, Carvetii, will show you how, at their roastery in the village of Threlkeld, at the foot of mighty Blencathra. Three hours of espresso heaven, from the technicalities to milk foaming and latte art.

Rhod Gilbert: The Book of John

February 29; Kendal Leisure Centre

This gig, by the award-winning Welsh comedian, is an Ents highlight for February.  He is back with a brand-new live show after a six-year break from stand-up. As seen on TV’s Rhod Gilbert’s Work Experience, Would I Lie to You, QI, Live at the Apollo and Have I Got News for You.

Earth Photo Exhibition

Until April 28; Grizedale Forest Visitor Centre, near Hawkshead

Grizedale Forest is one of only four locations in the UK to host this free exhibition on the theme of People, Nature, Place and Changing Forest. It is a competition and exhibition which starts at The Royal Geographical Society in London. Superb, intriguing photography, which will make you think about our world and what we are doing to it.