THE days are lengthening, daffs are appearing, and the Easter holidays will soon be upon us – so why not get out and do something!

There are events for runners, cyclists, mountain lovers and marmalade-fanciers in your Brighter March bucket list brought to you by The Cumberland.

Eden Valley Epic cycling sportive

March 1; Penrith

Start the month with a 60-mile tour of the Eden Valley in what is now regarded as a classic cycling event in the North West.

Scores of riders from across the county, southern Scotland, Lancashire, Yorkshire, and the North-East will be taking part in this undulating and beautiful route which starts at the Penrith Leisure Centre.

Words by the Water Festival

March 6-15; Theatre by the Lake, Keswick

Another glittering line-up for the Festival of Words and Ideas combines authors, poets, politicians, journalists and comedy.

Among the big names taking part are Ben Okri, Val McDermid, Deborah Moggach, Ruth Davidson, David Owen, AC Grayling, Gavin Esler, and Jenny Éclair, as well as event president Melvyn Bragg.

Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

March 9-14; The Sands, Carlisle

The hit West End and Broadway musical parks up in Carlisle for a week of extravagant costumes and crazy dance routines.

Strictly Come Dancing winner, Joe McFadden, takes the lead role, as three friends travel on a battered old bus through the Australian outback to put on the show of a lifetime, and make their own journey of self-discovery.

One person looking forward to seeing Priscilla is Tilly Lovett, from The Cumberland’s customer care hub who said: "I will always go to a musical at The Sands, and can't wait for Priscilla."

News and Star: Tilly Lovett looks forward to musicals at The SandsTilly Lovett looks forward to musicals at The Sands

Gothic Horror Stories

March 11; The Beacon, Whitehaven

We’re a long way from Hallowe’en, but Eerie Cumbria promise a spine-tingling evening with their tales of the supernatural, the eerie, and the downright scary.

Classic stories from Bram Stoker and Sheridan Le Fanu will be told. Not for the fainthearted, the event is strictly for ages 16+

Cumbria Life Home and Garden Show

March 13 -15; The Rheged Centre, Penrith

The show returns for another weekend of talks, demonstrations, and stalls crammed with great ideas for inside and outside your home.

The range of exhibitors include the best in design, craftsmanship and innovation from across the region, curated by interior designer, Maureen Whitemore, and garden designer, Liz Newport.

The World’s Original Marmalade Awards and Festival

March 14; Dalemain House, near Penrith

More than 2,000 different marmalades from around the world have been tried and tested by judges for this year’s honour.

The event takes place in the stately surroundings of Dalemain where there will also be speakers, demonstrations, and even a marmalade ‘Question Time’.  Penrith will be going orange in celebration of the festival, with special offers available in shops over the weekend.

Carlisle Half and 10k Marathon.

March 15; Brunton Park, Carlisle

Starting and finishing at Carlisle United’s stadium, as well as the half marathon and 10k runs, there is also a 2k fun run open for all levels of ability.

The course sets off from the East Stand and goes through Rickerby Park, before heading out to Linstock and Crosby and then turning back.

Hawkshead Beer Festival

March 20-22; Hawkshead Brewery, Staveley

Aimed at showcasing Cumbria’s amazing and top-quality brews, there will be more than 60 cask and keg beers from craft breweries from Cumbria and across the UK, for ale enthusiasts to try at this free event.

As well as the beer, there’s also a range of street food to sample, as well as live music.

Mother’s Day

March 22; Everywhere

We’re not going to recommend what to do or where to go to celebrate your mum.

There are loads of ace places to visit and where you can treat her to a great meal – just don’t forget the date!

Aerial Festival

March 26-29; Ambleside

This is a new event of contemporary music, literature and performance, set in and around Ambleside.

A cast of iconic and up-and-coming artists – including performance poet Kate Tempest, and Hayden Thorpe of the band Wild Beasts – will take over churches, country houses, a prehistoric stone circle, a Windermere steamboat, and even a cave, over the weekend.

Malory Towers

March 27 - April 18; Theatre by the Lake, Keswick

This is a new musical, based on the much-loved books by Enid Blyton, about a girls’ boarding school.

Nostalgic and naughty, this is the original ‘Girl Power’ story – a celebration of friendship and finding yourself, this is a show for girls, boys, and older people who still remember the joys – and pains – of growing up.

Buttermere 10 Trail Run

March 29; Round Buttermere

The 20km trail is mainly low level around the picture-perfect shores of Buttermere and Crummock Water, taking in the waterfall of Sourmilk Gill and the lovely Rannderdale Valley.

It’s an ideal route for all abilities; you do not have to be fast or an elite athlete to enter, and it’s ideal if you are new to trail running.

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