Organisers of the 2024 Westmorland Dales Festival say momentum is building for this unique event celebrating the area’s landscape, heritage and people.

Taking place on Saturday, July 27 and Sunday 28, a wide range of markets, activities and live music/entertainment will get under way in and around Kirkby Stephen throughout the weekend. 
Originally created in 2016 to mark the expansion of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, the festival is run by a small dedicated team of volunteers, with support from the Upper Eden CIC (Community Interest Company) and organisations like the Upper Eden Visitor Centre and Rotary Club. It has continued to grow, with this year’s two-day event billed as the biggest yet.
As well as encouraging visitors from around Cumbria and beyond, the Westmorland Dales Festival aims to support and promote the work of local artists/makers, producers and businesses, alongside local community and conservation groups.
Chair of the Westmorland Dales Festival team, Vivienne Littlefair, said: “A strong community spirit and an appreciation for this special part of the world is at the centre of everything we do. Preparation has involved everyone from local primary schools and Kirkby Stephen Youth Centre to residents of retirement housing.
“The majority of activities are free of charge. We want to encourage people to get involved and have a go, whether that’s taking part in arts and crafts, nature workshops, wild play, family games - including a treasure hunt and a vintage merry-go-round - or even circus skills. 
“There are readings from Furrow Green creative writing group and special free workshops with organisations like Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Kirkby Stephen Community Arts and Lakeland Arts which we know will really inspire people of all ages.
“Helping everyone to explore new places and sharing the sense of wellbeing the area provides are other big objectives for the festival. We have guided walks to help people discover the surrounding countryside and explore the architecture of Kirkby Stephen and a health and wellbeing drop-in with Cumbria Health in the Community. Guided tours of Kirkby Stephen’s Jubilee Park are also planned, or people can spend a morning exploring Crosby Garrett - a traditional Westmorland village which has hardly changed in centuries.”
Vivienne added: “Other highlights on the Sunday will be the growers’ and producers’ market, along with arts and crafts markets in Kirkby Stephen Parish Church. We’ll be joined by conservation and community groups on Church Green too, promoting the fantastic range of social, learning and volunteering opportunities they offer.”
For the latest news and full programme for the Westmorland Dales Festival, visit:

Marketing of this year’s event is being supported with a grant from the Lakes Hospitality Show 2024.