Top 10 Festive Things to in the Lake District this Christmas

November 24, 2023

‘Tis almost the season to stock up on mulled wine, don your hat, scarf and gloves, and start planning cosy breaks in the Lakes. Whether you’re an adventure seeker, cosy craft lover or are simply looking for a base to spend some quality time with your nearest and dearest, the Lake District has it all! You could…

1. Explore the Christmas Markets

The Lake District, adorned with quaint villages and traditional market towns, lends itself perfectly to the annual Christmas markets. With various events running throughout November and December, there’s bound to be some festivities you can get involved in, whether it’s a Christmas light switch-on or fully-fledged Christmas markets. 

Some upcoming festive events in the Lake District and Cumbria include:


2. Plan a getaway with your loved ones

The Christmas period is a chance to make up for lost time with your nearest and dearest, making it a popular time for large group get-togethers. However, finding somewhere to stay that is equal parts cosy and still large enough to fit the family can be somewhat challenging.

Introducing Highgate! This stunning heritage farmhouse is nestled away in the North Lakes countryside and is an absolute haven for escaping the hustle and bustle. Sleeping up to 10 of your nearest and dearest in five spacious bedrooms, three of which are en-suite, there is plenty of room for everybody. Not only that, Highgate also boasts a spacious family kitchen, a spacious sitting room with a log burning stove and a large family room come playroom. 

If your family gathering is bigger still, we also have Home Farm House (sleeps 6) and Lacet Cottage (sleeps 4) close by, in addition to a selection of cosy cabins that sleep 2.


3. Get crafty with a Christmas workshopNeedle felt a Santa and a Snowman with Gill Ferguson - Rheged

Instead of buying Christmas presents this year, what if you could make them instead?

From wreath-making workshops to crafting your own unique Christmas decoration, try your hand at a new creative skill and leave with your very own souvenir to gift to a loved one (or keep it for yourself!).

Rheged in Penrith and Keswick-based The Maker’s Mill offers some brilliant craft workshops all year round, and every winter they add a few extra classes that are fabulously festive. Whether it’s needle-felting sweet snowmen or stained glass art, there’s a little something for everyone looking to try something different.


4. See the snow-capped mountains on the Ullswater Steamer

An unforgettable Lake District experience, there is no sight quite so breathtaking as witnessing the snowy mountain peaks from the lake itself. Running 363 days of the year, climb aboard the Ullswater Steamer for a truly unique boat trip through the vast Ullswater Valley.

The boat trip takes roughly one hour each way, with the option to stop off and explore Pooley Bridge, Howtown and Glenridding. Be sure to have your camera at the ready, as unparalleled views of the third-highest peak in the Lake District, Helvellyn, form part of the spectacle, too.

What’s more, during the wintertime, you can enjoy a special seasonal saving when visiting between October and January. Win-win!

Find out more information and book your day trip here.

North Lakes Hotel & Spa - Festive Afternoon Tea Menu

5. Indulge in a festive afternoon tea

Food, glorious food! Because what’s a Christmas celebration without a festive feast to get you feeling merry?

With spiced scones, perfectly tiny pastries and festive finger sandwiches, indulging in a festive afternoon tea is the perfect way to gather up your nearest and dearest all while satisfying your sweet tooth.

Some of the most popular festive afternoon teas can be found at The Daffodil, The North Lakes Hotel and The Borrowdale Hotel, all of which sit within a 30-minute radius of our properties here at Hutton John Estate, so you won’t have to venture too far for delicious sweet treats.


Grasmere Gingerbread Shop | The World's Best Gingerbread6. Savour the taste of Christmas with Grasmere Gingerbread

While we’re on the topic of food, a trip to the Lake District isn’t quite complete without trying out some delicious Cumbrian delicacies, including none other than the iconic Grasmere Gingerbread.

Dating all the way back to 1854 when its founder Sarah Nelson opened up her very own shop, tourists from far and wide flock to the quiet and quaint village of Grasmere to taste this delectable sweet treat, renowned for its top-secret recipe that guarantees top-notch gingerbread.

As you step foot inside the gingerbread shop, you’ll be greeted by the aromatic scent of spiced ginger, cinnamon, and freshly baked biscuits, the true smell of a cosy Christmas. In fact, they even have a candle with their signature scent.

And, while you likely won’t want to share, the shop offers a plethora of present ideas, from Christmas puddings to perfectly packaged gingerbread, ideal for treating a foodie friend or family member this Christmas.


No photo description available.

7. Get cosy in a traditional pub

After a day exploring the stunning winter scenery and impressive Lakes landscape, nothing compares to stepping into a warm and welcoming traditional pub adorned with cosy Christmas decorations, roaring fires and delicious hearty meals to refuel.

Lucky for us, we’re situated in a county that is spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding on the perfect pub to warm up in. A few of our favourites, though, include the Queen’s Head in Askham, Horse and Farrier in Dacre and the Dog & Gun in Skelton.


8. Visit Santa’s Grotto

If you’re heading to the Lake District with the little ones in tow this Christmas time, it’s a rite of passage to meet the big man himself! Head over to Hayes Garden World in Ambleside from 3rd November – 23rd December where a winter wonderland awaits, filled to the brim with merry magic.

After exploring the grotto, and meeting a few of Santa’s little helpers on the way, warm up with a hot chocolate and cinnamon spiced doughnut in the cafe.


9. Enjoy a festive spa day

If your break to the Lakes is more of a child-free retreat, then how about a festive spa day instead? From seasonal spa days complete with mulled wine-scented rasul spa treatments at the Falls Spa to cosy evening spa sessions on a crisp winter evening at Another Place, add a little pampering to your festive getaway.

Looking for something a little more intimate? Enjoy your very own spa day from the comfort of your home from home in one of our countryside cabins. Complete with a wood-fired hot tub overlooking the rewilded Brow Wood and the fells surrounding Ullswater, you can recreate your very own Twilight spa session under the clear, starry skies of Cumbria. Even if snow is falling around you on a cool December night, you’re guaranteed to be toasty warm!


10. Head out on a wholesome winter walk

Whether enjoying a leisurely stroll along the lakeshore or you’re on a mission to tick off the Wainwright’s, the colder season guarantees some of the best views around. With wonderful white landscapes and frosty fells, nothing feels more festive than walking in a winter wonderland! Take a look at some of our favourite local walks here.

Remember to always wrap up warm when heading out in the wintertime, and plan your journey sensibly. The fluffy snow may look inviting, but the ice underfoot is not!

Have we got you feeling festive? Mission accomplished! Now all that’s left to do is plan your unforgettable Lake District getaway. Take your pick from our cosy cabins, designed just for two, or our family-friendly cottages, ideal for gathering up the troops.

Click here to view all of the latest availability and pricing.

Three beautiful and lovingly restored cottages. Where heritage meets modern-day living. 

Sleeps 4, 6, or 10.

Four contemporary cabins, immersed in nature. Where the outdoors meets luxury. 

Sleeps 2.

Passed down through generations, our family and history are at the heart of the approximately 300 acre Hutton John Estate.

any questions?

If you have any questions or queries about the Estate, or our Accommodation, get in touch.