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What’s on in Cumbria this Christmas.

The festive period is fast approaching and Laura Earl, Cumbrian mum-of-four and founder of The Hiking Household, has found some local Christmas attractions where she hopes to take her brood during this winter. Here are her recommendations:

Christmas is one of the most magical times of year for little ones and for my four children it is no exception. We really are so fortunate as there is so much to do around Cumbria at this time of the year. If, like my family, you love a Christmas pantomime, festive walk and a winter market then you will love some of our suggestions below. We’ve provided a round up of the activities on offer that we think are perfect for the whole family. What’s more you can get to each activity all via Stagecoach’s buses, perfect for us parents who have more than enough to do this festive period so why not let someone else drive for a change?

Family Friendly Christmas Productions:

A Little Princess (age 6+) Theatre by the Lake, Keswick
Bus route: X4, X5, 554, 555, 78
Bus stop: Keswick Bus Station

This year’s seasonal production at Theatre by the Lake is a new adaptation to the children’s classic The Secret Garden. This uplifting story about the power of imagination and friendship is sure to be a hit for all the family. A Little Princess runs from 17th Nov until the 7th January.


Wolf (age 0-6) Theatre by the Lake, Keswick
Bus route: X4, X5, 554, 555, 78
Bus stop: Keswick Bus Station

Enjoy this magical winter adventure and find out what happens when Jack cries WOLF! A fabulous production for those with younger children.
It runs from the 12th of December until the 31st of December.

The Gingerbread Man (age 3-10) Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal
Bus route: Many routes in Kendal
Bus stop: Kendal Bus Station

This year’s Brewery Arts Christmas Show is the classic tale of The Gingerbread Man. Enjoy a wonderful family performance with live action, puppetry, music and great humour. A show not to be missed!
Performances 14th December until Christmas Eve.


Beauty and the Beast Christmas Pantomime Rheged Centre, Penrith.

Bus Route: X4

Bus Stop: Rheged Discovery Centre

Join us at Rheged this Christmas for a fun packed show full of pantomime fun and comedy! Watch Belle fall in love with the Beast in this magical, family friendly performance.

Performances 28th and 29th December


Jack and the Beanstalk, The Forum, Barrow.

This Christmas The Forum presents their very own Jack and the Beanstalk pantomime. Expect fun, laughter and a lot of mischief as you watch the hero Jack climb to new heights to save his sweetheart, Princess Jill, from Giant Blundebore’s castle in Cloudland. A fun performance for the whole family.

Performances from 12th December until the 30th of December.


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A Family visit to Santa:

Santa’s Grotto, Dobbies, Orton Grange, Carlisle
Bus service: 300, 400, 554 and 600
Bus stop: Cranstons

This extremely popular event is a must see for little ones hoping to meet Santa before Christmas Day. This magical adventure takes families through the enchanted forest where an elf will guide you to find the Little Seedling characters. Your experience will end with an opportunity to meet with Santa and receive your gift. Be quick as tickets can sell out fast.

Father Christmas tea party, The World of Beatrix Potter, Bowness-on-Windermere.
Bus Service: 6, 599, 755

Bus Stop: Bowness

Join us for a very special tea party where you will meet Father Christmas in this wonderful winter wonderland. There will be a showing of the Christmas classic The Snowman, a delicious festive afternoon tea and of course the chance to meety meet Father Christmas himself! Please note this event takes place in the Laundrama party venue which is just across from the Attraction on Rayrigg Road.  Selected dates from the 2nd to the 10th of December.


Santa’s Grotto at Honister Slate Mine, Keswick.

Bus Service: X4 to Keswick then 77A towards Lorton

Bus Stop: Youth Hostel

An experience not to be missed! Beginning at the Honister Slate Mine you take a bus, with your extra special elf guide, to the secret wonderland. Navigating through this underground realm and stepping into the secret underground winter wonderland. Children, and adults, will be amazed. Finally, in a magnificent, glowing cavern, you’ll meet Santa Claus himself and receive a special gift from Santa, a token of the magic you’ve discovered on this exciting underground adventure. Selected dated from the 18th November until the 23rd December.


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Christmas Markets in Cumbria:

Carlisle Christmas Market, Carlisle

Bus services: multiple services into Carlisle

Bus stop: Carlisle Bus Stop

When: 1st-17th December. Carlisle city centre will be transformed into a festive winter wonderland this December with the return of the Carlisle Christmas Market. Featuring local and visiting traders, the market will have over 40 Alpine style chalets selling a wide range of gifts, crafts, food and drink.


Keswick Victorian Fayre, Keswick.

Bus services: X4, X5, 554, 555, 78

Bus stop: Keswick Bus Station

When: 3rd December. Enjoy free live entertainment on stage in the Market Place and Packhorse Court this Christmas including bands, choirs, dancers and a children’s funfair. There will be over 30 charity stalls, both local and national, selling a selection of Christmas homemade crafts, produce and festive food and drink.

Taste Cumbria Christmas, Cockermouth
Bus services: X4, X5, 600
Bus stop: Main Street

When: 10th and 11th December. Get in to the festive spirit and head down and enjoy the county’s favourite food festival where you will be treated to so much more than just food and drink at this Christmas event! There will be gifts and homewares, seasonal specials and incredible sweet and savoury treats. Lets not forget the live music, fairground rides and children activities! A whole family event. See

Hurry to Bethlehem Carol Service, Carlisle Cathedral.

Bus services: multiple services into Carlisle

Bus stop: Carlisle Bus Station

When: 17th December. A special selection of carols, sung by the Cathedral Consort, at this relaxed Sunday afternoon service. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of your Christmas shopping with us. All welcome! Free entry.

For all Christmas events at Carlisle Cathedral see

Don’t forget to use the Stagecoach bus journey planner to find the best bus routes to get you there. All you need to do is pop a few details into the Stagecoach bus route planner to find routes, times and up-to-date service announcements –

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