Nightlife & Entertainment in the Lake District

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Whether you fancy spending cold rainy nights nestled by the fire while supping on a pint of local ale, or prefer to while away evenings tapping your foot to local jazz or indie bands, nightlife and entertainment in the Lake District is vibrant and varied. In summer you can head to a beer garden to enjoy an evening drink in the fresh night air.




The Lake District’s swathed with hearty inns and historic pubs. Some of these are centuries old, brimming with traditional charm – think dark wood beams, low ceilings, and higgledy doorways – while others are hubs for local craft brews and live music.


Hawkshead Brewery


The light and airy beer hall at this acclaimed brewery near Staveley is the perfect place to stop off for a pint or two. Shrug down into a sofa for an evening tasting top-notch ales, including the much-loved Hawkshead Bitter. If you’re not a fan of the hop, try a glass of white wine, directly imported from France. Plus there’s regular live music at weekends in the bar.


Staveley Mill Yard, Back Lane, Staveley, Cumbria LA8 9LR. Tel:+44 1539 822644


Hawkshead Brewery website
The Masons Arms


This traditional inn oozes vintage charm – its walls are filled with brass knick-knacks and its snug rooms scattered with quirky old furniture. In winter, warm up next to a log fire, or in summer find a spot on the terrace to appreciate views down a steep hillside over the Winster Valley. There are also particularly idyllic fell views towards Whitbarrow Scar.


Strawberry Bank, Cartmell Fell, Cumbria LA11 6NW. Tel:+44 1539 568486


The Masons Arms website


Live music venues


If you enjoy live music you can take your pick in the Lake District. From local bands strumming guitars in packed-out pubs to choral singing groups performing at summer festivals, there’s plenty to choose from. Local inns are a great place to start, or you can head to an arts centre like the one listed below.


The Brewery Arts Centre


You might be lucky enough to have your visit coincide with a live music show at this vibrant Kendal-based arts centre. Acts include everything from jazz and blues singers to folk groups, reggae, and indie bands. There’s also an on-site cinema, and a theatre showing drama, spoken word, and comedy performances.


122A Highgate, Kendal, Cumbria LA9 4HE. Tel:+44 1539 725133


The Brewery Arts Centre website




Many local drama groups perform to much acclaim year-round at either the Lake District’s theatres or festivals. To catch a top-notch group of performers in action, head to the venue listed below.


Theatre by the Lake


Nestled among the Lake District’s spectacular western fells a short wander from Derwentwater, Theatre by the Lake has a pair of stages, the 400-seat Main House and a smaller Studio seating 100. As well as its resident actors, the theatre hosts visiting companies, and plays here have received multi-star reviews from local and national critics.


Lakeside, Keswick, Cumbria CA12 5DJ. Tel:+44 1768 774411


Theatre by the Lake website




Whether you’re a film buff or a family looking for some evening entertainment, a trip to the cinema’s always fun. You can catch up with the latest blockbuster or enjoy an arthouse film at one of the area’s independent showings.




The cinema at this buzzing arts centre has 5 screens, a few of which offer 3D movies. The cinema also supports new and upcoming talents, showcasing a range of independent, small budget and art films. Post-flick, you can head upstairs to enjoy cocktails in the bar while listening to some soothing live jazz music.


Compston Road, Ambleside, Cumbria LA22 9DJ. Tel:+44 1539 433845


Zeffirellis website