With the early warm, sunny weather it’s not only the daffodils that are bursting out for spring across Cumbria – it has sparked my imagination off as to all the wonderful things we will be doing this year.
Taking a walk around Derwentwater last month, you could hear and see all the local people busy preparing for the season ahead. From repairing boats and boathouses, to painting the fronts of shops and businesses. Cumbria in winter is a hive of activity, when everyone is working hard to ensure their cottage, café or commercial activity is looking good for when the many tourists return.
But you don’t have to wait until Easter to enjoy some great Cumbrian traditions and events. March really does kick off a year of great things to do in Cumbria – as well as walking, climbing and sailing.
Here are the top five things I’m looking forward to doing this March:
1. Words by the Water
It’s the 18thCumbrian literature festival at Theatre by the Lake – an inspirational two weeks of talks, exhibitions and readings.
If you never been before, just take the time out to attend just one hour long event and you’ll be hooked.
This year, we will be blogging live from the event, to give you a flavour of the wide range of speakers who come to the officially friendliest theatre in the North West. I have never failed to leave a words by the Water event without feeling inspired and informed.
You can book single events or block tickets. Words by the Water runs from Friday, March 8 to Sunday, March 17. There’s full information on the Words by the Water websitewhere you can also book places.
2. Cumbria Home & Garden Show
The Cumbria Life Home & Garden Show in partnership with Buzy Lizzie Garden Design and Whitemore & Tywaytes Interiors is a three-day event packed with displays and shopping opportunities on several floors of the Rheged Visitor Centre – and also a weekend of talks and demonstrations. Some of the talks are free, and included in the price of your entry ticket, others you need to book in advance and pay for.
It is amazing how many original, talented designers, crafts people and artisans there are in this area, and there is always something new to inspire.
The quality of the work on sale, and the unique nature of the items on display is amazing.
This year I am looking forward to attending the talk on making your home flood resilient – something we need to know about living next to the River Eden and being flooded in 2015!
This event brings the practical and the beautiful together under the grass covered froof of Rheged, Penrith.
Cumbria Home & Garden Show 2019 runs from Friday, March 15 to Sunday, March 17. There are full details of the exhibitors, demonstrators and speakers, as well as ticket prices for the day and weekend on the Rheged website.
3. The World’s Original Marmalade Awards & Festival
From a marmalade competition at a country house to an international town event – the World’s Original marmalade awards and Festival has come a long way in 14 years! Dalemain Mansion near Ullswater is the heart and home of the event, which Jane Hasell-McCosh launched after reading an ancestors marmalade recipe she found in the stately home.
From a day event it has become a weekend festival with near-by Penrith Chamber of Trade promoting Turn Penrith Orange, with music, dancing and arts taking place in the streets of the historic market town. There are events of kids, and a real buzz in the town throughout the day – even Paddington Bear pays a visit. The entries for this year’s competition have closes, however that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the festival itself, and even try some of the award winning marmalade. There’s lots of information about the festival on the Dalemain website
4. Comics: Explore and Create Comic Art
Cumbria is becoming something of a comic art centre, with The Lakes International Comic Art Festival in October. And to wet comic book fans appetites, Rheged has an exhibition from Seven Stories, The National centre for Children’s Books on now. Comics: Explore and Create Comic Art runs until April 22, 2019.
If you are more a Denis the Menace, Minnie the Minx or Oor Wullie comic follower this is an exhibition for you. There are the original drawings from the 1940s. There’s also Marvel and DC Comics work drawn by the British artist Ian Churchill.– I am so looking forward to seeing this exhibition, as there is an opportunity to create your own DIY comic as part of this event. There’s more information about the exhibition on the Rheged website.
5. Visiting Wordsworth Daffodil Garden
The unseasonal weather has brought out the daffodils well before the late Easter this year, so those coming for the bank holiday may have missed Wordsworth’s inspiration for his poem Daffodils – but I am determined to wander lonely as a cloud to visit his garden this month before the yellow blooms fade. Situated in the heart of Grasmere, I’ve only visited Wordsworth’s Daffodil Garden in the winter.
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