5 Things to do over Easter in the Lake District

5 Things to do over Easter in the Lake District


What’s on this Easter in the Lake District

Visitors staying with us at Easter will find that the Lake District has the country’s best range of tourist attractions, indoor and out, to suit every kind of holiday break.

We’ve picked out some of the lesser-known places to go, including a couple of visits to the theatre.

1: Our favourite garden of all is just a mile away, along the main road towards Ambleside and then right at the mini roundabout. It’s Holehird Gardens, the home of the Lakeland Horticultural Society which is marking its 50th anniversary this year.

This wonderful estate is run entirely by enthusiastic volunteers, and they open up every day from dawn till dusk.

In the walled gardens, display houses and glass houses you’ll find national collections of astilbe,  meconopsis, daboecia, and polystichum (hardy ferns). Holehird also has the Lakeland collection of hydrangeas, and stunning early flowering rhododendrons, which you’ll see as you set off up the drive.

There’s no admission charge but a recommended donation of £5. You will certainly think this is worthwhile.


2. Another lovely garden can be found just a little further along the road towards Ambleside, at Stagshaw. This is a small National Trust estate with a woodland garden that bursts into colour and life in the spring. Following rambling paths you’ll come across unusual combinations of shrubs, trees and plants, with splendid native oaks, and a wonderful display of bluebells. The views across Windermere are special, too.

There’s no admission charge, and just a small car park. So why not walk along the back road from Ambleside through Skelghyll Wood.


3.The new season at the Theatre by the Lake in Keswick gets under way with a co-production by David Pugh and Dafydd Rogers of the Willy Russell comedy Educating Rita. You may remember the film version with Michael Caine and Julie Walters, but here we have a more recent star favourite in the lead, Stephen Tompkinson.

His television credits include ITV’s Torvill & Dean, BBC’s The Split, five series of DCI Banks, four series of Trollied, seven series of Wild at Heart, six series of Drop the Dead Donkey (British Comedy Award Winner for Best TV Comedy Actor) and three series of Ballykissangel, and his films include Brassed Off.  

The play won the Olivier award in the West End when it was first produced by the RSC. We have every faith that this will be as brilliant as everything we’ve seen over the last few years at the Theatre by the Lake.


4. On the other hand, we have absolutely no idea what to expect from the latest production by Ambleside Players – although it will be hilarious. This talented amateur group puts on a play every Easter, and this time it’s a crime comedy, Death by Fatal Murder.  We understand it features the hapless and hopeless Inspector Pratt whose record of crime detection at Bagshot House is not impressive. There are bodies piling up as usual, and once again it promises to be a chaotic experience. The shows by the Players are VERY popular and it’s advised you book in advice, either online or at Fred Holdsworth’s Bookshop in Ambleside. Venue is the town’s Kelsick Centre.


5. If you’re new to the Lakes, or don’t have much experience of walking in the fells, why not try one of the guided walks organised by the Lake District National Park. They are organised to suit different levels of ability and experience, with some lovely seasonal themes. It might be just too late for the famous daffodils walk, but what about trying a bit of industrial history with a walk into Coniston’s fascinating Coppermines Valley. You’ll learn about the history and archaeology of this beautiful part of Lakeland and hear stories of the many men, women and children who lived and worked here. There’s a full programme over the Easter holiday on the website.


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