The Lake District is famous for its magnificent mountains and beautiful waters, but dig a little deeper and you'll find a thriving hub of theatres, art galleries and exhibitions in its towns and villages. Experience our region's creative spirit at these local cultural attractions:
Location: Cockermouth - a 10 minute drive from the Pheasant
This boutique arts space is housed in a former Victorian school and brings a dynamic programme of theatre, arts performances and local events to the people of Cockermouth and beyond. The intimate theatre space has a capacity of 125 - meaning you'll always have a great view of the action. The Kirkgate Centre is run by loyal team of volunteers who also stage Arts Out West, the region's popular rural touring arts programme.
What's on: Young celtic band The Outside Track brings its fusion of Scottish, Irish and Canadian music to the Kirkgate on 16th June. The Centre is also staging screenings of alternative films throughout the summer including Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, on 4th June.
From the outside, Castlegate House is a beautiful Georgian building almost untouched by time since 1777. But inside it’s a bold tribute to 20th century and contemporary British art, passionately curated by husband and wife team Steve and Christine Swallow. Castlegate House is one of the north's leading galleries and it has international reputation too, with works by renowned artists Grayson Perry, Frank Auerbach, Percy Kelly and many more.
What's on: Ewan McClure, former winner of the BP and Sky portrait prizes, brings his latest exhibition to the Castlegate House Gallery from 30th June to the 20th July.
Location: Penrith, a 30 minute drive from the Pheasant
Rheged is a historic attraction, entertainment complex, foodie destination, and exhibition space all rolled into one and is built into a hill! Here you can watch live-streamed opera and ballet on the big screen, check out the rolling calendar of gallery exhibitions or sign up for the many talks and workshops staged throughout the year.
What's on: Watch legendary violinist André Rieu’s annual concert in his home town of Maastricht – live streamed in Rheged's cinema on Saturday 28th July.
Location: Keswick, 15 minutes drive from the Pheasant
We challenge you to find a more beautiful theatre location than the shores of Derwentwater with fells and forests in the distance. Theatre by the Lake matches its incredible surroundings with a diverse programme of in-house productions, visiting events from drama and dance to comedy and music, and festivals of literature, jazz, film and mountains.
What's on: Catch Alan Bennett's award-winning comedy play ‘Secret Spies’ , revealing the fascinating lives of two notorious spies, from 14th June to 24th October.
Location: Carlisle Castle, 40 minutes drive from the Pheasant
Not a permanent cultural attraction, but we had to include the iconic Weeping Window poppy sculpture which commemorates lives lost in the First World War. Created by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper, the artistic installation is coming to Carlisle Castle from 23rd May to 8th< July – thousands of handmade poppies will cascade from the top of the castle's keep in a sea of red flowing down the grassy banks. Weeping Window is set to attract visitors from across the country, so don't miss it if you're visiting the Lake District in the next few weeks.