Lake District Summer Shows and Fairs
10 June 2024

Lake District summer shows and fairs have been a familiar fixture on the calendar for as long as we can remember. What started out as small agricultural shows that enabled farmers to showcase their livestock have developed into much bigger events, such as the Cartmel Show, which will take place on Wednesday 7 August. Many shows today still focus on livestock, but visitors can now enjoy entertainment, sports and competitions.  

We're lucky enough to have around twenty summer shows and fairs in the Lake District. Below we take a look at a few of our favourites, and all relatively close to either our Windermere cottages or our Ullswater cottages. These events are great fun for whole family and give you a taste of Cumbrian culture and rural pastimes, so if you happen to be staying in the area when these are taking place, they are well worth a visit.

Cartmel Show

Apart from sticky toffee pudding, Cartmel is best-known for horse racing, so it will come as no surprise that horses are one of the main features at the Cartmel Show. There's showjumping, carriage driving and show classes for visitors to enjoy, as well as a host of other activities. There's also wrestling, live food demonstrations and plenty of entertainment for children. In short, the Cartmel Show is a fabulous family day out.

Click here to visit the website

Ambleside Sports, Rydal Park

This is the Lake District's oldest and most traditional sporting event and will take place at Rydal Park in Ambleside on Thursday 25 July.

The first event will be the Rydal Round, a tough nine mile fell race around one of Lakeland's best-known walks, the Fairfield Horseshoe. This is hard enough as a walk, let alone a run.

Among the other events are track cycling, running, Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling, hound trails and children's sports. There will also be lots of craft stalls, fairground rides, side-shows, and refreshments across the site.

Tickets are available from the Ambleside Sports website.

Grasmere Sports

Dating from 1868, Grasmere Sports was originally the annual Grasmere Sheep Fair. Nowadays, it's a notable community event welcoming visitors and locals alike.

This event is one of the most popular events in the Lake District, a true celebration of Cumbrian tradition, with gruelling fell racing, sheepdog displays, terrier shows and traditional Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling. In fact, Grasmere Sports is widely recognised as the main event in the Cumbrian and Westmorland Wrestling calendar.

Grasmere Sports will take place from 10.00am on Sunday 25 August on the Showfield in Grasmere. All events and races are entered on the day.

For more details, visit the Grasmere Sports website.

Coniston Country Fair

Coniston Country Fair is a must-visit event not least for its stunning setting on the shores of Coniston Water. It also offers visitors an enthralling insight in traditional Cumbrian life.

Fell foxhounds, dry stone walling, terrier racing and Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling are just a few of the competitions taking place throughout the day. And there's the famous fell race - a six mile route to the top of Coniston Old Man and back. This route would take the average walker a day to complete - some of these athletes are there and back in under an hour.

There's also a superb craft marquee offering the best of Lakeland crafts and food, as well as trade stands, refreshments and amusements.

The show will start at 11.30am on Sunday 21 July at Coniston Hall.

For more information, visit the Coniston Country Fair website.

Penrith Agricultural Show

The Penrith Agricultural Show is another event steeped in history. First run by The Penrith Agricultural Society in 1834, the event now attracts large crowds who enjoy the wide variety of livestock competition classes and show jumping, as well as local trade stands, food hall and rural craft tent.

The show will take place on Saturday 20 July, and while the organisers have maintained an emphasis on agriculture, there is so much more to appeal to a wider audience. From vintage vehicles to dry stone walling, wrestling to rabbit shows, there's something for everyone.

For more details or to buy tickets, visit the Penrith Agricultural Show website.

Skelton Show

The Skelton Show has grown from a small local show held in the village to one of the county's major agricultural shows. It's held on the first Saturday in July in the picturesque setting of the Old Park at Hutton in the Forest near Penrith.

Along with traditional livestock judging, the show also features live music, trade stands, a crafts tent, vintage vehicles and wrestling. This is a great day out in the country for all the family.

For more details, please visit the Skelton Show website.

Keswick Show

We'll complete our round up of Lake District summer shows and fairs with the Keswick Show. This event will take place on Monday 26 August and is a full day's entertainment for all the family, including horses, sheep and dog classes. 

There will be also a display of vintage vehicles, Cumberland & Westmorland Wrestling, Barrow Fell Race, sheep clipping & terrier racing.

For more information, click here.

With their exciting displays, delicious food, and friendly atmosphere, Lake District summer shows and fairs offer a quintessential Lakeland experience, attracting visitors from far and wide. 

The shows we've highlighted are just a few of our favourites, but if you're willing to travel the Cockermouth Show is a great day out, as is the Ennerdale Show. So grab your family and head to one of these fantastic events for a amazing day out.

If you would like more information about any shows taking place during your stay, please do get in touch.


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