The best things to do after dinner in the Lake District include watching top-notch theatre performances, enjoying live music, and laughing your socks off with standup comedians. You can also drive to a remote valley to stargaze beneath a dark sky and even spend the night in a haunted castle.

    The Lake District is a popular destination for outdoorsy types thanks to its enviable landscapes and gorgeous scenery. However, the fun doesn’t stop after a day of soaking up beautiful views and walks along the lake shore. Read on for our top picks on where to go in the Lake District at night.


    Theatre By The Lake

    A remote theatre with a stunning lakeside setting in Keswick

    • Nightlife

    Theatre By The Lake is a small local theatre near the shores of the picturesque Derwentwater lake in Keswick. It is Cumbria’s leading professional theatre and hosts a variety of shows throughout the year. You can enjoy several summer plays between May and November and a Christmas show during the holidays.

    Besides stage productions, the theatre hosts regular activities, including live music, film screenings, art exhibitions, and literary festivals. Opposite the theatre, you can take in panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and the lake below at Crow Park – a beautiful spot for a picnic before watching a performance.

    Location: Lakeside, Lake Rd, Keswick CA12 5DJ, UK

    Phone: +44 (0)1768 774411


    photo by Mike Pennington (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Low Gillerthwaite Field Centre

    Stargazing beneath Ennerdale’s dark sky

    Low Gillerthwaite Field Centre is a recognised Dark Sky Discovery Site, which means it’s an officially protected UK night sky where anyone can stargaze. It is located deep in the remote valley of Ennerdale, miles away from street lamps or residential lights.

    As such, the site is a magical place to see the Milky Way on clear nights – even without a telescope or binoculars. There is limited cellular coverage, making the base an excellent spot to get “off the grid” for an hour or 2. The site is accessed only via a forestry track.

    Location: Ennerdale, Cleator CA23 3AX, UK

    Phone: +44 (0)1946 861229


    Keswick Alhambra Cinema

    A charming old-school movie theatre

    Keswick Alhambra Cinema in Keswick, built in 1913, is one of the oldest continuously-running cinemas in the UK. You can catch all of the latest Hollywood blockbusters, as well as independent features and live screenings of theatre, ballet, and opera performances from around the world.

    While the building may be over 100 years old, inside, the Edwardian cinema has been completely refurbished and offers a modern moviegoing experience. Its latest features include digital laser projection, Dolby sound systems, and a second, 29-seater studio screen.

    Location: 36 St John's St, Keswick CA12 5AG, UK

    Phone: +44 (0)1768 772195


    photo by Luke McKernan (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Muncaster Castle

    Are you afraid of ghosts?

    Muncaster Castle, an old Lakeland landmark east of Ravenglass, is said to be haunted. It’s the right spot to brave a ghost tour and an overnight stay in the Western Lake District. Visitors and paranormal researchers have reported strange encounters here, such as doors opening on their own, hearing footsteps in the corridors, and seeing The White Lady.

    The all-night watch takes place in the Tapestry Room – the most haunted room in the castle. You may hear a child crying, a woman singing, and if you’re lucky, the ghost of Thomas Skelton (aka Tom Fool) will play tricks on you. The magnificent castle dates back to the 13th century and has been the home of the Pennington family ever since lands were granted to Alan de Penitone in 1208.

    Location: Ravenglass CA18 1RQ, UK


    Brewery Arts Centre

    A night of comedy at a world-class arts venue

    • Food
    • Nightlife
    • Group

    Head to the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal after dinner in the Lake District and laugh until your belly hurts. The local arts venue regularly hosts a wide range of popular touring comedy acts to suit all tastes. Previous shows include award-winning comedians Jimmy Carr, Sofie Hagen, and Tom Allen.

    Apart from comedy, the Brewery Arts Centre hosts theatre performances, movie screenings, art exhibitions, live music, workshops, and various festivals throughout the year. As its name suggests, the centre has an in-house restaurant and bar serving craft beers, plus a variety of delicious food.

    Location: 122A Highgate, Kendal LA9 4HE, UK

    Phone: +44 (0)1539 725133


    photo by Hugh Venables (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Moorforge Viking Settlement

    A unique Viking experience at the edge of the Lake District

    • Nightlife
    • Group

    The Moorforge Viking Settlement is where you can spend an evening around a blazing wood fire and feel as if you’ve travelled back to the Middle Ages. The wooden, 18-metre longhouse hosts live folk music nights on the first Friday of every month and regular storytellers narrating historical tales about the mighty Vikings.

    The settlement also offers workshops where you can discover and learn about early medieval cooking and blacksmithing. You can find Moorforge on the edge of the Lake District National Park near the small village of Gilcrux.

    Location: Gilcrux, Wigton CA7 2RB, UK

    Phone: +44 (0)7495 347383


    The Crafty Baa Windermere

    An evening of craft beer and live music

    The Crafty Baa in Windermere is a dog and child-friendly pub where you can enjoy wine, craft beer, and over 100 whiskeys from around the world. The eclectic mix of furniture and ornaments made from recycled and upcycled materials creates a truly unique atmosphere. The friendly owners and regular live music evenings add to the pub's charm and appeal.

    The food on offer includes nachos, gourmet grilled sandwiches, and delicious meat and camembert sharing platters. Vegan and vegetarian-friendly options are available, too. You can find another Crafty Baa in its second location in Keswick.

    Location: 21 Victoria St, Windermere LA23 1AB, UK

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 11 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1539 488002


    Hole in t' Wall

    A 17th-century pub in Windermere

    • Food
    • Nightlife
    • Group

    Hole in t' Wall is a tiny Windermere watering hole that's been serving beer continuously since 1612. Its name comes from an actual hole in the wall created by the neighbouring blacksmith so the bartender could quickly and easily pass him his ale while he worked.

    The charming pub is hidden away in a quiet back street in the quaint town of Bowness-on-Windermere. On a cold winter's day, you won't find a cosier and more welcoming spot for some locally produced gin, beer and pub grub – especially if you snag a table near the roaring fire.

    Location: Robinson Pl, Bowness-on-Windermere, Windermere LA23 3DH, UK

    Open: Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday from midday to 9 pm, Monday, Friday and Saturday from midday to 11 pm (closed on Tuesdays)

    Phone: +44 (0)1539 443488


    photo by Michal Klajban (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    The Fizzy Tarte

    Creative handcrafted cocktails

    • Food
    • Nightlife
    • Group

    The Fizzy Tarte is a stylish cocktail bar in the beautiful tourist town of Bowness-on-Windermere. The expert in-house mixologists create classic and creative cocktails that are sure to hit the spot. Enjoy an after-dinner drink and order a margarita, espresso martini, or a rum old-fashioned.

    Or go for the bar's signature 'Fizzy Tarte' – a dessert-like cocktail made with raspberry vodka, white cacao, and mascarpone and garnished with raspberry sorbet, edible flowers, and an ice cream wafer. You can enjoy your colourful drinks indoors or on the outdoor patio with heating for those cooler nights in the Lake District.

    Location: Ash Street, Bowness-on-Windermere, Windermere LA23 3EB, UK

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 10 am to midnight, Friday and Saturday from 10 am to 1 am, Sunday from 10 am to 10.30 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1539 443773


    The Lily Bar

    A lively pub for local beer, live music and quiz nights in Ambleside

    • Food
    • Nightlife
    • Group

    The Lily Bar is a popular hangout in Ambleside to enjoy a gin, cocktail, wine, or local cask ale in a relaxed, child and dog-friendly setting. As well as offering food and drinks, the bar hosts fun and entertaining events throughout the week.

    On Wednesday nights, you can test your maths and general knowledge during the pub quiz and stand a chance to win great prizes. Lively local bands and duos usually take to the stage on Friday and Saturday nights. The Lily Bar also has regular schedules featuring standup comedians.

    Location: 12-14 Lake Rd, Ambleside LA22 0AD, UK

    Open: Sunday–Thursday from midday to midnight, Friday and Saturday from midday to 1 am

    Phone: +44 (0)1539 433175

    Jacqui de Klerk | Contributing Writer

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