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The Lake District is full of culture and the area boasts a whole host of theatres, art centres and cinemas for people to enjoy.

If you’re staying in Lake District holiday properties and want to enjoy some cultural entertainment during your break, then read on to find out where the best places to visit are located.

The Kirkgate

The Kirkgate in Cockermouth, which is near to many of our Keswick holiday cottages in the North Lakes, has a varied and exciting programme attracting many nationally acclaimed theatre groups and high-quality musical events.

It is a lovely relaxed venue where visitors can buy a drink at the bar and then take it into the auditorium whether it’s a film, show or music event.

Carnegie Theatre & Arts Centre

The Carnegie Theatre & Arts Centre is situated in the coastal town of Workington on the fringe of the Lake District. The venue offers a theatre, bar and café under one roof.

The Carnegie attracts a lively and varied professional programme throughout the year along with being a hub theatre for several amateur musical societies and dance festivals.

The iconic Monroe’s bar also offers its own programme of live music events, so the venue is a hive of activity seven days a week.

Carnegie Theatre & Arts Centre

Castlegate House Gallery

Located in an unspoilt Georgian house within Cockermouth, a wonderful Georgian town on the western edge of the Lake District, Castlegate House Gallery is run by husband and wife Steve and Christine Swallow.

The gallery is regarded as one of the premier commercial art galleries in the north of England and it specialises in both nationally and internationally renowned artists, such as Sheila Fell, Percy Kelly, Grayson Perry, Norman Cornish and Winifred Nicholson, amongst others.

Castlegate House Gallery seeks out established contemporary artists and those up-and-coming real “finds”, often directly from Art School. Also on show is some of the best Studio Pottery in the UK, including work from the likes of Doug Fitch, Paul Young, Jim Malone, William Plumptre and Hannah McAndrew.

With a busy annual exhibition schedule and with new work coming to the gallery every week, there’s always something new to see and be part of.

Castlegate House Gallery

The Heron Theatre

This intimate venue is located in a listed building, but visitors don’t come from far and wide just to see the stunning architecture of the building as the Heron Theatre offers visitors the chance to see a range of shows and exhibitions.

The theatre has a number of changing art exhibitions on display, and dance and theatrical shows come to the theatre on a regular basis.

If that’s not enough, visitors can enjoy gigs and watch a blockbuster film at the Heron Theatre too.

Heron Theatre

Cookhouse & Cedar Galleries

The Cookhouse & Cedar Galleries were established in 1980 by local artist Jeff Sudders and now they are located in Ambleside, Keswick, Windermere and Bowness-on-Windermere.

The galleries exhibit original paintings and fine art prints from both Lake District and British contemporary artists.

Visitors to the galleries will enjoy the informal friendly environment as the Cookhouse & Cedar Galleries continue to make art accessible and affordable for all.

Cookhouse & Cedar Galleries

Theatre by the Lake

The Theatre by the Lake has a setting on the shores of Derwentwater in Keswick that no other professional theatre in Britain can match.

Each year it stages up to nine of its own productions of plays on its two stages and has won multi-starred reviews from national critics. It also holds festivals of literature, jazz, film and mountains.

The Brewery Arts Centre

The Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal is a hub of creativity with cinema, theatre, galleries, bars and cafes.

It is known nationally as a venue for world-class theatre, music, art and events. It also hosts international festivals and in the past has hosted the likes of the Kendal Mountain Festival, the Women’s Art International Festival and the Gateway International Roots Music Festival.


Zeffirellis is the Lake District’s premier cinema, with five screens in the village, two restaurants and a jazz bar.

Showing the latest movies and arthouse films, as well as boasting live music from leading jazz and session artists, Zeffirellis is a hugely popular destination in the Lake District.

Contemporary jazz and world music performances often play in the Jazz Cafe Bar on a Wednesday, Friday or Saturday.

Image Credit: Carnegie Theatre & Arts Centre, Castlegate House Gallery, The Heron Theatre, Cookhouse & Cedar Galleries.