South Lakeland is the third largest cultural centre in the North West after Manchester and Liverpool, with strong representation in performing and visual arts, festivals and events and heritage and tradition. Throughout the region, galleries host acclaimed art exhibitions whilst local drama and music groups stage vibrant performances in their communities.
Here we list a few of the cultural highlights to look out for in South Lakeland.
The Brewery Arts Centre is very much a 'hub' for the arts in South Lakeland and hosts numerous high-profile events throughout the year including the Kendal Mountain and Freerange Comedy festivals, along with a busy programme covering live music, visual arts, spoken word, theatre and dance.
Each year the Old Laundry Theatre in Bowness-on-Windermere plays host to acclaimed performers and writers including Alan Bennett and Victoria Wood. A unique 'in the round' venue with a well-deserved reputation for the quality of its programme and performances.
The Coronation Hall in Ulverston is one of the principal buildings in the South Lakeland town and has the largest capacity of any hall in the south Cumbria area. The 'Coro' hosts performances by highly-acclaimed touring companies in the fields of music, theatre, ballet and opera, as well as providing a lively community venue.
The Lakeland Arts Trust owns and manage a number of culturally and historically important venues in South Lakeland including the Abbot Hall Gallery and Museum of Lakeland Life in Kendal, Windermere Steamboat Museum and Blackwell, The Arts and Crafts House. All are internationally acclaimed for their art collections, architecture and representation of the heritage and culture of the region.
Kendal Arts International was set up to create, produce and promote international-quality outdoor arts events and festivals, from street theatre to large-scale outdoor performance and installation and are one of Arts Council England's National Portfolio Organisations (considered to have an outstanding track record of achievement). Each year, they present a new season of world-class performance and arts events in the spectacular landscapes of Cumbria, the Lake District.
Over the last 35 years, Grizedale Arts has evolved from its origins as a sculpture park to its current form as a complex network of international alliances, affinities and programmes flowing to and from its location in the heart of Grizedale Forest. Grizedale has supported artists to produce extraordinary work and promotes a new vision of art that challenges conventions and expectations.
Founded in 1891, The Wordsworth Trust is a living memorial to the life and poetry of William Wordsworth and his contemporaries. With global connections and outreach, its focus is Dove Cottage, Grasmere, where the poet lived, wrote and found inspiration. Through The Wordsworth Trust's commitment to the work of the writers and artists of today, it links the creativity of the past with that of the present.
Lake District Summer Music Festival is an annual festival with a diverse and varied programme of concerts performed by international musicians and ensembles in venues including historic churches and halls found in the region's villages and towns. Integrated with these concerts, educational projects nurture young talented musicians.