24 Reasons To Visit Keswick In December

The run up to Christmas is a magical time in Keswick with twinkling lights and beautifully decorated shop windows but did you know that Keswick has its very own LIVE Advent Calendar to help you countdown to the big day?  Now in its sixth year, Keswick Live Advent sees a festive-themed window illuminated in a different business each day around the town.  Running from 1st - 24th (as you would expect) the window lighting is accompanied by a one-off pop-up event.  Read on to find out more about the different events that are planned for 2019.

A Musical Christmas

Music plays a very important part at Christmas and can really make you feel Christmassy so it's no surprise that several of the Live Advent events have a musical theme.  On Wednesday 4th December you can join Amy's Care for carol singing around the musical stones at Keswick Museum.  A few days later on Saturday 7th December, there will be Christmas Carols at the Keswick Methodist Christmas Tree Festival.  Looking at all of the beautifully decorated trees listening to/singing the carols is an advent tradition for many now and I for one am looking forward to it again this year.  New to the Live Advent musical events this year are Cockermouth Ukeleles who will be providing the entertainment at The Millfield on Tuesday 10th December.  St. Herbert's school choir have been regulars at Keswick Live Advent since it began but this year it will be the school's handbell ringers who will be giving us a musical treat at West Cumbria Rivers Trust on Tuesday 17th December.  So whether you want to join in or just listen, you will be more than welcome at any of these musical events.

Enjoy Some Festive Fayre

Many of the Live Advent events have mulled wine and mince pies on offer but it's worth highlighting some other food-related events that are planned.  Sunday 8th December sees the Cheese Deli in Packhorse Court offering a cheese and fruit cake tasting.  Time to start planning your Christmas cheeseboard I think.  The following day, Monday 9th December, Fulton's Lakes Jewellery works are inviting you along to make your very own edible jewellery; what a fantastic idea.  Keswick is incredibly fortunate to have its very own brewery and you will have a chance to sample some of Keswick Brewery's beers on Wednesday 11th December.  Finally, on Monday 16th December, Oxfam will be promoting their Fairtrade products by offering you the chance to taste some Fair Trade hot drinks.  It all sounds delicious to me.

An Active Advent

Keswick Live Advent is not all about eat, drink and be merry.  On Monday 2nd December, Keswick Tourism Association organises the annual Santa Splash.  This year there will be 9 teams of Santas and Elves racing Canadian canoes on Derwentwater.  It all gets underway at noon, so why not come down to the foreshore (beyond Theatre by the Lake) and cheer them on.  If you're feeling energetic, Keswick Lions are organising a Santa Dash and Rudolph Romp in Fitz Park on Sunday 15th December and on Wednesday 18th December, Inn on the Square have organised a Christmas dog walk.

A Crafty Christmas 

If you want to get creative this Christmas we have three crafty Live Advent events for you to choose from.  On Friday 6th December, Makers Mill will be at Kat's Kitchen offering taster sessions on how to make your own wax food wrap.  At a time when everyone is focussed on producing less waste and being plastic-free, this is likely to be a very popular event.  Keswick YHA is hosting a Christmas craft session on Saturday 7th December for children to make decorations and cards.  A great way to keep the kids busy while you enjoy a well-deserved cuppa.  On Saturday 21st December, Makers Mill will be hosting their own window and event.  Join them to make your very own woolly Christmas pudding pom pom.

Story Time

Friday 13th December is definitely not going to be unlucky this year because the wonderful volunteers from the Forestry Commission will be at Cafe Hope with an interactive storytelling session.  Order a yummy hot chocolate and sit back and enjoy.  The following Thursday, 19th December, Bookends will have their magical Christmas storytelling gazebo in their courtyard.  Join them there for Stickman storytime.  New for 2019, Keswick Mini Market is hosting a festive reading of Mr Willowby's Christmas Tree on Sunday 22nd December.

Some Festive Retail Therapy

If you're thinking of doing some Christmas shopping you can always combine it with Keswick Live Advent.  The Victorian Fayre gets everything underway on Sunday 1st December and on Tuesday 3rd you can pay a visit to George Fisher to stock up on outdoor wear related gifts.  Thursday 5th December, Alexandra's of Keswick who stock a fantastic range of ethically produced clothing, will be demonstrating the art of scarf tying.  A week later on Thursday 12th December, New Balance will have various promotions, prizes and late-night opening.  Finally, on Monday 23rd December, you can get all those last-minute gifts with a 10% discount at Ewe Tree Gifts.

And Finally.....

No Live Advent Calendar would be complete without a visit from the great man himself.  On Friday 20th December, Thwaites Dray Wagon and Shire horses will be bringing Father Christmas to visit.  This is always a highlight of Keswick Live Advent and has become a firm favourite for many.  Finally, on Christmas Eve, Keswick Live Advent ends with a matinee showing of It's A Wonderful Life at the wonderful Keswick Alhambra Cinema.  All of the proceeds from this event go to Cumbria Community Foundation's Winter Warmth Appeal, making it the perfect way to bring Keswick Live Advent 2019 to a close.

Once all of the windows have been lit, you can download the Live Advent trail map and spend some time visiting them all between Christmas and New Year, it will help to burn off all those mince pies if nothing else.  You can also vote online for your favourite Advent window and we will be announcing the winner after 12th night.

You can find out more about Keswick Live Advent on our website and follow the daily goings-on on our FaceBook page.

Blog written by Vanessa Metcalfe (posted 29/11/19)