By  Dan  Brady 2

Lakes Alive

Lakes Alive launches on the evening of Friday 8 September with a fantastic Jacobs Join. The mass community get-together for food, drink, music, and merriment takes place alongside the River Kent. The event is free. 

Lakes Alive continues from 10am on Saturday 9 September through to 6pm Sunday 10 September.

The full programme of artists and venues.

Visitors can view the art installations, attend events, make, create and be inspired throughout the weekend. 

A free festival guide is available in locations across the town. This guide will also be available at all Lakes Alive locations during the festival.

Information point:

The Lakes Alive information point will be at Abbot Hall off Highgate. We have leaflets, programmes, and information at that location. We also have our team at each installations and venue to help. 


Most of the venues for Lakes Alive are accessible for wheelchair users. Please check the line-up page for each venue for detail on access. 

Many of our venues are accessible to wheelchair users - or are on flat ground.

Others are a bit more challenging - such as the installations at Kendal Castle which are set up on a hill.

We will have brail versions of the Festival programme available at Abbot Hall.

We also have large print copies of the programme available at Abbot Hall. 

An accessible trail of Lakes Alive takes place on Sunday from Abbot Hall at 3pm. This will be a fully signed trail. 

Qualified signer:

On Sunday several aspects of Lakes Alive will be signed by our signer Karl Llorca:

11am Up Down and Beyond by Laura Mugridge at Brewery Arts Centre

2-2.45pm Wild Words and Desperate Men at Abbot Hall Park

3.30pm-3.50pm Merry Maker at the Brewery Arts Centre

4.30-5pm Cymbria at Riverside Walk, Riverside Walk at Abbot Hall Park.

The weather:

We have wet weather alternatives for almost every aspect of Lakes Alive. Please check the line-up page for alternative venues. We will give you as much notice as we can should we need to switch activities from outside to inside. Please keep an eye on Lakes Alive Twitter for updates. 

How to reach Lakes Alive 2017

We advise visitors to Lakes Alive 2017 to use green transport if possible.

By train:

There are two train stations that serve Kendal: Oxenholme Lake District and Kendal itself. Kendal serves trains between Windermere and Oxenholme. Trains run every hour.

Oxenholme Lake District which serves the West Coast Mainline. The walk from Oxenholme to Kendal town centre is about 45 minutes.

Alternatively visitors can alight at Oxenholme and catch the train to Kendal itself.

Check train times at thetrainline

By bus:

Bus company Stagecoach serves Kendal with services from Keswick in the north to Lancaster in the south. Check timetables.

By car:

Drive times to Kendal: Lancaster: 25 minutes/Penrith: 40 minutes /Carlisle: 55 minutes /Barrow: 45 minutes /Preston: 50 minutes / Skipton: 60 minutes /Manchester: 75 minutes /Liverpool: 85 minutes /Newcastle: 120 minutes.

Worldbeaters will bring Spark! to the Friday night Jacob's Join

Visiting Kendal

Kendal is an amazing market town in south Cumbria. Known as the 'Gateaway to the Lakes" the town is easily accessible by road and rail. 

But Kendal is not just a market town.

Our streets are alive with arts, events and culture, packed with intriguing history and renowned for great shopping. Our green spaces, woodland path and spectacular surrounding fells give every visitor a sense of adventure. Kendal is beautiful inside and out.

Why not spend the weekend here during Lakes Alive (8-10 September). The free festival of contemporary art is accessible to art lovers and families alike. 

There are plenty of fab places to stay across the town from traditional bed and breakfasts to larger hotels. 

There are some fantastic events taking place in Kendal throughout the year. 

Upcoming events include:

Kendal Summer trails - six walks for all ages around the town.

Lakes Alive 8-10 September 2017

Westmorland County Show 14 September 2017.

Kendal Torchlight Carnival 15 and 16 September 2017.

The Lakes International Comic Arts Festival 13-15 October 2017.

You can find out more about this wonderful town at

Know someone heading to Kendal? You could also buy them a Kendal Gift Card to spend in more than 100 of the town's restaurants and businesses.


Where can I stay?

Kendal, Windermere and the Lake District National Park more widely is home to a wide variety of luxury hotels, quirky B&B's and cheap and cheerful hostels. A whole host of camping and luxury glamping sites are popping up due to popular demand. 

We recommend you staying in staying closer to Kendal if you want to enjoy all that Lakes Alive has to offer. The Lake District is very busy throughout summer so we always recommend booking early. Have a look at the options through Go Lakes 

Are there places to get food and drink?

During the Lakes Alive festival in Kendal there will be a street food offer from local suppliers so that you can grab something on the move or you may wish to bring a picnic and enjoy one of our lovely parks.

What is the weather like?

The Lake District is famous for its astounding natural beauty and we enjoy this thanks to the rain. At the festival we plan for all weathers and generally go with the flow. 

Rain doesn't stop us and you’ll find festival activities are both inside and out should we be graced with an occasional shower.  Check out the weather forecast on Lake District Weathervane and come prepared - remember there is no such thing as bad weather - just poor clothing.

We have wet weather alternatives for almost every aspect of Lakes Alive 2017.

Follow us on Twitter @lakesalive and we will keep you up-to-date with weather news and any venue changes.

Keep it clean

  • In accordance with the law, smoking is not permitted within marquees, enclosed public spaces. We also ask you politely not to smoke whilst stood in crowds during outdoor performances.
  • Please use the recycling points to help us to keep Lakes Alive an environmentally friendly festival.

Lakes Alive 2017 launches with Jacob's Join on Friday 8 September...

Jacob's Join launches Lakes Alive 2017