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Cumbria and the Lake District nightlife venues

Whether you’re looking for live entertainment or just somewhere with a lively atmosphere, Cumbria and the Lake District can deliver a memorable night out. These are just a few of our favourite places where you can have a drink.Carlisle, the only city in the county, is where most of the life is. The big names play The Sands Centre – its capacity is more than 1,500 and it attracts 750,000 customers each year.

Many pubs have become regular music venues, among them the Brook Inn, Cleator; Howard Arms, Brampton; and The Navy Club and Captain Nelson Tavern in Maryport. The Old Dungeon Ghyll at Great Langdale, near Ambleside, has live music every week, while The Lily in Ambleside has live music on a regular basis. The Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal is a regular stop for many touring musicians, bands or theatre companies. There are two cinemas, a theatre, galleries and drama studio, not forgetting a welcome bar/restaurant.

The people of Kendal are spoiled when it comes to buzzing live music venues. Bootleggers puts on top notch gigs every Thursday, Friday and Sunday, plus other gigs throughout the year. There is also a DJ every Saturday night.

In Workington, the Carnegie Theatre has become a mecca for rock acts. There are a lot of rock fans in West Cumbria, for some reason, but it means the gigs are well-attended. Many plays are also staged at the Carnegie, as well as other touring acts. A lot of people appreciate the fact that this is a real theatre, built in the Edwardian era. It always adds a bit of drama.

The Forum is Barrow’s premier nightlife venue. Again, it puts on a wide and varied programme of music, comedy, theatre, children’s and amateur events – as well as films.

Our picks

The White Lion
The White Lion

Patterdale, Penrith CA11 0NW

Visitors and local people have enjoyed the hospitality of the White Lion since the early 1800s. Time has, inevitably, changed the White Lion a little, but what has firmly stayed intact is the character and atmosphere of this historic country inn. Situated in the beautiful Patterdale countryside, the pub offers a great selection of drinks, it’s an ideal stop off for walkers. Visit website

The Source Collective
The Source Collective

Atlas Works/Nelson St, Carlisle CA2 5NB

The Source Collective is a live arts venue in the heart of Carlisle. Open until late, the Collective seeks to reinvigorate the legacy of The Source and re-establish the venue as a platform for live music, performance and arts in the region. Visit website

Old Fire Station
Old Fire Station

Peter St, Carlisle CA3 8QP

Old Fire Station in Carlisle is home to some of the finest theatre, gigs and comedy shows in the county. The venue offers a variety of spaces for live performances, workshops, exhibitions and meetings, attracting both local artists and international acts. Visit website

The Eagles Head
The Eagles Head

Satterthwaite, Ulverston LA12 8LN

The Eagles Head is a rustic country pub nestled in the Grizedale Forest. The traditional pub has a local ethos and has chosen the beers from within a 20-mile radius, the real ale selection is a regularly changing one but whenever you call in you’ll always be in good company. The wines are sourced and supplied by renowned wine merchants Frank Stainton of Kendal, and The Eagles Head are also proud to serve award-winning teas and coffees from Farrers, the independent blenders and roasters also from Kendal. Visit website


24 Finkle St, Kendal LA9 4AB

Situated in Kendall, Bootleggers is a great live music venues, providing great music, and a great atmosphere. The venue offers a broad range of musicians , from up and coming college bands to more seasoned artists, from acoustic and intimate to the loudest and hardest rock! Visit website

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Cumbria and the Lake District attractions

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Cumbria and the Lake District cultural attractions

Image credits: ©Brent Hofacker/; Getty Images/iStockphoto; ING Image;

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