The Lake District's Premier Christmas Food Festival
7 & 8 December 2019
Eat, drink and be merry! Taste Cumbria Christmas returns to Allerdale this December to showcase some of Cumbria’s finest produce.
Held in the pretty market town of Cockermouth, the festival brings together over 50 artisan food and drink producers with a covered live music space, kids activities and much more.
Not only does Taste Cumbria Christmas give you the chance to try out some fantastic local produce, but it’s the perfect opportunity to get some Christmas shopping done in Cockermouth’s great range of independent shops.
This year we are working with Cockermouth Chamber of Trade to extend the opening hours of both the local shops and the market. In addition to the usual producers market, there will be a festive bar from Jennings Brewery, entertainment throughout the day, Christmas themed cooking demos and craft workshops and free children’s activities in the Vicky with Rainbow Jelly Productions.
Festive lighting will light the market into the hours of darkness and from 4pm on the Saturday, a free concert including a Christmas sing-a-long in association with ‘Rosehill on the road’ will take place on Main Street.
Opening hours for the event are:
- Saturday 7 Dec: 11am to 7pm
- Sunday 8 Dec: 10am to 4pm
To book a stall at the 2019 Taste Cumbria Christmas event in Cockermouth please click here.
Cockermouth is in a beautiful part of Allerdale, just a few miles from the visual splendor of the Lake District. It’s a perfect place to have an amazing weekend with Taste Cumbria Christmas at the heart of your break.
Coming to Cockermouth for the 2019 Taste Cumbria Christmas Festival?
Here are a few other things you could do while you’re in town.
Taste Cumbria family fun
There’s loads going on for children at the Taste Cumbria Christmas Festival. The main place to be is The Vicky, the hub for our children’s activities. It’s down High Sand Lane, the little road between The New Bookshop and The Hungry Caterpillar hot food takeaway.
You’ll find fun crafts and dressing up with the team from Rainbow Jelly Productions – and there’s likely to be a fairy princess or two in town with them as well! Come and make a Christmas card or some festive decorations.
There’ll be more crafty stuff associated with Steve Wharton Music and Storytelling too – children will be able to make masks to fit in with the theme of a story he’s sharing.
Those who love science, engineering and technology will be able to wow you by trying some child-friendly experiments with a little help from the experts at the Royal Society of Chemistry and the National Nuclear Laboratory.
Back on Main Street, don’t miss the fairground rides and, for the first time this year, you can meet the Vikings! The fierce-but-friendly chaps from Moorforge will be sharing their tales of battles and history in some feisty demonstrations.
Elsewhere in Cockermouth there’s even more for families to enjoy. There’s a soft play centre on Lorton Street, a toy shop on Main Street and a children’s shoe shop on Station Street.
You can also find fun play areas in Memorial Gardens, just over Miller’s footbridge from Main Street, and up in Harris Park – head up Sullart Street opposite Wordsworth House & Garden, cross Station Road at the top and go up Fern Bank until you reach the park’s entrance on the left.
Taste Cumbria for four-legged foodies – and those who want to walk off some calories!
Dogs are more than welcome at the Taste Cumbria Christmas Festival in Cockermouth – they’ll love the smells of the cheese and meat stalls, not to mention the bread and hot food to take away!
If you need to stock up on dog bags, food, collars and leads, and treats, or even splash out on a cosy new bed for the winter, there’s a pet shop on Main Street as well as a pet and equestrian store on Station Road.
There are some smashing walks to be had around the town too. You could take your dog to stretch their legs, or even for a swim, in Memorial Gardens or Harris Park.
Or you could go a little further afield with a circular walk up the River Cocker from Harris Park and back into town via Simonscales Lane and Lorton Road. Keep your dogs on a lead through the farmland – there are often sheep and cattle grazing.
Another on-road favourite is a stroll up into the village of Papcastle. Cross Gote Bridge below Memorial Gardens then take a left opposite the James Walker factory on to Papcastle Road. You can take a right turn up to Belle Vue in the heart of the village – don’t forget to admire the views across to the Buttermere Valley and beyond when you reach the top of the hill. Walk back down into town down along Gote Brow.
Taste Cumbria for history buffs
If you want to expand your mind as well as your waistline at the Taste Cumbria Christmas Festival then discover a little bit of Cockermouth’s history.
The town is the birthplace of William Wordsworth – his childhood home, and that of his sister Dorothy, is at the junction of Main Street and Sullart Street. Now owned by the National Trust, the historic house is closed for the winter, but you can find out more from the staff in its visitor welcome centre and shop which will be open over the festival weekend.
Explore the graveyard of All Saints Church and you can find the last resting place of John Wordsworth, William’s father, who was a lawyer in the employ of the Lowther family, one of the county’s, and the country’s, biggest landowners.
Low Sand Lane, next to Wordsworth House & Garden, is where Fearon Fallows was born. A skilful astronomer, he discovered more than 300 stars when he was appointed director of an observatory at the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.
That big statue in the middle of Main Street is one of the town’s most photographed landmarks. It depicts Richard Bourke, the 6th Earl of Mayo, who was the town’s MP from 1857 to 1868.
Jennings Brewery is one of the town’s most historic businesses. It’s been brewing award-winning ales here since the late 1800s. You can take a brewery tour to find out more.
You can see the remnants of Cockermouth’s industrial past around the town. The big apartment block next to Memorial Gardens was once called Derwent Mills and was a flax mill. It later became Millers shoe factory. You can see the remains of a mill race in Memorial Gardens close by.
Another fascinating step back in time is at JB Banks and Son’s hardware shop in Market Place. There’s a little museum tucked away behind this fabulously quirky – and practical – business.
For a more recent historical event, keep an eye out for the flood markers which show how high the waters rose when the rivers Cocker and Derwent burst their banks in 2009 and 2015. You may have to look higher than you think – particularly on the Black Bull pub on Main Street, one of the lowest points of the town centre.
If you’re in Cockermouth for the weekend and want to explore a little further, there are a couple of interesting places to seek out.
Remember the tale of the Mutiny on the Bounty? Its chief mate and the leader of the mutiny, Fletcher Christian, was born to a farming family at Moorland Close on the outskirts of Cockermouth. He was educated in the town and the farm still exists today.
Or why not go out to the village of Eaglesfield, the birthplace of scientist John Dalton, famed for his atomic theory.
If you want to take a look at the wider area around Cockermouth, this handy guide could give you some ideas. Enjoy exploring Allerdale!