The Cumbrian calendar is awash with festivals bringing flavour, fun and flamboyance to the region in almost every month of the year. September, for example, sees the Taste Cumbria Food Festival (tastecumbria.com) – a three-day gathering of gourmets, held in Cockermouth, which grows in stature each year. Visitors can try everything from local beer to seafood as a chorus line of celebrity chefs – previous festivals have welcomed the likes of John Torode, Aldo Zilli and Antony Worrall Thompson – showcase their skills.
The annual Maryport Blues Festival (maryportblues.co.uk) brings minor chords and heavy basslines to this coastal enclave from 25-27 July 2014 – Van Morrison and Booker T Jones (pictured) have performed here in the past.
There's also Kendal Calling ( kendalcalling.co.uk) at Lowther, near Penrith, which runs from 1-3 August and has previously featured music from the likes of Mumford & Sons, and Primal Scream. In fact, Kendal has other moments to savour, in the shape of Mintfest ( lakesalive.org) – an explosion of street performance and the surreal, which is slated for 29-31 August this year – and its Comic Art Festival ( comicartfestival.com), which will chalk up its second edition from 17-19 October, with a celebration of superheroes and graphic art.
Winter flirts with the past in the Ulverston Dickensian Christmas Festival ( dickensianfestival.co.uk) from 29-30 November 2014, when it harkens to the Victorian era in a whirl of market stalls, costumes and carriages.