Ulverston is the perfect place for festive fun and Christmas preparations

Ulverston is the perfect place for festive fun and Christmas preparations<br/>Photography by Kirsty Thompson

They know a thing or two about celebrations in Ulverston, so a visit in December is sure to put even the most Scrooge-like among us in a festive mood. The South Lakes town has developed a reputation for its festivals, held in celebration of almost anything, at almost every time of the year.

Although the town has actively marketed itself as a festival town for just a few years, it is a reputation which has been hundreds of years in the making. In the late 18th century Father Thomas West, author of one of the first guides to the Lake District, wrote: ‘The people of Furness in general and of Ulverston in particular, are civil and well behaved to strangers, hospitable and humane.’ And if he were to pay a return visit he’d find the same is true today.

The town is the stage for, among many others, annual festivals of music, art, dance, fashion and walking and one of the most popular events on the packed calendar is the Dickensian Christmas Festival. Held at the end of November each year, the event this year reached its 13th anniversary and featured music, dancing, children’s entertainment and traditional festive fun. Shops along the cobbled streets and winding lanes always get involved and thousands of people attend every year to see Ulverston’s civil and humane good behaviour for themselves.

And whether you’re there for a festival or not – although it can be hard to miss them – the town is the ideal place to enjoy a December day out. It has a compact town centre, good parking and an impressive range of pubs, restaurants and some particularly fine cafes and delicatessens. It’s also a pleasant place to find last minute gifts, with plenty of small independent stores offering a range of interesting present ideas.

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