Welcome to Aerial – the Lake District’s new festival

Aerial is a new festival of contemporary music, literature and performance, taking place in the stunning landscape of The Lake District, March 2020.

Taking place in wonderful and unique spaces around Ambleside and Windermere, iconic and up and coming artists respond to the surrounds of the Lakes. Churches, country houses, prehistoric stone circles and steamboats on Windermere transformed into intimate and unexpected venues. Join us to celebrate the Lakes as a place of continued inspiration for the next generation of contemporary artists throughout the day and into the night.

“The station whence he looked was soft and green, Not giddy yet aerial, with a depth of vale below, a height of hills above”

-William Wordsworth, Home at Grasmere 1806

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what’s on

Hayden Thorpe

Wild Beast’s solo artist Hayden Thorpe joins the festival as the artist in residence, bringing material from his debut album Diviner alongside a newly commissioned choral piece written especially for Aerial.

St. Mary’s Church Ambleside

Thursday 26th March
Tickets £12/£15

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The Lark Ascending

Fresh from the Barbican, Aerial is delighted to present an evening retelling Richard King’s acclaimed book, The Lark Ascending, featuring Vashti Bunyan, Richard King, Deep Throat Choir and Westmorland Orchestra.

St. Mary’s Church Ambleside

Friday 27th March
Tickets £17/£20

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Kate Tempest: Telling Poems

Kate Tempest is a ground-breaking spoken word performer, poet, recording artist, novelist and playwright.

St. Mary’s Church Ambleside

Saturday 28th March
Tickets £17/£20

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The da-Dark Outside

For one day and night, the airwaves over the treetops of the remote woodland which surround the site of the Merz Barn, in the heart of the Langdale Valley, will crackle with the sound of the people and artists of the Lake District and beyond



Ambleside, Windermere – The Lake District

In the heart of England’s Largest National Park, the spectacular landscape of the Lake District has inspired the creative minds and imaginations of residents and visitors for centuries. The stunning vistas of craggy hilltops, mountain tarns and lakes hugely influenced the work of William Wordsworth, Samuel Coleridge, Thomas de Quincey, John Ruskin and many more since, from Beatrix Potter to, Arthur Ransome, Wild Beasts to Sarah Hall. Today the World Heritage site has a thriving outdoors and creative scene which continues to go from strength to strength.

From readings on the water, to dancing into the night, galvanize your body and your mind with wild swims and leafy hikes before you join us for performances of a lifetime. Take in the views and discover local artisans, makers, craft breweries and wildlife.

Be inspired on the steps of our venues.

how to get here


Oxenholme – The Lake District is the mainline railway station serving the South Lakes, with trains to London (two and a half hours), Manchester (90 mins), Glasgow (2-3 hours) and further afield. From Oxenholme a connecting train to Windermere takes 15 minutes.

From Windermere, the 555 bus route has regular shuttles into Ambleside and Grasmere.


The 555 is the main route throughout the Lake District connecting, Lancaster to Keswick.

More info


Please use sat nav instructions outlined on the venue/ticket page site. We encourage audiences to take public transport where possible.

Manchester (c. 2 hours)

Carlisle (1h 15)

Kendal (30 minutes)

For more information on accommodation and local information visit
Go Lakes / Or Visit




Aerial is made possible by funding from Great Place Lakes and Dales ‘one of 16 national schemes placing art, heritage and culture at the heart of our future and at the centre of the Grasmere – Skipton corridor’ .