Things to do (November 16 to 21)

Sketch is an exhibition being run at the Peter Scott Gallery in Lancaster
Sketch is an exhibition being run at the Peter Scott Gallery in Lancaster

If you are looking for ideas of things to do this weekend, why try one or two of these?

PAID: Kendal Mountain Festival, from Thursday, November 16 to Sunday, November 19

Hosting an international line-up of adventurers, film-makers and speakers this is an award-winning event known world-wide as the ‘Oscars of outdoor filmmaking’. Over 100 films are screened (from 240+ entries) and twelve coveted awards are up for grabs, with specialist sessions taking place covering climb, bike, snowsports, endurance sports, underground (cave), adventure and exploration. Events held at various venues throughout Kendal town centre. Admission prices vary for different events.

PAID: North West Bird Festival, Burscough, Saturday, November 18 and Sunday, November 19

TV presenter Nick Baker, wildlife cameraman Doug Allan, Matt Sewell and Flight of the Swans’ Sacha Dench are just some of the guest speakers visiting WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre for the annual extravaganza: North West Bird Watching Festival. Whether you’re a group of photographers, birdwatchers or you all just love the outdoors, there is something for everyone at this event in Burscough, Ormskirk. Open from 9.30am until 4.30pm on both days.

PAID: Nicktoons Christmas Grotto and Ice Skating, Blackpool, Saturday, November 18 and Sunday, November 19

Ho Ho Ho! Blackpool Pleasure Beach is giving families the opportunity to get into the seasonal spirit at the Blackpool Pleasure Beach Arena with the launch of the Nicktoons Christmas Grotto and Ice Skating. A visit to the Nicktoons Christmas Grotto costs £10.99 per person, when booked online in advance, and includes entrance to the Grotto, a Diamond Pass gift from Santa, ice skating, skate hire and a choice of tea, coffee or hot chocolate.

PAID: After Dark Walk, Preston, Saturday, November 18

This event is back by popular demand. Join in for a guided walk around Brockholes Nature Reserve as darkness falls, learn more about the wildlife that starts to come out at night and enjoy hot drink and biscuits around the campfire afterwards. Suitable warm clothing and footwear is essential. Events runs from 3pm until 6pm. Tickets: £6.50. Booking is required, as this is a very popular event and sells out fast, so make sure you book early. Call the reserve on 01772 872000 to book.

PAID: Space and Dissent, Lancaster, Saturday, November 18

The Regional Heritage Centre at Lancaster University presents a Study Day devoted to social dissent and the use of space in Lancaster Castle. A range of speakers and presentations including video footage of dramatic performances staged at the Castle help us think about the ways the spatial can be used to reflect and comment on broader issues. It runs from 10am until 4pm. Tickets are £26 or £23.40 for Friends of Regional Heritage Centre. To book visit or call 01524 593770.

FREE: Winter Art Fair, Lytham, Saturday, November 18 and Sunday, November 19

As the cold weather arrives, there is a return to the Fylde coast’s Georgian gem, Lytham Hall for this fourth year of dazzling delights and spectacular surprises. Browse hundreds of unique gifts designed and made by artisan makers from across the North. Indulge in this Christmas shopping treat with plenty to see, do, buy and enjoy. Admission is free. The Art Fair is open from 11am until 4pm. There is a small charge for parking and refreshments will be available. The venue is wheelchair accessible.

PAID: Xplorer, Fleetwood, Saturday, November 18

Xplorer is the perfect outdoor activity for children and their families. Children will enjoy using a simple map to complete the navigational challenge. To take part simply register, collect your map and answer sheet and off you go. It’s being held in Fleetwood Memorial Park off Warrenhurst Road. It runs from 1pm until 3pm and admission is just 50p per person. Make sure to wear suitable warm clothing and footwear. For more information about Xplorer, visit or call the venue on 01995 602125.

PAID: November Life Drawing, Preston, Saturday, November 18

These are none tutored sessions but guidance and advice will be available. The models are experienced, of all genders and of varied body types, ages and ethnicity. A range of quick poses and longer ones will be given. The session, run by Birley Artists Studio, is being held in the Fine Art Gallery on the second floor of the Harris Museum and Art Gallery. It runs from 12pm until 3pm - arrive by 11.50am to set up. Admission is free, but a donation of £3 is suggested. Booking required - email

PAID: The Hogwarts Curriculum Lecture: Herbology with Anna Pavord, Preston, Sunday, November 19

Head to the Harris Museum and Art Gallery for a screening of The Hogwarts Curriculum Lectures at the British Library in London. Join Anna Pavord as she draws on her years working in gardens, and researching and writing about plants and their history. Anna Pavord’s books include her bestseller The Tulip, The Naming of Names and her most recent work, Landskipping. Admission is free. The lecture runs from 12pm until 1.30pm.

PAID: The Secret Garden Lantern Festival, Blackpool, Saturday, November 18

This community Lantern Festival is hosted by The Secret Garden Parent & Child Group. This event is a calm and magical evening of fun suitable for all the family. It is to celebrate the time known as the Martinmas. This is an outdoor event and warm, waterproof clothing, gloves, hats, scarves and wellington boots are highly recommended. Tickets are £3 (babies who cannot yet walk are free). To be held at World Healing Centre, Lytham Road, Blackpool. To book call 07736 824779.

PAID: Lancashire Weekend, Bury, Saturday, November 18 and Sunday, November 19

Celebrate the day Lancashire sent its first representatives to parliament, and join East Lancashire Railway for a feast of folksy Lancastrian favourites including the Lancashire Day proclamation which will be read out by a traditional town crier. For every two adult passengers who wear a red rose, one passenger travels free on an adult full line ticket.There is a packed programme of events on Saturday and Sunday. For further details and to book tickets visit

FREE: Pinto Beans, Preston, Sunday, November 19

Preston jazzmen Pinto Beans are in action at The Ale Emporium on Sunday. Saxophonist Harold Salisbury will be ably joined by Norman Helm on bass, Jonathan Hartley on drums and Tom Vernon on guitar. They will be playing a cool and funky selection of jazz standards to warm up the autumn evening. The music starts at 9pm and admission is free.

FREE: Sketch, Lancaster, from Monday, November 20 until Friday, December 15

The sketchbook is a place for impossible experiments alongside the ordinary and observed. With 100 artists’ sketchbooks to handle and explore, this exhibition is a journey through the diversity of drawing and the sketchbook itself, and an invitation into the most intimate studio space of the artist. It’s being held in the Peter Scott Gallery within Lancaster University. Opening times are 12pm until 5pm, Monday to Friday and admission is free. For more information visit

FREE: Woodland Creation, Skipton, Saturday, November 19

Beckfoot Farm needs your help! Go along and get stuck in with some tree planting at their largest site this year. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never planted a tree before: they need your help to plant some of the 7,000 native saplings going in at the farm in Tosside, Skipton this autumn and winter. It’s happening on Saturday from 10am until 3pm, and then on November 22, 25 and 29 and Dec 2. For more information call 01200 444 452.

PAID: Starling Watch, Preston, Tuesday, November 21

The Starling Watch is your chance to view one of the ‘must see’ wildlife highlights at Brockholes Nature Reserve, near Preston. View the amazing spectacle of the starling murmuration on the Visitor Village ‘after hours’, accompanied by birding experts who will be able to interpret this fascinating behaviour for you. It starts at 3pm. Tickets are £6.95. Booking is essential.