Cumbria Crack

Hike for Highlights

H4H office staff – L-R: Karen Babayan, Alisha Lowis, Barbara Slack and Helen Swaby

[T]his year, Highlights celebrates 21 years of bringing great shows to small villages across Cumbria, Co Durham and Northumberland. To celebrate this landmark birthday and ensure Highlights’ survival into the future – the scheme and its supporters are combining a fundraising hike across scenic, rural landscape with a birthday Tea Party in the village hall.

10 village halls including 6 in Cumbria will act as ‘hub venues’ welcoming the walkers to an afternoon Tea Party with home-made cakes, tasty treats and live entertainment. Other village halls on the scheme’s network will be organising walker’s groups to take up this family-friendly challenge, stepping out of their comfort zone and onto the trails and treks of the stunning local landscape on route to these village halls.

Village organisers are offering  ‘open-to-all’ walks of different lengths, abilities and terrain – with all walks arriving at the halls for a 2pm celebration with live music.

Hike for Highlights will be an enjoyable and rewarding way to spend an afternoon whilst

raising funds to support live events in the village.   Walkers can register at the hub halls, at Highlights website or just turn up on the day – and are asked to contribute a minimum donation of £10 (includes afternoon tea). Alternatively, supporters can leave their boots at home and just come along for the Tea Party where for £5 minimum donation entry, they can have fun making a difference.

More information on the participating halls and routes can be found at or by phoning the village hall organisers direct (contacts given below).

Through to August 2019, Highlights is part of a scheme whereby every £1 raised will be doubled by Arts Council England and will be invested in keeping performances in our villages for the next 21 years and beyond.

Holly Goodfellow, Highlights Fundraiser said “Hike for Highlights is an exciting opportunity because it gives us the chance to generate funds that will really make a change to the way we work. By providing a match investment for every donation we receive, the Arts Council have chosen to support performance in our region and we hope this will start to address some of the funding pressures that are hitting us and village halls across the North, ensuring that we have sustainable methods to continue to support you and local activity for years to come.”

“We are looking forward to working and walking with promoters, audiences and friends from across the region, in this our biggest and most ambitious fundraiser, to celebrate our 21st Birthday. Feedback so far has been overwhelmingly positive and we’d like to say a big thank you in advance for your continuing support.”  Barbara Slack, Highlights Co director

Highlights Rural Touring Scheme has been bringing shows from national touring companies into the heart of rural villages for 21 years. It’s a scheme that supports local promoters and subsidizes performances, making them affordable for small communities and contributing to the social and economic life of the village. Highlights currently works in partnership with a network of over 75 village promoters who, for the most part, are volunteers who give their time to provide a great night out for their community. Highlights is a registered charity and an NPO client of Arts Council England.

We joined Highlights more than 10 years ago and still get a thrill from hosting such great shows – every time we have a show I look around at the enraptured audience and think we are so lucky to have such quality events – right here on our doorstep – in our very own village hall. What a marvellous scheme Highlights is!”  Sue Hayward – promoter at Arnside

Hike for Highlights – participating venues

For route details visit or contact the organisers direct

All the Teas are starting at 2pm


Alston Town Hall – (walking from Sinderhope to Allendale)

One for the more active as this route is organised by Alston Village Hall and takes you and the Alston walkers across the moors from Sinderhope to Allendale for Tea.

Walk organiser 01434 382798.  Start point is Sinderhope  at 11.30am

Arnside Educational Inst, Church Hill, Arnside, Carnforth LA5 0DF

Walk, Tea and Entertainment in the South Cumbrian Village of Arnside

Walk organiser 01524 762254. Start point is Arnside Educational Inst 1.30pm

Crosby Ravensworth Village Hall, Penrith, Cumbria CA10 3HY

Time to stretch those legs and celebrate in this lovely village just south of Penrith

Walk organiser  07584 251352 start point is  Crosby Ravensworth Village Hall 12pm

Orton Market Hall, Market Street Orton, Penrith CA10 3RL

Meet at Orton Market Hall to cross the Cumbrian fells to Crosby Ravensworth for the Tea and celebrations

Walk organiser 01539 624732.  Start point is Orton Market Hall 12.15pm

Skirwith Village Hall, Church St, Skirwith, Penrith CA10 1RL

Join us for a tasty Cumbrian Tea with Music from the renowned accordionist Alistair Anderson

Afternoon Tea at 2pm only (no hike)

Watson Institute, Castle Carrock – Raysdale, Brampton, Carlisle, Cumbria CA8 9LT

What better way to spend the day, than a stroll around Castle Carrock, followed by celebrations.  Music from Ben Draper

Walk organiser 07764 355181. Start point is The Watson Institute at 11am


Allendale Village Hall, Leadgate, Allendale, N’land NE47 9PR

Special walk and Birthday Tea in a beautiful Northumberland village with music from jazz/folk duo, Landermason and carriage rides in the village square.

Walk organiser on 07854982721.  Start point is Allendale Square 10.30 am

Hepscott Village Hall, Hepscott, Morpeth, N’land NE61 6LN

A beautiful Northumberland walk, Tea and cake. Music is from  Cello/accordion duo, Tango Zapatito who will play two sets of European and Argentinian tangos, waltzes, milongas, swing and classical.

Walk organiser on 0167051888. Start point is Hepscott Village Hall Car Park 11.45 am

Wingates Village Hall, Wingates, nr Longhorsley NE65 8RW

Journey on a route around this rural village, and eat cake to the sounds of guitar/vocal jazz duo, Hand to Mouth, with a smooth repertoire of Ella Fitzgerald/Joe Pass

Walk organiser on 01670 788553. Start point is Wingates Village hall 10am

Co Durham

Boldron village hall –  Barnard Castle, County Durham, DL12 9RF

Join us for a County Durham style knees up, Tea and Entertainment with folk duo, Mike and Rosie Bettison of Notes From Teesdale.

Afternoon tea party only (no hike).  More information on 01833 631 463

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