Kendal and Sedbergh, Cumbria

Ian Jones, Food and Drink Editor

One of the UK’s most beautiful regions, Kendal is a key destination in the Lake District, packed with fantastic places to visit as well as a wide range of high-quality restaurants, bars and pubs.

Culturally, Kendal plays a major role in Cumbria, hosting unique events such as Kendal Mountain Festival, a gathering of professional and amateur mountaineers, ramblers, and outdoors types from all around the world. There’s also the highly-regarded Westmorland County Show, which focuses on agriculture and food, like an old-fashioned fayre brought into the 21st century. Additionally, Brewery Arts Centre is a real hub for high-quality cinema and arts events too.

Of course, Kendal Castle looms large over the area, and for good reason, this 12th century ruined castle is a must-visit for fans of history and stunning photo opportunities. Scout Scar is another awe-inspiring local feature, 771ft tall and a perfect way to get those steps totted up. When it comes to museums, both the Kendal Museum and the Quaker Tapestry Museum house a vast array of captivating artefacts, both historical and natural. And when it comes to beautiful buildings steeped in history, Levens Hall and Sizergh Castle are both centuries-old and packed with countless things to see and do.

Shoppers are well catered for, with independent lifestyle store Armstrong Ward, The Antiques Emporiu full to the rafters of unique pieces of history, and eco-friendly Another Weigh selling cereals, pulses, legumes, herbs and spices. If you’re looking for a place to stay, luxury-seekers should opt for the spectacular Castle Green Hotel, while The Riverside is a vast hotel with stunning views over the River Kent. For somewhere to eat, head to Comida, a laid-back Spanish restaurant serving up a range of mouth-watering Iberian treats, while Fell Bar is a fine place to go to enjoy some local beers.

Alternatively, head east to the sleepy town of Sedbergh: nestled within the Yorkshire Dales National Park, it’s as stunning as its Lakeland neighbours, but far quieter. In 2003, Sedbergh became England’s ‘Book Town’, with bookshops and an annual festival. It is also home to Farfield Mill, a series of studios and a gallery that show some of the best historic and contemporary textiles in the North West.

Our top picks

Brewery Arts Centre

Brewery Arts Centre, 122A Highgate, Kendal, Cumbria, LA9 4HE - Visit now

Housed in a picturesque brewery building, the Brewery Arts Centre has been a hub for high-quality cinema, stage-on-screen, music, comedy, and spoken word in Kendal and the region for over 40 years. More recently, the Brewery Arts Centre has started to offer a programme of lessons in creative learning, too.

Image courtesy of Brewery Arts Centre.

Kendal Castle

Kendal Castle, 1 test street, Kendal - Visit now

Kendal Castle, a 12th century ruined castle built atop a formidable glacial drumlin, offers stunning views over Kendal and the surrounding landscapes and the haunting structure makes for great photo opportunities. Parents can also let the kids charge around in the wide-open spaces.

Kendal Castle
Courtesy of Visit Kendal

Scout Scar

Scout Scar, Underbarrow Road, Kendal, Cumbria, LA8 8HB - Visit now

Scout Scar is an amazing 771ft tall hill, with an awe-inspiring cliff-edge and views all around the county. Whether you’re using Scout Scar as a short trip or as a springboard to the rest of the lakes, the ridge makes an impressive chapter in your journey.

Scout Scar
Bryan Pready

Kendal Museum

Kendal Museum, Station Rd, Kendal, Cumbria, LA9 6BT - Visit now

Kendal Museum holds an impressive collection of both historic and natural artefacts. The collection includes pieces from all over the world and from the beginning of time to the present, but the real interest lies in the fascinating local history of the region.

Kendal Museum
Visit Kendal

Quaker Tapestry Museum

Quaker Tapestry Museum, Friends Meeting House Stramongate, Kendal, Cumbria, LA9 4BH - Visit now

The friends meeting house situated in Kendal houses the Quaker Tapestry a monumental piece of textile art, memorialising the history of the Quaker movement. This is a fascinating piece of social and political history, the work of over four 4000 men, women and children. It’s also worth noting that the venue is set up to create an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity and to be a safe space for all, which some parents may find especially useful.

Quaker Tapestry Museum
Quaker Tapestry Museum

Levens Hall

Levens Hall, Levens Hall, Kendal, Cumbria, LA8 0PD - Visit now

Levens Hall is a beautiful Elizabethan manor house, featuring the oldest surviving example of a topiary garden.  As well as enjoying a stroll in the stunning house and gardens, visitors can indulge in the delicious seasonal and local food provided by recently established Levens Kitchen.

Levens Hall
Levens Hall Kendal Cumbria

Sizergh Castle

Sizergh Castle, Sizergh, Kendal, Cumbria, LA8 8DZ - Visit now

Complete with picturesque architecture and a gallery of fascinating historical portraits, plus rambling gardens famous for their birds and insects, Sizergh Castle is a must visit manor house in Kendal.

Sizergh Castle

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