Image courtesy of Walk the Plank

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 both the outdoors-themed Kendal Mountain Festival and the Kendal Torchlight Carnival which is a surefire family favourite, involving handmade torches parading around the town. 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.

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