Image courtesy of Walk the Plank

Kendal and Sedbergh, Cumbria

Creative Tourist

The South Lakes are where it’s at for most visitors, and usually has the tailbacks to prove it. But make time for Kendal, a pretty market town that happens to be a hub of artistic activity. Here, Abbot Hall Art Gallery illustrates just how much the local landscape has influenced generations of artists, with its fine display of 18th and 19th century landscapes, works by the likes of Turner and Constable, and a strong 20th-century collection. The nearby Brewery Arts Centre also hosts everything from cinema and dance to comedy and art, while Kendal Mountain Festival (Nov) majors in mountain-themed literature, cinema, art and talks of the heroic man vs. nature variety.

Head East across the M6 to the sleepy town of Sedbergh: nestled within the Yorkshire Dales National Park, it’s is 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 (it’s a good place to stop off for a bite to eat, too).

Discover our top picks

Literature 15–17 October 2021, from £14.00

Lakes International Comic Art Festival

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival is back in the Cumbrian town of Kendal, bigger and better than ever, and with plenty of storytelling treats in both words and pictures.

Kendal Torchlight Carnival
Activity 24–26 September 2021, FREE

Kendal Torchlight Carnival

A great event for families with children. A parade of hand-made torches circulates the whole of Kendal, with local schools, businesses, and organisations competing to put on the best show.

Kendal Mountain Festival
Cinema 18–21 November 2021, FREE

Kendal Mountain Festival

The four-day Kendal Mountain Festival is always packed with exciting activities for everyone from children to pensioners. Happening virtually in 2021, this year’s event is no less of an outdoors extravaganza.

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