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

Exhibitions 20 October 2017–17 February 2018, FREE

LAND | SEA | LIFE at Abbot Hall

See over 70 works by over 40 leading artists including Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Graham Sutherland and Laura Knight in this fascinating collection.

Families 18 November 2017,

Family Adventure Film Screening at Kendal Mountain Festival

Thrilling short films showcasing wild adventure from around the world with their stars to answer your questions.

Families 18 November 2017, from £12:50

The Art of Survival at Kendal Mountain Festival

Hear tales from the UK’s best survival and safety experts – Megan Hine and Aldo Kane – who work tirelessly to keep celebrities safe in extreme locations.

Families 18 November 2017, from £16.50

Wild Adventures with Steve Backshall and Aldo Kane at Kendal Mountain Festival

Joined on stage by extreme adventurer Aldo Kane, Steve will be sharing his latest adventure; ‘Down the Mighty River’ – the Baliem River in the island of New Guinea.

Childrens 18 November 2017, from £5:50

Britain’s Abandoned Playgrounds at Kendal Mountain Festival

Freerunner Katie McDonnell, highliner Jediah Doohan, BMX rider Pete Catherall and skateboarder Calvin Ligono explore abandoned areas doing what they do best; backflipping, bar-spinning and vaulting.

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