York Castle Museum

Things to do in Kendal

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 selling all manner of homeware and gifts to take back home from your visit to Kendal, and The Antiques Emporium is full to the rafters of unique pieces of history, whether that be lamps, outfits or jewellery. Another Weigh is an eco-friendly space, selling cereals, pulses, legumes, herbs and spices in a zero-waste fashion which is vital for sustainability.

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. Traditionalists will adore the Shakespeare Inn, home to simple, cosy rooms in a refurbished old-fashioned pub.

Unsurprisingly, considering the reputation of the Lake District as a food-lovers paradise, Kendal is home to countless excellent places to eat and drink. Comida is 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. For those visitors out and about during the daytime, a coffee in About Time Espresso Bar is highly recommended, as is The Joshua Tree for lunch.

Whether you’re looking for culture, food, drink, shopping or simply to catch the sights of one of the UK’s most beautiful regions, Kendal has the lot. And it’s easily accessible from all over the UK, by train or car. When a place as beautiful and scenic as this is on our doorsteps, a visit for a week or two is a must.

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