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5 reasons to visit Kendal

PUBLISHED: 00:00 12 March 2015 | UPDATED: 23:42 23 October 2015

Branthwaite Brow

Branthwaite Brow

Archant

There are scores of reasons to visit the ‘Auld Grey Town’, its colourful history is just one of them

Kendal Town Hall. Kendal Town Hall.

Kendal calls itself the Gateway to the Lakes, but that sells the town woefully short. There is a wonderful mix of shops, no shortage or variety of places to eat and drink and plenty of things to see and do.

There are beautiful walks beside the river Kent, a world class gallery, a ruined castle, quality theatre and the town’s stunning location on the fringe of the Lake District means you’re never far from an impressive view. One of the best is from the ruined 12th century castle, once home to the family of Katherine Parr, which is well worth exploring.

The history of many of Kendal’s buildings and alleyways is charted on plaques dotted around the town and if it’s history you’re after visit the museum which is one of the oldest in the country. It was founded in 1796 and has collections on local archaeology, history and geology and also explains the town’s former importance as a centre of the wool industry which led to the town’s motto ‘Wool is my bread’.

Miller Bridge over the river Kent... Miller Bridge over the river Kent...

1. Since 1972 the Brewery Arts Centre, the former home of Whitwell Mark brewers, has staged a varied programme of events. There’s now a cinema and theatre and the centre regularly hosts music, comedy, dance, literature and drama events.

2. Kendal Museum on Station Road houses an incredible collection of animals, Roman artefacts, geology and items relating the legendary Alfred Wainwright. The Museum of Lakeland Life, in the old Abbot Hall stable block, explores the history of the region and the people who shaped it and the Abbot Hall Gallery has many important paintings.

Branthwaite Brow Branthwaite Brow

3. Kendal has two shopping centres – The Westmorland Shopping Centre and the K Village Outlet Shopping Centre – and the main streets are lined with shops, most of them small independent businesses. Many more can be found on the side streets and the yards, particularly those to the north of the town centre.

4. There are scores of cafes, tearooms, pubs and restaurants all over Kendal but we particularly like Farrer’s Tea and Coffee House on Stricklandgate. Or for something a little more formal, head for the Castle Dairy or the new Greenhouse restaurant at The Castle Green Hotel.

5. Take the Kendal ten bridge challenge - take a walk along the River Kent and take in the history and culture of the auld grey town.

Where it is: Kendal stands on the south eastern fringe of the Lake District National Park, about six miles from junction 36 on the M6. Typing LA9 4PU into your satnav should take you to the town centre. The railway station is close to the centre of the town on the branch line from Oxenholme to Windermere. Most rail passengers to the town must change at Oxenholme.

Find out more: Kendal Tourist Information Centre, on Stramongate, 01539 735891.

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