Kendal and Kirkby Lonsdale

Kirkby Lonsdale is an historic market town set within easy reach of both the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales. Mentioned in the Doomsday Book of 1086, the centre is lined with 17th and 18th century buildings, cobbled courtyards and narrow alleyways.

In this guide, we’ve rounded up our top Things To Do in Kirkby Lonsdale to help you plan your visit and you can click here to browse all our Kirkby Lonsdale Cottages.

Ruskin's View in the Lune Valley

Admire Ruskin's View

Kirkby Lonsdale is where the famous Lakeland writer and philanthropist John Ruskin first saw the Lune Valley and made the oft quoted comment "I do not know in all my country, still less France or Italy, a place more naturally divine…”. You can visit this spot where he stood and was inspired to write these words in St Mary's Churchyard.

Devil's Bridge near Kirkby Lonsdale

Take a Stroll on Devil's Bridge

Devils Bridge is a three arched bridge set on the edge of the town, spanning the River Lune. The bridge is thought to date back to the 12th or 13th century and is now a scheduled ancient monument. According to the legend, the bridge was built by the Devil, and tells of an old lady who wished to cross the bridge to tend her cow on the other side of the river. The Devil demanded a payment in the form of the soul of the first person to cross the bridge. The old lady cleverly foiled his plan by sending her dog across first.

On weekends (especially Sundays), this is a really popular place to visit and enjoy a cup of tea from Devil's Bridge Snacks.

Kendal in Cumbria

A Day Out in Kendal

The bustling town of Kendal, is a popular hub for shopping and culture in south Lakeland – home to a vibrant arts center, museums and a renowned art gallery.

Kendal offers a relaxing and enjoyable shopping experience with pedestrian-friendly streets and intriguing yards and ginnels. Famous high street names and brands sit alongside a fabulous collection of specialty craft, food, and designers shops and markets.

St Mary's Church in Krikby Lonsdale

Visit St Mary's Church

The beautiful Norman church, St Mary’s, has a pretty courtyard full of ancient monuments and wonderful architecture to admire. From the wrought-iron gateways, to the many stained-glass windows, carved oak furniture and pulpit, this is a magnificent place to visit.

Steak from Cranstons

Eating Out

Kirkby Lonsdale has a great reputation for dining out. There are a whole host of choices from a simple cafe in the market square to fine dining in one of the towns restaurants. As you might expect in a characterful market town such as this, there are plenty of traditional pubs too and many of them are dog friendly. 

We recommend The Sun Inn, Plato's Restaurant and The Crossing Point Cafe.

You can read more in our Kirkby Lonsdale Eating Out Guide.

Kendal Brewery Arts Centre

Kendal Brewery Arts Centre

The Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal opened in 1972 when the building was converted from the original Whitwell Brewery. Many of the rooms and stages bear names that hark back to the brewing days. The centre now hosts music, top names in comedy, plays and a popular cinema. There is a wonderful shabby chic bar in the basement vaults serving pizza and tapas.

Victorian Fair

The Victorian Fair

During the first weekend in September, the town hosts its Victorian Fair, now a major event in the North of England. This lively event is a fantastic family day out! Browse the market stalls and catch some lively street entertainment!


Read more of our local Area Guides or see our introduction to Sally's Cottages in the Lakes.

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