Things to do nearby Bridge End (Longsleddale)
Longsleddale is a long narrow valley with a single road running through the centre. The road terminates at Sadgill at the valley head. Beyond that, there is nothing but mountains.
Longsleddale is around 4 miles in length and very sparsely populated. There are around 30 houses in the valley scattered along the single valley road. St Mary’s Church has stood in the valley for over 150 years and was built on the site of a previous church. It was rebuilt to accommodate the growing valley population…..of 150 people!
The valley remains untouched by modern development. Nature is the dominant force in Longsleddale with deciduous woodland cloaking the lower slopes and hedgerows full of wild flowers. It is also a fantastic place to spot wildlife and birds. As well as the flocks of sheep, you can see roe and red deer, badgers, rabbits, hares and red squirrels. Ravens nest in the high crags and are a familiar sight overhead. The rich variety of the valley habitat attracts a wild range of birds including woodpeckers, jays, nuthatches and owls. Along the river you can see kingfishers and herons.
Perhaps the biggest (and only) claim to fame in Longsleddale is that the valley was used as the blueprint for the Postman Pat stories. Author John Cunliffe lived in nearby Kendal and used Longsleddale as the basis to create his fictional village of Greendale.
Longsleddale is an excellent base for walkers, particularly those seeking quieter, wilder fells to roam on. The valley road ends at Sadgill and a track climbs to Gatesgarth Pass open to walkers, mountain bikers and horse riders. From the top of the pass you can see the Haweswater reservoir, and in the surrounding fells; three survey pillars indicating the route of the aqueduct.
The high fells of Kentmere and Haweswater are easily accessible from Bridge End Cottage. The area is also very popular for mountain bikers as there are several off-road mountain passes that create a loop in the fells around Longsleddale and Kentmere.
Nearby Kendal is a popular town for shopping, arts and culture. It is considered to be the gateway to the Lake District from the south and offers much more than your average market town.
The vibrant Brewery Arts Centres has a year round calendar showing everything from comedy and films to stage productions and bands. Kendal also offers a great choice of shopping with a wide variety of markets, independent and high street shops. You can read more in our guide to negotiating the fascinating yards and ginnels, the pedestrian friendly high streets and the interesting markets.
The southern Lake District is within driving distance. Bowness and Windermere are within 30 minutes, Coniston around 45 minutes away and the Langdale Pikes around an hour away. Bampton and the Haweswater reservoir are around 30 minutes to the north.