England's Book Town
Nuzzled at the base of Wainwright's beloved Howgills and with spectacular views in all directions, many people fall in love with Sedbergh before they even park up. Whilst the town is part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, it sits over the border in Cumbria - it's a rural market town with a big personality. Packed full of fascinating places to explore, it is a hive of activity throughout the year. Its vast collection of independent bookshops, both second-hand and new, has led to Sedbergh's title as England's Book Town, and the town now hosts an annual book festival every October, as well as being a part of the Dales and Lakes Bookshop Trail.
You don't need to be a passionate reader to appreciate this delightful historic town. Its old-world charm is best absorbed with an amble around the narrow, cobbled streets to explore its fascinating buildings, many of which are reminiscent of its prolific knitting and wool industry, which dates back to the thirteenth century. The market has been the epicentre of this thriving community for hundreds of years, and today's visitors can still enjoy a vibrant artisan market that takes place one Saturday each month (milder months only). Here, you can immerse yourself in a vast collection of stalls selling artisan arts and crafts and local food and drink, as well as a fun, family atmosphere and entertainment.
Take in the Town
A pleasant walk leads you along the river and through beautiful countryside, taking in a number of the town's captivating draws and telling the tale of the area's rich heritage. Farfield Mill Arts and Heritage Centre is steeped in history as well as being a treasure trove of high-end textile products created by local skilled artists. The mill itself dates back to 1837 when it and four other similar water-powered textile mills would spin and weave the wool produced from nearby farms, contributing to the area becoming an important hub of the wool industry. Today, a visit is rewarded with exhibitions of the industry from a bygone era, together with live demonstrations from local craftspeople.
Brigflatts Quaker Meeting House
Spend some time exploring the Brigflatts Quaker Meeting House, viewing the unique stained glass windows at St Gregory's Church or learning about Sedbergh Embroidery at St Andrew's Church to further appreciate the area's heritage.
An Outdoor Haven
As well as luring culture-lovers and bookworms, Sedbergh is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and walking opportunities abound. Whether it is a gentle stroll with the kids up to the Pepper Pot or embarking on part of the iconic Dales Way, or a day following in the footsteps of Alfred Wainwright with a hike in the Howgill Fells, there is plenty to appeal to all abilities and preferences, and whatever your choice, you're sure to be rewarded with spectacular views and lungs full of fresh air.
Mountain Biking and Road Cycling
Keen mountain bikers can push the limits on the challenging Bowderdale Circuit; starting as a steep grassy ascent before dropping down into the Howgills on a series of technical singletrack routes, this ride can take you for miles without meeting another soul. Road cyclists can test themselves against some of the Dales' iconic climbs, including Butter Tubs Pass which was brought to fame following its inclusion in the 2014 Tour de France. Many cyclists enjoy the victory of reaching Tan Hill Inn, the highest pub in Britain - no refreshment stop will feel more invigorating than after this vigorous climb.
The rivers Lune and Rawthay are home to brown trout, sea trout and salmon, and fishing is possible with a license. The meandering waterways are also popular white-water canoeing destinations, with people travelling to the area especially to take on their rapids when conditions are right.
Fun for All the Family
Families visiting Sedbergh can enjoy an abundance of pleasant walks with lovely picnic spots and there are plenty of attractions to keep children entertained. Holme Farm is open to the public, offering visitors a chance to experience a traditional Dales working farm. As well as cuddling baby chicks and feeding young lambs, there are lots of excellent demonstrations throughout the year, including live sheepdog displays and sheep marking. Visitors can also enjoy refreshments in the delightful cafe and a stroll around the marked nature trail. When it comes to family days out, you're spoilt for choice with White Scar Caves, England's longest show cave, Lakeland Wildlife Oasis, home to rare Snow Leopards and a host of other enthralling creatures, and the Dales Countryside Museum, with excellent hands-on activities and a host of events and exhibitions, all an easy drive from Sedbergh.
Treat Yourself to Local Produce
Exhausted from all the adventure and discovery? Why not choose from the cluster of excellent cafes, pubs and eateries in the town and tuck into some incredible local produce. Don’t miss sampling the Howgill Fellside Ice Cream, delicious and creamy, it’s made on a local farm using milk from their herd.