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Kendal is a fantastic base for walkers looking to explore the Lakes as well as the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Plus, there's plenty to see and do in town, from the eerie ruins of Kendal Castle and Castle Howe to Kendal Museum and the many pubs and restaurants scattered around the Highgate area. Trains to Kendal take under an hour and a half from Manchester and just 40 scenic minutes from Preston, making an escape to this Cumbrian market town as easy as it is rewarding.
Arriving at Kendal station you’ll find buses available under a five-minute walk away and Plusbus is available for an add-on fare of £1.80. There is no taxi rank at the station but you can book in advance from one of the many taxi firms based in the town.
There’s no doubting the area’s beautiful scenery. To see nature tamed take a trip 4 miles south of Kendal to Sizergh Castle and Gardens. These large, exquisitely landscaped gardens are the perfect introduction to the Lakes. After Sizergh’s Tudor splendour why not try some Elizabethan style at Levens Hall and marvel at fantastical topiary and elegant terraces. Finally, find out how nature feeds us with a tour of the Hawkshead Brewery and try a tipple at their Beer Hall.
Wandering around Kendal to find great food is half the fun, but a few are worth making a bee-line for. Next door to Plumgarth’s Farm Shop & Café you’ll find The 2 Sisters Café, which is the ideal place for everything from a hearty breakfast, a light lunch or an indulgent afternoon tea. The Moon Highgate offers seasonal modern British fare using ingredients sourced across Cumbria. For some traditional pub food, fine wine and ales why not try Romneys – where they have a steak night every Tuesday.
The Castle Green Hotel is based in a beautiful building, set in immaculate grounds (not many hotels are so at one with their surroundings that they have a family of great crested newts in the car park). If you don’t want to travel far for your bed, the Premier Inn Kendal Central Hotel is a less than 10 minutes from the station and within easy reach of everything Kendal has to offer. A short taxi ride will find you at the family-run Crooklands Hotel, where you can idle in an idyll of rural serenity.
The 3 shopping centres in Kendal offer a diverse trio of retail fun. The Westmoreland Shopping Centre has all your high-street favourites. The K Village is an outlet shopping centre where bargains can be found and you can even take a tour around the Heritage Centre that tells the tale of shoe-making in Kendal. Finally, there’s the Elephant Yard where you can splash out on much-loved brands like Monsoon, Laura Ashley and more.
For more ideas on what to do in Kendal, see Visit Cumbria.