Kendal - the Lake District.
Welcome to the EDGE Guide to Kendal. Kendal is the bustling and charming southern gateway to the Lake District.
Kendal is also an attractive town built largely of grey stone, which has given rise to its nickname of "the auld grey town".
Kendal has developed in such a way as to supply all the needs of the surrounding farming community as well as its own population and caters for the many visitors it receives throughout the year.
This means great shopping, good restaurants, and plenty to keep you occupied if you want to stroll around the town visiting the museums, art galleries, craft shops and other attractions.
A great many of the streets are pedestrianised to make shopping even more pleasurable.
As you wonder around the streets exploring the town you will find many quaint and attractive alleyways and passages leading off the more ordered main streets. These alleys give some clue as to the look of the town in older times.
Many delights can be found amongst these quaint lanes (such as the New Shambles) both for those out shopping and also for those looking for refreshment. You may want to visit the Westmorland Shopping Centre which provides a covered shopping mall.
Alternatively you could sit on the banks of the River Kent and enjoy the peace and tranquillity to be found in the shade of the trees outside the Abbot Hall Museum.
You may wish to take a picnic up to Kendal castle on the hill overlooking the town. A very pleasant way to lunch.
There are a great many attractions to visit in and around Kendal:
Abbot Hall Museum - The Old Brewery Arts Centre - Kendal Castle - The Lakeland Climbing Centre - Sizergh Castle - Levens Hall - Whitbarrow Nature Reserve - Lake Windermere - golf - walking - K Village Heritage Centre - a plethora of attractive villages within easy reach - and a great deal more.
Kendal: a short history: top
Kendal did not suffer the ravages the towns in the north of the county did at the hands of the raiding Scots. As a result it was able to develop its trades, mainly in wool.
A material called Kendal Green was produced in sizable quantities: a kind of denim of its time, rough but hard wearing.
Henry VIII after disposing of five wives in various ways married one Katherine Parr, from Kendal.
At one time Kendal had the benefit of two castles, one was more or less lost to mother nature along the way, but the remains of the other survive on a hill above the town, it is not far to walk and gives good views and makes a restful place for a picnic.
Kendal was at one time the capital of Westmorland, (Westmorland and Cumberland were joined in 1972 to form Cumbria), this as in the first part of the C19 at the expense of Appleby.
Appleby is a much older town and had the title for many years despite the difference in size, Kendal is much bigger. Eventually the increased importance of Kendal as time went on meant that it gained an Member of Parliament.
Kendal: OS ref SD 515920 Sheet 97. Get the map.
Kendal has good links to the rest of Cumbria and is not far either the neighbouring counties of Lancashire and North Yorkshire.
The M6 motorway is only 4mls/17km to the east. On the outskirts of the town is Oxenholme, the mainline West Coast Rail line stops here giving easy access to London, (Euston Station), and Scotland, (Glasgow).