15 Best Things To Do In Kendal, England

15 Best Things To Do In Kendal, England

By will

Kendal, England, nestled in the heart of the picturesque Lake District, offers a wealth of delightful experiences for travelers seeking a charming and vibrant destination. As I ventured through this historic town, I discovered an array of activities that captured my imagination and left me with lasting memories.

From exploring the ruins of Kendal Castle to indulging in the vibrant local culture at festivals and events, Kendal truly has something for everyone.

One of the highlights of my visit was exploring Kendal Castle, a magnificent ruin perched atop a hill overlooking the town. As I wandered through the ancient walls and towers, I couldn’t help but be transported back in time, imagining the lives of those who once called this place home. The breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape added to the enchantment, making it a must-visit for history enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

For art lovers, a visit to the Abbot Hall Art Gallery is a must. This elegant gallery showcases an impressive collection of paintings and sculptures, including works by renowned artists such as Turner and Constable. As I immersed myself in the world of art, I found myself captivated by the beauty and creativity on display. The gallery also hosts temporary exhibitions, ensuring there is always something new and exciting to discover. Whether you’re a seasoned art enthusiast or simply appreciate beauty, a visit to the Abbot Hall Art Gallery is sure to leave you inspired.

Explore Kendal Castle

Kendal Castle
Photo by Richard Buck

You won’t want to miss exploring Kendal Castle – it’s a captivating journey back in time that will leave you in awe.

As you step into the grounds of this ancient fortress, you can’t help but feel a sense of wonder at the history that surrounds you.

The castle, perched on a hilltop overlooking the town of Kendal, offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

Built in the 12th century, Kendal Castle was once home to the powerful Barons of Kendal.

As you wander through the ruins, you can envision the grandeur and splendor that once filled this magnificent structure.

The remains of the castle’s walls and towers stand tall, giving you a glimpse into what life was like centuries ago.

You can explore the castle’s chambers and climb to the top of the towers, where you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the town and the picturesque Lake District beyond.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply looking for a unique experience, exploring Kendal Castle is a must-do activity.

The castle’s rich history and stunning architecture make it a truly captivating destination.

So don’t miss the opportunity to step back in time and immerse yourself in the wonders of Kendal Castle.

Visit the Abbot Hall Art Gallery

Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal
Photo by Peter Turner

Indulge in the cultural experience of exploring Abbot Hall Art Gallery while in Kendal, where you can admire an impressive collection of contemporary artwork. The gallery is housed in a beautiful Georgian mansion, adding to the charm of the experience.

As you step inside, you’re greeted by a serene and welcoming atmosphere, with soft lighting that accentuates the art on display.

The Abbot Hall Art Gallery showcases a diverse range of contemporary art, with works by renowned artists such as J.M.W. Turner, Barbara Hepworth, and Lucian Freud. From stunning landscapes to thought-provoking abstract pieces, there is something to appeal to every art lover’s taste. The gallery also hosts temporary exhibitions, ensuring there is always something new and exciting to discover.

As you wander through the gallery’s rooms, you can take your time to appreciate the intricate details and skill behind each artwork. The knowledgeable staff is always on hand to answer any questions and provide insights into the artists and their works.

After exploring the gallery, you can relax in the charming café, enjoying a cup of tea or coffee while reflecting on the art you’ve just seen.

Visiting the Abbot Hall Art Gallery is a truly enriching experience that allows you to immerse yourself in the world of contemporary art. Whether you’re a seasoned art enthusiast or just starting to explore the art scene, this gallery is a must-visit when in Kendal.

So, make sure to add it to your itinerary and prepare to be inspired by the incredible talent on display.

Take a stroll through the picturesque Lake District

Buttermere and Haystacks
Photo by Ian Taylor

Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of the picturesque Lake District while taking a leisurely stroll. The Lake District is a true paradise for nature lovers, with its rolling hills, sparkling lakes, and charming villages.

As you walk through this stunning landscape, you’ll be surrounded by lush greenery, towering mountains, and the calming sound of running water. The air is crisp and fresh, and the views are simply awe-inspiring.

There are countless walking routes to choose from, catering to all levels of fitness and interests. Whether you prefer a gentle lakeside stroll or a more challenging hike up a mountain, the Lake District has it all.

You can explore the famous Windermere, England’s largest lake, or discover the hidden gems of Buttermere and Ullswater. Along the way, you’ll encounter charming villages with cozy pubs and delightful cafes, perfect for a well-deserved break.

Don’t forget to bring your camera, as every corner of the Lake District offers a postcard-worthy view.

As you stroll through the Lake District, you’ll also have the opportunity to spot a variety of wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for deer, birds of prey, and even the elusive red squirrel. The region is teeming with natural beauty and biodiversity, making it a haven for animal and plant enthusiasts alike.

Whether you’re an avid photographer, a nature lover, or simply seeking a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, a stroll through the Lake District is an experience that will leave you feeling refreshed, inspired, and in awe of the wonders of nature.

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So lace up your walking shoes, take a deep breath of fresh air, and embark on a journey through this breathtakingly beautiful landscape.

Discover the history of Kendal at the Kendal Museum

Located in the heart of the Lake District, the Kendal Museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the rich history of this charming town. As soon as you step through the doors, you’re transported back in time to a world filled with ancient artifacts, intriguing exhibits, and captivating stories.

The museum is home to a diverse collection, showcasing everything from prehistoric fossils to medieval weaponry. You can wander through the halls and marvel at the intricate details of the exhibits, soaking in the knowledge and immersing yourself in the history of Kendal.

One of the highlights of the Kendal Museum is its impressive display of local wildlife. You can admire the beautiful taxidermy specimens of birds, mammals, and butterflies, all native to the Lake District. It’s a wonderful opportunity to get up close and personal with these creatures and appreciate their beauty and diversity.

Additionally, the museum houses a collection of archaeological artifacts, including Roman coins, pottery, and tools, giving you a glimpse into the town’s ancient past. Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about the heritage of Kendal, a visit to the Kendal Museum is an absolute must-do when exploring this picturesque town in the Lake District.

Go hiking in the nearby fells and mountains

Get ready to explore the breathtaking beauty of the nearby fells and mountains by going hiking. Kendal is surrounded by stunning natural landscapes that offer a variety of hiking trails for all levels of experience. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just starting out, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

One popular hiking destination is the Lake District National Park, which is just a short drive from Kendal. Here, you can embark on a scenic hike up one of the many peaks, such as Scafell Pike or Helvellyn, and be rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. The fells and mountains in this area are known for their rugged beauty, with craggy cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and peaceful lakes dotting the landscape. As you make your way along the trails, you’ll have the opportunity to spot wildlife, including red deer, birds of prey, and even the elusive red squirrel.

For those looking for a more leisurely hike, there are also plenty of shorter walking routes that offer stunning views without the steep climbs. The Howgill Fells, located just north of Kendal, are a great option for a gentle stroll. With their rolling hills and picturesque valleys, these fells provide a peaceful setting for a relaxing hike. You can take in the breathtaking scenery as you wander along the well-marked paths, and perhaps even stop for a picnic or a dip in one of the clear mountain streams.

No matter which hiking trail you choose, exploring the fells and mountains near Kendal is an experience not to be missed. So lace up your hiking boots, pack some snacks, and get ready to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of this stunning region.

Indulge in local delicacies at the Kendal Farmers’ Market

Don’t miss out on the chance to treat yourself to local delicacies at the Kendal Farmers’ Market, where you can indulge in a variety of mouthwatering treats.

As a food lover, I was in heaven when I stepped into this bustling market. The vibrant atmosphere was filled with the enticing aroma of freshly baked bread, the sizzle of hot dishes being prepared, and the friendly chatter of local vendors.

One of the highlights of the Kendal Farmers’ Market is the wide selection of artisan cheeses. From creamy brie to tangy cheddar, there is a cheese to suit every palate. I couldn’t resist sampling a few different varieties and ended up leaving with a bag full of my favorites.

The market also offers an array of homemade jams and chutneys that perfectly complement the cheeses. I couldn’t resist buying a jar of tangy tomato chutney to enjoy with my cheese at home.

In addition to cheeses and condiments, the market showcases an abundance of locally grown fruits and vegetables. The vibrant colors of the produce were a feast for the eyes. I couldn’t resist picking up some juicy strawberries and crisp apples to snack on later.

There were also stalls selling freshly baked pastries, pies, and cakes, all made with love and using locally sourced ingredients. I treated myself to a slice of warm apple pie and savored every bite.

The Kendal Farmers’ Market is a true food lover’s paradise. With its wide variety of local delicacies, it offers a unique opportunity to indulge in the flavors of the region. Whether you’re a fan of cheeses, fresh produce, or sweet treats, this market has something to satisfy every craving.

Don’t miss the chance to explore this culinary treasure trove during your visit to Kendal.

Take a scenic boat trip on Lake Windermere

Hop aboard a charming boat and embark on a picturesque journey across the breathtaking Lake Windermere. As I step onto the boat, I’m immediately captivated by the serene beauty of the lake.

The crystal-clear waters glisten under the sunlight, surrounded by lush green hills and charming little villages. It feels like stepping into a postcard.

As the boat sets sail, I find a comfortable spot on the deck and let the refreshing breeze brush against my face. The captain’s voice fills the air, providing interesting facts and stories about the lake’s history and the surrounding area. I can’t help but be enthralled by the tales of famous writers and artists who found inspiration in these very waters.

As we cruise along, the scenery changes with every passing moment. Majestic mountains rise on the horizon, reflecting their grandeur on the still surface of the lake. The occasional sailboat gracefully glides by, adding to the charm of the experience. It truly is a feast for the senses.

I take a moment to soak it all in, appreciating the tranquility and natural beauty that surrounds me. The boat trip on Lake Windermere isn’t just a journey from one point to another; it’s an immersive experience that allows me to connect with nature and escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It’s a must-do activity for anyone visiting Kendal, and it’s an experience that will stay with me long after I’ve stepped off the boat.

Visit the Quaker Tapestry Museum to learn about the town’s heritage

Immerse yourself in the rich heritage of Kendal by visiting the Quaker Tapestry Museum, where you can explore the town’s history through intricate tapestries and captivating exhibits.

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As you step into the museum, you’re immediately greeted by a sense of tranquility and reverence. The tapestries, meticulously woven by hand, depict significant events in Kendal’s past, from its origins as a bustling market town to its role in the Industrial Revolution.

Each tapestry tells a unique story, showcasing the town’s connection to the Quaker movement and its impact on the local community. The vibrant colors and intricate details of the tapestries bring history to life, allowing you to visualize the events and personalities that shaped Kendal.

Walking through the museum, you can’t help but feel a sense of awe and admiration for the skill and dedication of the artisans who created these masterpieces.

In addition to the tapestries, the museum also features a range of interactive exhibits and displays that further delve into Kendal’s heritage. From interactive touch screens to audiovisual presentations, these exhibits provide a deeper understanding of the town’s history and the Quaker values that continue to resonate today.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply curious about Kendal’s past, a visit to the Quaker Tapestry Museum is a must-do activity that’ll leave you with a newfound appreciation for the town’s rich heritage.

Explore the charming streets and shops of Kendal town center

Stroll down the inviting streets of Kendal town center, where you’ll be captivated by the quaint charm of the local shops and immersed in the vibrant atmosphere of this historic town.

As you wander through the streets, you’ll find a plethora of unique shops and boutiques, each offering their own distinct treasures. From antique stores filled with hidden gems to quaint bookshops that transport you to another world, there is something for everyone in Kendal’s town center.

The town center is also home to a variety of cafes and restaurants, where you can take a break from your exploration and indulge in some delicious local cuisine. Whether you’re in the mood for a traditional English breakfast or a gourmet lunch, you’ll find plenty of options to satisfy your taste buds.

As you sit outside and enjoy your meal, you’ll be able to soak in the lively atmosphere of the town center, watching as locals and tourists alike go about their day.

Exploring the streets and shops of Kendal town center is not just a shopping experience, but an immersion into the rich history and charm of this quaint English town. So grab your walking shoes and get ready to discover the hidden treasures and vibrant atmosphere that await you in Kendal.

Attend a performance at the Brewery Arts Centre

When you venture into the heart of Kendal, you’ll discover a truly captivating experience awaits you at the Brewery Arts Centre. You’ll be attending a performance that will transport you to a world of artistic brilliance and cultural enrichment.

The Brewery Arts Centre is a renowned hub for creativity and entertainment, offering a diverse range of performances throughout the year. From theater productions and live music concerts to comedy shows and film screenings, there is always something exciting happening at this vibrant venue.

As you step inside the Brewery Arts Centre, you’ll be greeted by a warm and welcoming atmosphere, with a buzzing energy that fills the air. The state-of-the-art facilities and intimate setting create an immersive experience, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the performance and connect with the talent on stage.

Whether you’re a fan of contemporary theater, classical music, or experimental art, the Brewery Arts Centre has something to offer everyone, ensuring a memorable and enriching experience for all who attend.

Attending a performance at the Brewery Arts Centre is not just about the entertainment value, but also about supporting the local arts scene. The center is a vital platform for both emerging and established artists, providing them with a space to showcase their talent and creativity. By attending a performance, you’re not only treating yourself to a wonderful evening of entertainment but also contributing to the growth and sustainability of the arts community in Kendal.

The diverse range of performances also means that there is always something new and exciting to discover at the Brewery Arts Centre. Whether you’re a visitor to Kendal or a local resident, attending a performance at this cultural gem is a must-do experience that will leave you inspired, uplifted, and with a newfound appreciation for the arts.

So, next time you find yourself in Kendal, be sure to check out the schedule of events at the Brewery Arts Centre and indulge in an evening of artistic brilliance.

Enjoy a picnic in one of Kendal’s beautiful parks or gardens

To truly savor the tranquility and natural beauty of Kendal, why not pack a delicious picnic and find a cozy spot in one of its stunning parks or gardens? With its abundance of green spaces, Kendal offers the perfect setting for a leisurely outdoor meal.

One popular option is Abbot Hall Park, located near the town center. This picturesque park features well-manicured lawns, colorful flowerbeds, and even a charming duck pond. Spread out your picnic blanket under the shade of a tree, take in the serene atmosphere, and enjoy your meal amidst the beauty of nature.

If you’re looking for a more expansive park, head to Serpentine Woods. Here, you’ll find a sprawling woodland area with numerous walking trails and open spaces. The park is home to a variety of wildlife, making it an ideal spot for nature enthusiasts. Find a secluded clearing, lay out your picnic spread, and listen to the birds chirping as you indulge in your favorite treats. The peacefulness of Serpentine Woods will make your picnic experience truly memorable.

When it comes to gardens, make sure to visit the beautiful grounds of Levens Hall. Known for its exquisite topiary gardens, this historic estate offers a unique backdrop for your picnic. Wander through the sculpted hedges and marvel at the intricate designs before settling down for your meal. The combination of artistry and nature creates a magical ambiance that will make your picnic feel like a special occasion.

Whether you choose a park or a garden, enjoying a picnic in Kendal is a delightful way to immerse yourself in the natural surroundings and create lasting memories. So pack your favorite snacks, gather your loved ones, and make the most of the idyllic settings that Kendal has to offer.

Take a guided tour of the Kendal Parish Church

Immerse yourself in the rich history and awe-inspiring architecture of Kendal Parish Church by taking a guided tour that will leave you in awe of its grandeur and spirituality.

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As you step inside the church, you’ll be greeted by the stunning stained glass windows that flood the space with vibrant colors and create a serene atmosphere. The intricate details of the architecture, from the elegant arches to the ornate carvings, showcase the craftsmanship of the past and transport you back in time.

During the guided tour, knowledgeable guides will share fascinating stories about the church’s history, including its origins dating back to the 13th century. You’ll learn about the significant role the church has played in the community throughout the years, from being a place of worship to serving as a gathering spot during important events. The tour will also provide insights into the church’s spiritual significance, allowing you to appreciate its role as a sacred space for reflection and contemplation.

As you explore the Kendal Parish Church, you’ll discover hidden gems such as the beautiful organ, which fills the air with melodious notes during services. The tour will also take you to the intricately decorated chapels, each with its own unique history and purpose. Whether you’re an architecture enthusiast, a history buff, or simply seeking a moment of tranquility, a guided tour of Kendal Parish Church is a must-do activity in Kendal.

Prepare to be captivated by its beauty and inspired by its timeless spirituality.

Learn about Kendal’s industrial past at the Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry

After exploring the rich history of Kendal Parish Church, I was eager to delve further into the industrial past of this charming town. That’s why I made my way to the Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry, a place that truly brings the region’s history to life.

As soon as I stepped inside, I was greeted by a captivating display of artifacts and exhibits that showcased the industrial heritage of Kendal and the surrounding area.

The museum offers a fascinating journey through time, allowing visitors to learn about the various industries that flourished in Kendal over the years. From the town’s famous woolen mills to its thriving shoe manufacturing industry, every aspect of Kendal’s industrial past is well represented here.

As I walked through the exhibits, I couldn’t help but be amazed by the skill and craftsmanship that went into creating these goods. The intricate machinery, the detailed manufacturing processes, and the stories of the workers who toiled in these industries all provided a glimpse into the past that I found truly captivating.

Whether you have a particular interest in industrial history or simply want to learn more about the town of Kendal, a visit to the Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry is an absolute must.

Go on a cycling adventure along the scenic trails in the area

Embark on an exhilarating cycling adventure along the breathtaking trails that wind through the picturesque countryside, immersing yourself in the serene beauty that surrounds you.

Cycling in Kendal is a truly remarkable experience, as the area boasts a variety of scenic trails that cater to all levels of expertise. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced cyclist, there is a trail for everyone to enjoy.

One of the most popular cycling routes in Kendal is the Kentmere Valley Loop, which takes you through stunning landscapes and charming villages. As you pedal along the trail, you’ll be treated to sweeping views of rolling hills, lush green fields, and quaint cottages. The peacefulness of the countryside will envelop you, allowing you to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The trail is well-marked and maintained, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable ride.

For those seeking a more challenging adventure, the Lakeland Loop is a must-try. This trail offers a mix of steep climbs, exhilarating descents, and thrilling twists and turns. As you navigate through the rugged terrain, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic vistas of the Lake District National Park. The sense of accomplishment as you conquer each hill and conquer each turn is truly unmatched.

Cycling in Kendal not only allows you to appreciate the natural beauty of the area, but it also provides an opportunity to stay active and healthy. So grab your bike, put on your helmet, and get ready to experience the joy and freedom of cycling through the stunning trails of Kendal.

Attend a local event or festival to immerse yourself in Kendal’s vibrant culture

To truly experience the vibrant culture of Kendal, you won’t want to miss attending a local event or festival happening in town. Kendal is known for its lively and diverse calendar of events throughout the year, offering something for everyone.

Whether you’re a music lover, a foodie, or a history enthusiast, there’s bound to be an event that piques your interest. One of the most popular events in Kendal is the Kendal Calling music festival, held annually in the beautiful Lowther Deer Park. This multi-day festival attracts top-notch musicians from around the world, providing an unforgettable experience for music fans. With multiple stages showcasing a variety of genres, from indie rock to electronic music, there’s always something exciting happening.

Beyond the music, Kendal Calling also offers a range of activities, including art installations, comedy shows, and even a fancy dress parade. It’s a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the local culture while enjoying great music and creating lasting memories.

Another event that shouldn’t be missed is the Kendal Festival of Food. This celebration of culinary delights showcases the best of Kendal’s local food and drink scene. From artisanal cheeses to mouthwatering pastries, you’ll have the opportunity to sample a wide range of delicious treats. The festival also includes cooking demonstrations by renowned chefs, giving you a chance to learn some new culinary skills. Additionally, there are workshops and talks on various food-related topics, making it a perfect event for food enthusiasts and anyone looking to expand their gastronomic horizons.

Attending a local event or festival in Kendal is an excellent way to dive into the vibrant culture of the town. Whether you choose to dance to the rhythm of live music at Kendal Calling or indulge in the delectable flavors of the Kendal Festival of Food, you’ll surely have an unforgettable experience.

So, make sure to check the event calendar when planning your visit to Kendal and prepare to be captivated by the town’s lively and engaging cultural scene.

Conclusion

In conclusion, my time in Kendal, England has been truly unforgettable. From exploring the ancient ruins of Kendal Castle to immersing myself in the vibrant culture at local events and festivals, there is never a dull moment in this charming town.

The Abbot Hall Art Gallery provided a fascinating glimpse into the world of art, while the Kendal Museum allowed me to delve into the rich history of the area.

But it was the breathtaking beauty of the Lake District that truly stole my heart. Taking a leisurely stroll through its picturesque landscapes and hiking through its fells and mountains was an experience like no other. And for those seeking adventure, the cycling trails offered a thrilling way to explore the area.

All in all, Kendal is a hidden gem that has something to offer for everyone. Whether you’re a history buff, an art enthusiast, or an outdoor adventurer, this charming town will captivate you with its beauty, culture, and warm hospitality.

So don’t miss the chance to visit Kendal and create memories that will last a lifetime.

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.