In the heart of the Lake District, there are so many days out, sights and activities to enjoy in and around Kendal that you could dedicate an entire guide to them! We’ve done our best to give you the highlights below.
Activities in Kendal
Lake District National Park
On the eastern edge of the Lake District National Park, Kendal is perfectly placed to take in all the action. And what a place the Lake District is. The numbers tell one story. Covering 2,362 square kilometres of lakes, forests and mountains, it’s home to the deepest lake and the longest lake in the UK, England’s highest mountain and welcomes nearly 20 million visitors each year. But it’s the magic of the quaint, barely-changed villages and towns, the hidden cafés and shops, the lazy sun-dappled walks, the sweaty hikes along windswept ridges, the boat trips and ice creams that make the Lake District a truly magical place.
Lake District National Park
Part of the National Trust, Sizergh Castle dates back to the 14th century and is a wonderfully preserved Medieval house set in stunning grounds at the start of the Lake District. The 1,600-acre grounds are perfect for exploring with a picnic and are also home to a pond, lake, an ornate limestone rock garden, a wild play trail, a café and shop.
Several miles south of Kendal, Levens Hall is another historic house and grounds that dates back to the Elizabethan era. The house and gardens are amazingly preserved considering they’re over 500 years old. The house is full of highly collectable paintings, historical artefacts and amazing architecture, while the three gardens boast roses, herbs and over 100 imaginatively cut bushes and trees. Once you’ve explored the house and grounds, check into the Bellingham Buttery Tea Room for a restorative slice of cake and a cup of tea.
Based in Staveley, several miles to the north of Kendal, the Hawkshead Brewery is the place to go if you’ve worked up a thirst and want to go behind the scenes at one of the Lake District’s popular breweries. Tours run every day at 1pm, or you can head to their Beer Hall for a spot of lunch (the beer tapas menu is a winner) and dig into one of their craft beers or cask ales.
You won’t have to go far to explore Kendal Castle as it’s less than a mile from our Kendal hotel. The 12th-century castle is now a medieval ruin, but thanks to the fascinating audio tour, a range of exhibitions, reconstructions and displays, it’s wonderfully brought to life. At the top of the hill and with large grassy plains, it’s the perfect place for a sunny day picnic too.
Lakeland Maze Farm Park
To the south of Kendal, Lakeland Maze Farm Park is a popular family day out. With two summer mazes, a huge indoor play zone, go karts, ride-on tractors, a petting zoo, animal handling sessions and a well-stocked café and restaurant, the park is great fun whatever the weather. It’s especially good in the summer though, when the two maize mazes spring to life.
Abbott Hall Art Gallery
A short walk from the Brewery Arts Centre, the Abbot Hall Art Gallery was built in 1759 and is an impressive museum and gallery home to a wonderful collection of portraits from local artist George Romney, one of the 18th century’s best-known artists. As well as his works, sketches and drawings, the gallery also has a number of noted watercolour paintings, including work from JMW Turner, David Cox and John Robert Cozens.
Dating back to 1796, Kendal Museum is a fascinating collection that draws together the region’s history, culture, geology and natural history. Kids will love the regional and exotic wildlife displays and, with regular rotating exhibitions, there’s always something new to learn and appreciate.