Situated in the South Lake District, Kendal is a quirky town that caters to everyone’s needs. Whether you looking for a romantic weekend away with your loved one, a fun-filled family holiday or simply a day trip to explore the stunning countryside, Kendal will not disappoint. This is why I had to create a post on the best things to do in Kendal. Boasting historic museums, the remains of a castle, ampules of restaurants, quirky cafes, boutique shops, Kendal calling, beautiful countryside and adventure for all, Kendal really is the perfect place for a holiday. Seeing Kendal is just one of the best things to in the Lake District on your visit.
Kendal is conveniently located just off the M6 motorway and there is a railway service from Kendal to Windermere, and passengers can travel to the town from further afield by the West Coast mainline from London Euston to Glasgow, getting off at Oxenholme, about two miles outside of the town.
If you like it in Kendal, then you will love my top things to do in York post.
This post will share with you some of an awesome Kendal itinerary, as well as top tips on;
- Best things to do in Kendal
- Places to eat in Kendal
- Where to stay in Kendal
- Where to next
Best things to do in the Kendal
1. Kendal Rock Climbing Centre
The Kendal Climbing Wall boasts the tallest indoor climbing wall in England, now that’s an impressive title to hold. Whether you’re a complete novice or an expert climber the professional team at Kendal Rock Climbing Centre will help you achieve your goals through a wide range of courses, sessions and facilities.
Kendal Climbing Wall also offers birthday parties that can be booked online for those looking for an adventure with the exclusive use of the CrazyClimb floor. There are also plenty of Yoga class to try to help develop fitness, strength, posture and flexibility if climbing turns out not to be your thing!
Why not reward yourself with a tasty homemade cake and cup of hot coffee at the onsite café whilst watching one of the beginners climbing area. If you’ve not got a sweet tooth, there’s also plenty of freshly prepared traditional home cooked food such as chilli, sandwich rolls.
- Where is the climbing wall? Unit 27, Lake District Business Park, Mint Bridge Road, Kendal, LA9 6NH
- Price of the climbing wall: Single User Entry (Adults: £11 – Junior: £9.40 – Under 8: £6)
- Contact: 01539 721766 Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Kendal Castle
When visiting Kendal you have to take a walk up to the remains of 12th Century Kendal Castle to explore and take in the 360 degree views of the town. It’s the perfect place to have a game of hide and seek in the different compartments of the ruins or have a picnic of the grassy verge. It is a short incline to the top, but worth the effort.
- Insiders tip – Don’t forget to take your camera to grab those perfect insta shots!
- Where is the Kendal castle? Kendal Castle
- Price of the Kendal castle: Free
- Contact: 01539 822222
3. Kendal Museum
The Kendal Museum is where history and nature meet to discover the story of Kendal. Kendal’s first museum was formed in 1796 by William Todhunter who exhibited a collection of fossils, plants, minerals, animals and antiques. Since then a fascinating number of collections comprising of objects and artefacts of both local and global archaeology, social history, geology, and natural history are now situated in the museum for all to enjoy.
Kendal Museum is also involved in a number of different projects to help sustain collections that possess education, social and environmental value and it’s the perfect afternoon activity for families on a wet day to burn off some energy!
- Where is the Kendal Museum? Kendal Museum, Station Road, Kendal, LA9 6BT
- Price of the Kendal museum: (adults:£2 – Under 5’s: FREE)
- Contact: 01539 815597
4. Lake Windermere
Take the 30 minute drive from Kendal to Lake Windermere, the largest natural lake in England, at 10.5 miles long and 220 feet deep. There are so many activities to do around Lake Windermere. So, rent a boat and head out onto the lake or have a go at windsurfing or sailing. If you’re looking for a more relaxing activity, have a stroll around Bowness on Windermere and visit one of the many cafes or have a shopping spree in the various boutique country shops.
You should see the Scafell Pike routes whilst you’re in the Lake District.
- Insiders tip – Take the car ferry across the lake that links Windermere and Coniston inside of the long trip around the lake
- Where is lake Windermere? Lake Windermere is unmissable in the Lake District
- Price: Varies depending on activities
5. Hawkshead Brewery
Hawkshead Brewery has been creating beers full of flavour since 2002 and make around 23,000 Litres a beer a week. Now that sounds impressive to me! The Beer Hall is open every day to bring you the freshest core range and small batch beers and the best beer tapas in the Lakes. Brewery tours are available daily at 1pm, or watch the brewery at work through special viewing areas. The beer hall also provides an affordable array of tasty food to help soak up all that alcohol.
- Insiders tip – Whilst visiting Hawkshead Brewery make sure to have a look around Stavely, a hidden gem situated in the South Lake District and home to the UK’s largest cycling store, perfect for any avid cyclist
- Where is the Hawkshead Brewery? Staveley Mill Yard Back Lane, Staveley, Kendal LA8 9LR
- Price of a drink at the brewery: £10 & a pint
- Contact: 01539 825260
6. Lakeland Maze Farm Park
Lakeland Maze Farm Park provides acres of fun for all the family, winning the Maze of the Year 2011 and 2013, you’re sure to have a blast. Throughout the day there are tractor rides around the farm and chances to meet and feed the animals in the pet barn and out on the farm.
The Maize Maze season runs from July to September and there are lots of special events such as the Moonlit Maze so keep a look out of there website for any highlights. There’s also a café onsite to buy refreshments if you manage to find your way out the maze.
- Insiders tip – Dogs are not allowed in the maze, however there are kennels to keep your fury friends in whilst you enjoy the maze.
- Where is the Lakeland Maze Farm Park? Raines Hall, Sedgwick, Kendal LA8 0JH
- Price of the maze farm park: (Adults £7.95 (16+) – Concessions £6.95 (2-15 yrs, Students and Carers with ID)
Children under 2 – Free) – Seniors £6.45 (60+) – Family £28.00 (2+2 or 1+3))
- Contact: 015395 61760
7. Kentmere Horseshoe Walk
The Kentmere horseshoe is one of the longest most scenic walks in the South Lakes spanning out over 12 miles and should take you are 6 hours so make sure you pack a picnic and plenty of fluid, especially on hot days. The walk begins in the village of Kentmere beside the village hall and works up to Gurdan Pass, before heading to Yolk, Illbell, Froswick and descend via Kentmere Pike.
The paths are well used, however take care at folks to keep on the right one, I’d also recommend taking a map in case you need to alter to the walk in bad weather.
- Insiders tip – Car parking is very limited in Kentmere so get there early to secure a spot!
- Where is the Kentmere Horseshoe walk? Starting Point = Kentmere Village Hall
- Price: Free
- 8. Eat Kendal Mint Cake
You can’t visit Kendal and not try their famous Kendal Mint Cake. Apparently Kendal Mint Cake was created by accident in the 19th Century after leaving a batch of glacier mints to solidify overnight and turn cloudy. From then, Joseph Wiper began producing Kendal Mint cake using different flavours. Some people believe it could have been the world’s first energy type bar, as it was taken on the first Antarctic crossing led by Ernest Shackleton in 1914 to keep to replenish their burned calories.
- Insider tip – Kendal Mint Cake is perfect for taking on hikes to get that sugar rush need to climb some of the Lakes most gruelling mountains!
- Location: Any café or shop in Kendal
- Price: 50p – £1
9. The World of Beatrix Potter
The World of Beatrix Potter allows you to turn back in time to your childhood and enjoy the wonders of Beatrix Potter tales. They are open every day from 10am to 5pm with a Beatrix Potter themed tea room, perfect for a pot of tea and scone whilst you enjoy the beautiful scenery. Keep a look out on The World of Beatrix Potter website for special events such as Peter Rabbits tea party and Bowness Theatre Festival.
- Insiders tip – Parking in Bowness On Windermere can be a nightmare in summer months, so allow extra time for parking!
- Where is the world of Beatrix Potter? Bowness-on-Windermere, LA23 3BX
- Price of the Beatrix Potter: (Adult: £7.95 – Child: £3.95 – Under 3’s: Free)
- Contact: 015394 88444
10. Grizedale Forest – Go Ape
Set in the heart of the Lake District, Grizedale Forest Go Ape offers a range of adrenaline fuelled activities that will be sure to test your nerve and skill. The famous Tree Top Challenge includes a 275 metre zip wire and a platform as high as 19 metres so it isn’t for the faint hearted. If you’re looking for something a little easier, there’s a kids high rope courses designed to leave them with a monkey size grin on their face and of course adults are welcome to! Those who are afraid of heights, don’t fear, there’s also a Segway experience to enjoy, which is a brilliant way of explore the magical Grizedale Forest.
- Insiders tip – Book in advance online and save 20%!
- Where is the Go Ape in the Lake District? Go Ape, Grizedale, Ambleside LA22 0QJ
- Price: Tree Top Challenge: From £26.40 Forest Segway: £35 Zip Trekking Adventure: £55
- Contact: 01603 895500 (Note they charge a £3 booking fee via telephone)
11. Kendal Calling
This festival is one of the most popular attractions in Kendal and one that people travel all over the country to visit. The Kendal festival is a fun and cool activity to check out, however the Kendal calling tickets do sell out quite quick! So, if you want to visit this awesome festival, then I would get your tickets early.
What is the Kendal Calling 2019 lineup? Let’s look at some of the big acts on the lineup for Kendal calling in 2019;
- Nile Rodgers
- Manic Street Preachers
- Tom Jones
There is also plenty more in the Kendal calling lineup!
- Where is the festival? The festival is held at Lowther Deer Park in the awesome Lake District, England.
- When is the Kendal calling festival? The festival is being held on 25-28th July 2019.
Check out the Vango Banshee 2oo if you’re planning on camping!
Have you fancied staying in quirky hobbit holes? Then you should check the Lake District Quite Site camping experience.
Other places near Kendal to visit
There are plenty of other incredible places near Kendal to visit for a day trip. Let’s have a look at some of the best for you;
- Keswick – If you like historic towns, then you will like the awesome Keswik. Surrounded by stunning scenery in the Lake District National Park, this is one of the sweetest places to visit in England if you’re a hiker!
- Cumbria – This is another mega place to walk in the Lake District. From here you can make your way to awesome places like Ullswater, which is another sweet place for walking.
- Ambleside – This is one of the best places in the Lake District. And one of my favourites, the atmosphere here is usually buzzing, especially in summer! There are plenty of walks in Ambleside, shops and quirky little coffee shops. This epic places is located at the head of lake Windermere and you can usually see plenty of watersports in lake Windermere happening.
Best places to stay in Kendal
Located just outside of Kendal town off the dual carriageway this budget friendly hotel is perfect for those looking for a friendly, comfortable hotel with free parking and lovely staff. The rooms are spotless with rear views of the countryside and nose is minimal even being off a busy road. The Premier Inn in Kendal is perfect for those who don’t want to splash the cash but are still want a comfortable night’s sleep in a convenient location with all the basic necessities you need.
This 4 star hotel is set in 14 acres of countryside and boasts a conference room, pub, restaurant, health and fitness club with both a pool and spa. Start the day with a tasty full English before exploring the beautiful surroundings as Windermere is only 8 miles away. The staff is super helpful and will recommend places to visit, activities and walks to get best out of your stay.
This hidden gem has recently been refurbished and makes for a perfect country staff. The rooms are exceptionally clean and beautifully decorated with a modern twist. The restaurant provides high quality food which is both tasty and affordable, a perfect way to finish off a perfect day.
Have you fancied doing a Lake District Glamping Pod stay?
Best places to eat in Kendal
- Café Olive – This café is rated number one is Kendal and we can see why. Providing an array of sweet and savoury foods, as well as drinks, coffees and teas all inspired by the Mediterranean, specifically Turkey. So if you’re looking for something a little bit different that you’re bound to love, give Café Olive a try.
- The Black Labrador – A traditional English pub, providing hearty food such as fish and chips, pies and burgers, there’s something for everyone. There’s an outside dining area to enjoy the sun and have a classic G&T! The atmosphere is always relaxing and dogs are made to feel supper welcome.
- Yard 46 – A perfect place to enjoy brunch tucked away down a little alleyway in the centre of Kendal in a beautiful old rustic building. The menu is quite limited, but it makes up with its tastiness! We recommend the French toast, with bacon and maple syrup, yummy! Freshly prepared food at affordable prices, we can’t complain.
Where to next?
Here is some of my favourite places to visit;