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Kendal, handsomely built in limestone, is a vibrant market town and focal hub alive with arts, events, culture and great shopping in South Lakeland.

Historically, Kendal was one of the most important woollen textile centres in the country, producing ‘Kendal Green' and other ‘Kendal cottons' - its numerous yards were once filled with workshops processing cloth, leather and foodstuffs. Kendal was also a centre for shoe making, carpet and snuff manufacture, and synonymous with the production of Kendal Mint Cake; an essential prerequisite for today's explorers and mountaineers.

Today's bustling market town of Kendal can be traced back to the 8th century, when the settlement of Kirkland was established near a crossing point over the River Kent.

Book Your Stay

The Wheatsheaf Inn

The Wheatsheaf Inn

Restaurant with Rooms with 7 rooms, £115-£135 pppnb, £70-£135 prpnb

The Castle Green Hotel in Kendal

The Castle Green Hotel in Kendal

Hotel with 99 rooms, £91-£700 prpnb

Sundial House triple bedroom

Sundial House

Guest Accommodation with 6 rooms, £30-£36 pppnb

The Wild Boar Hotel luxury bedroom

The Wild Boar Inn, Grill & Smokehouse

Inn with 34 rooms, £125-£165 prpnb

Riversleigh Guest House

Riversleigh Guest House

Guest House with 6 rooms, £30-£34 pppnb

Shaw End Mansion

Shaw End Mansion

Self-catering with 4 units, £295-£550 pupw sleeps 1-6

Cobblestone Cottage and Wallers Barn

Cobblestone Cottage & Wallers Barn

Self-catering with 2 units, £300-£780 pupw sleeps 6-10

Coachman's Cottage living area

The Old Stables

Self-catering with 3 units, £275-£580 pupw sleeps 1-6

Birslack Grange Cottage

Birslack Cottage

Self-catering with 1 unit, £280-£370 pupw sleeps 1-2

Garden Suite

Gilpin Hotel

Country House Hotel with 31 rooms, £130-£158 pppn, £128-£223 pppnb

The Glen exterior

The Glen

Guest House with 6 rooms, £85-£155 prpnb

Lyndhurst Guest House

Lyndhurst Guest House

Guest Accommodation with 7 rooms, £40-£89 prpnb

Lumley Fee Bunkhouse

Lumley Fee Bunkhouse

Bunkhouse with 5 bedrooms, £65-£120 prpn

The Hare & Hounds

The Hare & Hounds, Levens

Restaurant with Rooms with 4 rooms, £35-£74 pppnb

Highgate Hotel double room

Highgate Hotel

Bed & Breakfast with 9 rooms, £40-£53 pppnb

Bridge House

Bridge House

Bed & Breakfast with 2 rooms, £40-£50 pppnb

The Villa, Levens

The Villa, Levens

Hotel with 22 rooms, £90 prpnb

Camping & Caravanning Club - Windermere

Windermere Camping and Caravanning Club

Holiday, Touring & Camping Park with 250 pitches, £14-£23 ptpn

Things to do

What's on

 June 2018>

There are a variety of events taking place in and around the Kendal area.

From performances at the Brewery Arts Centre to unique art exhibitions, check out what is on during your visit and browse the events of most interest to you.

browse all events

Surrounding Areas

River Kent
Lyth Valley
Sizergh Castle
Oxenholme railway

Culture and Heritage

Kendal parish church
Kendal mint cake
Brewery arts centre
Kendal Castle
William II created the Barony of Kendal to secure his northern territories. Kendal's first castle, a wooden motte and bailey, was erected at Castle Howe (SD 513 924) but later replaced by stone-built Kendal Castle on the opposite side of the river.

This 13th-century castle, built on a drumlin, or glacial hill, was the seat of power and administration for the barons of Kendal for over 200 years but on the death of the last baron in 1483 it gradually fell into a ruinous state.

During the medieval period, the market town of Kendal developed to the north of monastic Kirkland , separated by the ancient boundary of the Black Beck. The barons laid out the town with long burgage plots behind the street frontages, accessed through archways.

Over time, these became ‘yards' of industrial activity with numerous workshops for weaving, dyeing, shearing, dry-salting and tanning. Kendal rapidly developed as a trade centre for all manner of local goods, but it was the woollen industry that brought fame and wealth to the town and sustained its economy for over 600 years.

In 1695, over half of Kendal's principal householders were actively involved in textile occupations such as wool combing, weaving, cropping, dyeing and tailoring, with carding, spinning and knitting undertaken by women and children. Evidence of the importance of the wool trade is reflected in Kendal's motto of ‘Pannus mihi panis', ‘Cloth is my bread' and its coat-of-arms featuring teasels for raising the fabric's nap and hooks for securing bales of wool and cloth to packhorses.
Trains of packhorses would deliver Kendal’s goods to York, London and other parts of the country. Much cloth was shipped to North America to clothe slaves on the plantations, with the return cargo bringing sugar and tobacco – raw materials which gave rise to the mint cake and snuff-making enterprises of Kendal.

To enhance trade, a canal link to Lancaster was opened in 1819, which terminated at a canal basin in Kendal. Trade flourished and brought much needed income to the town, but the arrival of the railway in 1846 heralded its decline. Commercial traffic ceased in 1947 and the canal was closed to navigation in 1955.
For more information about Kendal, take a look at the Visit Kendal website.
Kendal Landscape

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