Kirkby Lonsdale is a pretty town with Georgian and Victorian buildings and the river Lune running beside it. The river is spanned by a three-arched ancient bridge known as `Devils Bridge', which dates from the 12th or 13th century. The Vale of Lune has always been popular with artists, in particular Constable and Turner who painted many of the landscapes in and around the area. The view over the River Lune and the valley has been described by Ruskin as ‘the most beautiful view in England’.
It is the perfect location for exploring both the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District, only a few miles from the M6 motorway. There are many natural attractions on the Yorkshire side including the 3 peaks of Ingleborough; Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen-y-Ghent. On the western side there is easy access to lakes Kendal, Windermere, Bowness, Ambleside and Grasmere.
There is a local market every Thursday with fresh locally grown produce; arts and crafts and outdoor clothing. In the local tea rooms, restaurants and pubs there is always a friendly atmosphere. In the first week of September the town hosts a Victorian Fair which has become very popular. The shopkeepers dress in Victorian clothes and there are street vendors and entertainers. There is also a Christmas fair on the first weekend in December.
Levens Hall and Gardens is a fine stately home six miles from Kendal and only 11 miles from Kirkby Lonsdale. It dates from the 15th century with a French influenced garden design from the late 17th century. It also contains some beautiful period furnishings. Another imposing residence is Sizergh Castle which again dates from the early 15th century. Originally a tower, it gradually became a grand country house with Tudor, Elizabethan and latterly Georgian influences. There is a large garden, two lakes and an award winning rock garden. To the south of Kirkby Lonsdale, The Forest of Bowland is a designated area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB); a small part of the forest is still retained in North Yorkshire. Its status derives from the wealth of unspoilt scenery, its attitude towards wildlife and farming/forestry heritage.
Kirkby Lonsdale is situated just outside of the south western part of the Yorkshire Dales and is ideally located as a gateway from Lancashire and the M6 (junction 36 is six miles).