Kendal's Stramongate Bridge

Kendal's Stramongate Bridge

Considered to be the southern gateway to the Lake District and Cumbria’s second county town, Kendal is a bustling town with a population of around 28,000. Kendal’s location just 8-miles south-east of Windermere makes it an ideal base for those who want to explore the Lake District without straying too far from the conveniences of a modern British town.

Kendal is home to one of the oldest museums in the country and is perhaps best known for its world famous Mint Cake, saviour to hill walkers around the world in need of sustenance.

Top Kendal Hotels

Kendal is just on the edge of the Lake District and is only about 8 miles from the famous Lake District destination, Windermere. Populated by over 28,000 people, the market town of Kendal has plenty to offer with tons of shops, pubs, and restaurants and is a great location for those wishing to explore the Lake District but maybe who want to be based in the hustle and bustle of a bigger city. Here we take a look at our top hotel picks for Kendal hotels.


Kendal Mint Cake

Kendal Mint Cake (Andrew Bowden /

A Roman fort was occupied around two miles south of Kendal until AD 270. The town began to thrive under the Normans who built two castles here, including Kendal Castle, the ruins of which are freely accessible to members of the public.

In 1189, the town was granted a market charter and the market continued to expand with the arrival of the wool industry to the town in the fourteenth century. During the 18th and 19th century Kendal became associated with shoes and snuff, with K Shoes, now known as Clarks Shoes, and tobacco firm Samuel Gawith both hosting their factories in the town.

Today, some industry remains in Kendal, including the production of Kendal Mint Cake, but much of the town’s economy comes from the influx of tourists visiting the nearby Lake District.


Kendal has a large town centre with a number of shopping malls housing a collection of national and locally owned stores. At Westmoreland Shopping Centre you will find many of the UK’s best-known high street brands, as well as an indoor market where you can buy locally produced goods.

A number of fashion stores are located in the Elephant Yard shopping centre, whilst the nearby Wainwright’s Yard is home to a number of independent retailers, as well as some nationally known brands. South of the town centre K Village is a small outlet village where you can find designer goods at a discounted price.

Key Attractions

River Kent in Kendal

River Kent in Kendal

The Kendal Museum, formed in 1796, is one of the oldest museums in the UK and houses a number of collections relating to the history of the area including artefacts excavated from the nearby Roman fort, and a gallery detailing the fascinating geology of the Lake District.

Kendal Castle lies in ruins, but does provide a fascinating place to explore, whilst the town’s long association with the Quaker Movement is celebrated with the Quaker Tapestry Exhibition at the Friends Meeting House. Here you can see 77 embroidered panels created by 4000 people over a period of 15 years telling the story of the Quaker Movement.

Kendal plays host to a number of festivals throughout the year, including Kendal Calling, a music festival that in recent years has attracted a number of well-known musicians, including the Kaiser Chiefs and Dizzie Rascal. The Kendal Food Festival is held each year in March and is a celebration of Cumbrian produce, whilst thousands of outdoor enthusiasts converge on the town each November for the Kendal Mountain Festival.

Getting There

By Car - Exit the M6 at Junction 36 and take the A590 and then the A591 signposted for Kendal. There are numerous car parks in the town centre that are clearly signposted.

By Public Transport – Kendal has a rail station and services call here running between Oxenholme and Windermere. Oxenholme sits on the West Coast Main Line and therefore has connections to Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham, and London.