North West – Kendal and South Lakes

top 10 places

Top 100 places to visit in north west england

Kendal and South Lakes

1. Holker Hall and Gardens

Situated near the historic village of Cartmel in the south lakes and only a short distance from the sea, Hollker Hall is a fine neo-Elizabethan mansion. Discover over 400 years of history inside this beautifully preserved house which has been handed down through generations of the Cavendish family. The gardens contain 25 acres of immaculately kept woodland and formal gardens – a stunningly light and elegant example of Victorian design.

2. Sizergh Castle

Sizergh Castle is still inhabited by the Strickland family for whom it was built in the middle ages. There are many walks from the castle to dramtic viewpoints overlooking Morecambe Bay and the Lakeland fells, and the garden includes two lakes and a superb rock garden. Tour the castle’s oak panelled rooms to discover more about it’s history and take in the portraits, fine furniture and ceramics accumulated over centuries.

3. Levens Hall and Gardens

Levens Hall and Gardens is famous for its amazing topiary which is some of the oldest in the world. The grade I listed gardens date from 1694, and through a combination of circumstance and love they have survived in their original design. You can enjoy produce from the estate in the Bellingham Buttery, and explore the contents of the house itself, which was used as a residence from the 1590’s and contains wood carvings by Italian craftsmen and Elizabeth the Firsts coat of arms.

4. Lakeland Wildlife Oasis

Lakeland’s Wildlife Discovery Centre is a unique and exciting blend of exotic wildlife and interactive ‘hands-on’ displays, which take you through 3,000 million years of evolution and follow the development of life on Earth – from magic molecules to mischievous monkeys. Exhibits range from chameleons to computers, from fossils to fossas and include some of the world’s most threatened species which are kept here as part of international breeding programmes.

5. The Lakeland Motor Museum

The Lakeland Motor Museum and Campbell Bluebird Exhibition contains over 30,000 motoring related exhibits including many rarities, tastefully presented in a former Shire Horse Stables and courtyard setting. The Campbell Bluebird exhibition pays tribute to Sir Malcolm Campbell and his son Donald, who between them  captured 21 world land and water speed records for Britain.

6. The Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry

Learn about the way Cumbrians lived and worked over the last 250 years, with a visit to the Museum of Lakeland Life at Abbot Hall in Kendal, on the edge of the English Lake District. Walk down an Edwardian street scene, and visit an eighteenth century kitchen. Permanent displays contain collections linked to the Arts and Crafts movement, Swallows and Amazons author Arthur Ransome and Victorian costume.

7. Kendal Museum

Founded in 1796, Kendal Museum’s fascinating collections include local archaeology, history, geology and a natural history collection from around the globe. There is also a changing programme of temporary exhibitions and displays, events, walks and talks. Children and families are warmly welcomed with hands-on exhibits, worksheets, activities during school holidays and a branch of the Young Archaeologists’ Club.

8. Cartmel Racecourse

Racing at Cartmel dates back to 1856, but it is almost certain that racing has taken place here since the middle of the 15th century, when monks of the nearby priory entertained themselves by racing  on mules.  With its rich history and location on the Holker Estate, Cartmel offers a sense of uniqueness and charm unrivalled on the racing circuit.

9. Kirkby Lonsdale

The ancient market town of Kirkby Lonsdale is just inside the south east boundary of Cumbria. Here the pretty River Lune passes through a rocky channel leading to the famous old Devil’s Bridge. Mentioned in the Doomsday Book of 1086, Kirkby Lonsdale holds a 13th century market charter, and possesses many 17th and 18th century buildings. The Vale of Lune was greatly admired by the painter Constable, and Turner painted landscapes in and around the town.

10. The Lakeland Climbing Centre

The Lakeland Climbing Centre offers a unique opportunity to experienced climbers and beginners alike. Get your first taste of climbing, on a beginners course, taster session or with an experienced friend. If you’ve progressed beyond this stage, you’ll find they have one of the best indoor facilities anywhere. The centre also runs a wide range of outdoor courses and activities.

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