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Reviewed on 28 Dec 2019
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Reviewed on 28 Dec 2020
Reviewed on 19 Oct 2020
The ancient market town of Kendal lies along the banks of the River Kent and serves as the gateway to the Lake District National Park. It's often referred to as "The Auld Grey Town" because of the stark limestone and slate used on most of the housing. While the Kendal bed and breakfasts are often used as a base for hiking in the park, the town is a destination in its own right, with fascinating museums, galleries adorned with work inspired by the moorland scenery and a smattering of top eateries celebrating locally sourced Cumbrian produce. Then there's the famed Kendal mint cake, an energy-boosting bar that's been a staple in the backpacks of British hikers since the 1950s, when Edmund Hillary ate it on his Everest climb.
There's just something right about staying in a bed and breakfast in Kendal. After a day hiking or mountaineering in the park, there are few things better than kicking off your muddy boots and warming up by an open fire with a mug of freshly brewed tea. Though the B&Bs are open year-round, you'll have to book up quick if you plan to visit Kendal in the summer months. Finding your perfect match is a breeze on Expedia, where you can scroll through detailed listings and book in just a few clicks. Some occupy handsome 19th-century stone cottages, whose exteriors are covered in creeping ivy and interiors lined with antique wooden furnishings. Others are housed in converted stone farmhouses, with airy high-ceilinged rooms and clean decor. There are plenty of budget-friendly options, many of which have been run the same way for decades and offer plenty of bang for your buck. Whichever you pick, you can be assured of a stress-free escape when you book a night with Expedia.
Checking into your family-run bed and breakfast in Kendal is always a pleasure, with owners who'll welcome you into their home. While you settle into your guestroom, you can flick on the kettle to make a cup of tea while you link up to the complimentary WiFi to start planning your hiking routes. Many come with ensuite bathrooms stocked with toiletries, and tubs to soak your weary muscles after a day out on the moors. Others have the kinds of amenities you might find in a hotel, like a flat-screen TV on the wall or a desk where you can catch up on a few emails. If you're visiting in summer, try to score one of the B&Bs surrounded by well-manicured gardens where you can bask in the sunshine, perhaps with a cold glass of fizz and a good book. Every morning, you can set up the day right with a hearty breakfast. Options usually include porridge, a cooked full English, or healthier snacks, like fruit and granola. Have you considered complementing your hiking adventure with a few days in the Northern capital of Manchester?
It's true that most people come to Kendal to go rambling along the trails that wind around the valleys and glistening lakes in the achingly beautiful national park. Away from the trails, though, there's much to see – like the stone ruins of the 12th-century Kendal Castle or the magnificent 250-year-old parish church. While you're there, be sure to clear some time to visit Abbot Hall Art Gallery, housed in a handsome Georgian property on the banks of the River Kent. Alternatively, try the Museum of Natural History and Archaeology, which has one of the oldest collections of artefacts in the country.