The famous gateway to Britain’s Lake District, which isn’t in the Lake District itself. Kendal is the ideal staging post town, full of creature comforts and civilisation, not to mention more hiking equipment stores than you can shake a carbon fibre walking pole at. It’s an attractive town too, if in an overcast, grey sort of way, and, finally, it wouldn’t be right to talk about the place without mentioning its famous mint cake. So, that’s what I’ve just done.
Accommodation-wise, Kendal very much knows the score. The Lake District’s been a tourist destination since the days of Wordsworth, and year on year people from all over the world come flocking here to admire some of the most impressive landscape in Europe. The hotels are ready to cater for them. And while not being the cheapest of locations, the quality is consistently high.
From £85/ night
Large and luxurious, dare we say that The Lodge caters less for the hiking hard-core of Lake District visitors than it does for those more interested in sampling the real ales and looking at the views. It’s also a golfer’s heaven, linked to the Carus Green Golf Club that is right next door. Sure enough, all your needs will be seen to here, with TVs and WiFi in every room.
From £87/ night
Situated in a beautiful Victorian building just a couple of minutes’ walk from the centre of Kendal this B&B provides a real homely base to any adventure you may be planning in the Lakes nearby. It’s a 4-star establishment and is accommodated accordingly, with TVs, WiFi, and generous refreshment trays in every room.
From £57/ night
The County Hotel has been looking after travellers to the Lake District for generations. Located inside a former coaching inn, despite its modern refurb there’s a real sense of the past left here, as you can imagine city-folk from years gone by gathering round its hearth and chattering excitedly about the rural splendour they’ve just seen in the countryside that surrounds. The rooms are cosy, if a touch basic, and there’s a traditional restaurant on site for hearty pre- or post-ramble meals.
From £68/ night
Sometimes all you really need is a place to lay your head. Not in a place that’s too basic, but nothing too luxurious either; just a straightforward, comfortable guest house where there’s WiFi and kettles and TVs in all the rooms. And you don’t want it to break the bank. I imagine you can see where we’re heading with this… The Sundial Guest House is just such a place. A stay here lets the Lake District do the talking.
From £75/ night
There are some who like to bemoan the decline of the Great British inn. That such institutions are not what they once were. Well, we would like to direct them to this fine establishment: comfortable and characterful, charming and luxurious, with rooms fitted to the highest of modern standards and a bar that is welcoming for locals and tourists alike.