Sunday, 23 December 2012

Kirkby Lonsdale

I’ve been meaning to go to Kirkby Lonsdale for some time.  It’s in Cumbria and borders both Lancashire and North Yorkshire.  Handily it’s just a few miles from junction 36 on the M6.  I’ve been recommended this place by colleagues and since it was on our way home from our weekend in the Lakes I thought we should pop along.

We parked on the edge of the town in a one hour parking zone, so our trip was going to be brief.  I really didn’t know what to expect and I was pleasantly surprised.  It’s a picture postcard English town built from Lakeland Stone with tea rooms, gift shops, restaurants, pubs and an art gallery. 
Kirkby Lonsdale is very much geared up for the tourist market.  The town was covered in hanging baskets and flags – both St George’s flags and the Union Jack.  If I was to give a guess there must be some military link to the town especially as they have an army surplus store called GR & RD Taylors.

In the heart of the town square is a pretty crown like, stone seating area, with a parking area around it.  There are stone terraced cottages around this little square.  I can imagine quite a few of them are either rental cottages or weekend bolt holes for city dwellers in Manchester, Liverpool or Leeds.
 
We tried to get an ice cream in the local Italian style coffee-cum-ice cream shop called Miaitalia.  However as it was a Sunday, the sole shop assistant was rushed off her feet with customers.  So instead we ended up having an ice cream from the local cafĂ© in the town square, which was nice. 

There were plenty of dog walkers parading their pampered pooches through the town.  It seemed to be a well-to-do place where the locals take great care of the town to make a good impression.
On the edge of the town there was St Mary’s church which dates from the Norman times.  It’s very lovely and so in keeping with the fairy tale view of Britain.  The River Lune is beyond, but as time was ticking away and we didn’t get that far.

As we were only limited to an hour, it was only a cursory visit to the town.  Sadly we missed Ruskin’s View, which apparently is the loveliest view in England.  I wouldn’t mind spending a weekend in the town as the restaurants looked nice, although my friend who recently spent a weekend there said it was rather a quiet place in the evenings.  Regardless, this place bears a repeat visit, especially as it’s only seven miles from the lovely Ingleton – one of my favourite places just over the border in North Yorkshire.