Discover the delights of Kirkby Lonsdale
Kirkby Lonsdale is a close neighbour to Sedbergh and just a 15-minute drive from The Malabar. It’s a delightful Yorkshire Dales market town that’s full of independent shops, welcoming pubs and chocolate box cottages and cobbled streets. It has been the backdrop to several Hollywood films and BBC period dramas over the years. These include The Voyage of Dr Dolittle starring Robert Downy Jnr. and a recent BBC adaptation of Jamaica Inn.
Kirby Lonsdale sits on the River Lune and is one of the few Cumbrian towns to be mentioned in the Domesday Book, in which it’s referred to as Cherchibi (which means village with a church). There is also a local market that happens every Thursday that dates back to 1227.
The leading English art critic of the Victorian Era, John Ruskin, was a regular visitor to Kirkby Lonsdale. There’s a very special spot along the river that he described as being ‘one of the loveliest views in England’. The famous English artist, JMW Turner, painted the view in 1822 and the painting was recently sold at auction for £217,000.
You can find Ruskin’s View from the far corner of the churchyard at St Mary’s Church where you see a signpost to the view which will take you along a path that’s high above the River Lune. Then all of a sudden you will see a breathtaking panorama of the Lune Valley.
Nowadays Devil’s Bridge is probably best known as being a gathering place for motorcycle enthusiasts from all over the UK and beyond. On a Saturday and Sunday morning, you will see scores of mild-mannered bikers admiring each other’s machines and enjoying the views. The bridge dates back to 1370 and was at one time the main road across the river taking the wool trade traffic between Kendal and Skipton. You can’t drive over it any more, but you can walk across. It’s a very pretty old bridge and worth a visit.
Kirkby Lonsdale boasts a shopping street where 99% of all the shops are independents and there are no empty premises. The town recently won a Great British High Street Award for offering a quality retail experience to visitors. You’ll find a mix of locally produced food, clothing, gifts and interiors shops. It’s a lovely town to browse at leisure.
Places to eat and drink
There are plenty of places to eat and drink during your visit to Kirkby Lonsdale. We like the Lunesdale Bakery for tea and cakes (it also does delicious lunches). The Sun Inn is ideal for dinner or a Sunday lunch. For a Mediterranean menu, Avanti offers a casual dining experience with food with an Italian and Spanish influence.
The Royal Hotel, opposite the market square, has recently been refurbished and offers traditional food and a cosy bar with a roaring fire.
The Milking Parlour takes ice cream to another level. It’s a family business that makes delicious ice cream from the milk of their own cows. Once eaten, never forgotten.
There are lots of other options too, but in essence, you’ll never go hungry.
Visit The Malabar
If you are planning a visit to the Yorkshire Dales or Lake District we’d be delighted to welcome you to the Malabar.