For grass-roots Cumbria.
Kendal lies just outside the Lake District National Park boundary and, as such, escapes the frenzy of the other tourist-heavy honey pots – despite being just 20 minutes from Windermere by car. It has a more living, breathing feel with a good range of shops, restaurants and an excellent local arts centre, The Brewery – see my Lake District nightlife page for more.
Kendal makes for a good base to explore the Lakes from a comfortable distance. It’s a short hop from junction 37 of the M6 and also the key rail link for the region. It has its own regional station on the Windermere line and mainline connections at Oxenholme are just a short taxi ride away. See my How to get around Lake District page for more details.