Ruskin’s view

7 reasons why Kirkby Lonsdale is the best place to live or visit

Kirkby Lonsdale is the perfect destination town for visitors and locals alike. The outstanding community spirit is nurtured by good-hearted people who work together to make exciting things happen in the town. They are so kind-natured that they invite everyone around to join in when events are taking place in the town and to enjoy the beautiful surrounding countryside. Continue reading to learn more about what why Kirkby Lonsdale is the best place to live or visit in the UK.

Outstanding Community Spirit

1. Phoenix Rising Exhibition

Following a programme of art & wellbeing workshops called Phoenix Rising, which helped residents of the Lune Valley rise out of Lockdown 3 together, Kirkby Lonsdale CIC and Green Close Studio are putting on a free exhibition at St Mary’s Church from 19th July to 6th August. Visitors and locals are welcome to admire the beautiful art and get a feel for the deep-rooted community spirit in this quaint little town, made even stronger by the pandemic over the last year.

The exhibition will include work from a smartphone photography workshop called Gratitude Gallery, a mapmaking workshop called Myths and Legends, a working with clay workshop called Tree of Life and a Making and drawing workshop called Kirkby Towntastic.

Phoenix Rising Exhibition

2. New Look for the Weekly Market

The market is looking better than ever with a fresh set of bright white Gazebos and a full house nearly every week! From fresh produce and street food to crafts and flower bouquets, there’s something for everyone at the market every Thursday.

However, the town market’s new look did not arrive without any obstacles to overcome. You can read about how the town rallied to move a gazebo delivery blockage in the Westmorland Gazette with help from Scott, owner of Borders Greengrocers, Craig from The Snooty Fox and India from The Royal Barn. Another delivery arrived the following week, which went smoothly thanks to Jac from Abrahams and Paul from The Book Lounge. The Kirkby Lonsdale community always pulls through!

3. Lonsdale Lunees swimming by the river

One of the best summer activities to do in Kirkby Lonsdale is swimming in the River Lune, especially when the sun is shining and the birds are singing. The people of Kirkby Lonsdale certainly know how to make the most of this beautiful town, and have set up a Facebook group called Lonsdale Lunees where wild-swimming lovers can organise a dip, socialising and meeting new people while sharing a wonderful experience. Join the group or just pop down to the river for a relaxing swim.

4. Football at the Local Pubs

It’s been a fantastic year for football so far and England getting to the Euros final is on the tip of everyone’s tongue in Kirkby Lonsdale. A local pub installed six flat screen TVs for football fanatics to watch inside or outside, to show the Euros from the very beginning. The Royal Barn set up a projector, with the help of production company 1media, just in time for the semi-finals and are now seeing it through to the finals. The Orange Tree will also be showing the football this Sunday, offering delicious food for match watchers to enjoy at half time.

Amazing Scenery

Notice Nature Walks

5. Notice Nature Walks

Kirkby Lonsdale CIC is working with the Yorkshire Dales National Park (YDNP) to deliver free Notice Nature Walks to the local community this summer. Part of the CIC’s commitment to offering free health and wellbeing opportunities to the local area after Lockdown, the walks are completely free and will follow the five pathways to nature connection: senses, emotion, meaning, beauty and compassion, offering you an opportunity to connect with nature and relax in the outdoors.

The walks will be led by YDNP Rangers along the River Lune where you will learn about the trees, plants and animals around you. In September there will be a Dark Skies walk taking you on a similar journey as you learn about stars and space.   

6. Ruskin’s View

Ruskin’s View is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Kirkby Lonsdale: an awe-inspiring view overlooking the River Lune and across to the fells of the Yorkshire Dales, many artists have been incited by the spectacular sight. Painted by J.M.W Turner in 1822 and named the “one of the loveliest places in England, therefore in all the world” by John Ruskin in 1875, the view is regaled still today by townspeople and tourists alike.

Make you way past all the independent, boutique shops on Main Street and follow the signs to Ruskin’s View as you meander through St Mary’s wildflower churchyard before stumbling across Ruskin’s stunning View. Count the steps of Radical Steps and enjoy a wondrous walk along the river to Devil’s Bridge, keeping an eye out for the local kingfishers! There are few places more breath-taking than walking along  the River Lune.

devils bridge activity

7. Devil’s Bridge

Devil’s Bridge is a hotspot for swimmers, paddlers, kayakers, sunbathers, rock climbers, cyclist, bikers, walkers and anyone else who might be lucky enough to visit Kirkby Lonsdale on a sunny summer’s day. There’s something for everyone here, whether you want to lie on the beach as if you were on holiday in Spain, be active and adventurous in the water or relax on the picnic benches in Jubilee Field. And of course there are those of us who love passing over the bridge, looking over and admiring the joy on everyone’s faces as we are finally beginning to have fun and feel normal again.