Staveley and Kentmere

Staveley. This large village is half way between Kendal and Windermere and certainly worth the two minute detour off the A591. 
In the main street is St Margaret’s Tower, the only part which remains of the 1338-built St Margaret’s Chapel. Its nave was demolished in the 1860s and a new church, St James, was built a bit further up the road. 
The choir stalls at St James’s were made by the well known Kendal firm of Arthur Simpson but it’s the east window that gets most attention, the stained glass created by William Morris to a design by Edward Burne-Jones. 
A detail of the window, depicting an angel playing a bowed string instrument called a rebec, was used by the Royal Mail on a Christmas stamp in 2009. 
Other interest in the village is centred on Staveley Mill Yard where, in the 19th century, the mill on site used to make bobbins and reels for the Lancashire cotton industry. These days it’s home to a whole variety of businesses.
Reston Scar overlooks Staveley and the rivers Kent and Gowan meet here too. There’s also a station on the Windermere to Oxenholme (Kendal) line. 

Kentmere. Just north of Staveley, Kentmere is the source of the River Kent whose fast flowing water was utilised by a number of mills here in the 19th century. 
For the first part of the journey from Staveley the narrow road through the four mile (6.4km) long valley is shaded by trees. After a while the views open out and then later you reach a few houses and St Cuthbert’s Church.
The church has a bronze memorial to the preacher Bernard Gilpin, the Apostle of the North. He was born in 1517 at nearby (and privately owned) Kentmere Hall which is easily identified by its 14th century pele tower. There’s very limited parking just beyond the church but nothing for cars after that. 
This is the usual starting point for the Kentmere Round, a 12 mile (19.2km) hike that takes in Yoke, Ill Bell, Froswick, Thornthwaite Crag, Mardale Ill Bell, Harter Fell and Kentmere Pike. Some of the fells overlook Kentmere Reservoir, about three miles (4.8km) north of the church. 
From Kentmere paths go one way to Troutbeck, via the Garburn Pass, another way to Longsleddale and a third way, via Nan Bield Pass, to Haweswater. 

Lakeland Farm Visitor Centre. Located between Staveley and Windermere, just off the A591, the centre offers a range of activities, designed to give visitors a real ‘farm experience’. 
Livestock shows take place in the arena, there’s Herdwick wool spinning, lamb feeding, dry stone walling and sheepdog demonstrations, but check before visiting to see what’s on and when. A farm shop, butcher’s counter and farm kitchen add to the attractions.
Lakeland Farm Visitor Centre, Meadow Bank Farm, Ings, Kendal LA8 9QF: 07503 054762.


Stay connected

Keep up to date with all the latest news from the LAKE DISTRICT travel guide.