The white of mint cake brought fame to Kendal when the sweet confection was taken to the top of Mt. Everest in 1953 by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. But it was the green of its cloth that brought prosperity to the town for over 300 years. 

Although the wool trade died out in the 18th century - thanks to increasing competition from mill towns in Yorkshire and Lancashire - Kendal’s motto remains Cloth is my Bread and its heritage is celebrated every year by Kendal Wool Gathering.

What distinguishes the town now is a cultural offering considerably richer than in many bigger places: the Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal Museum, the Quaker Tapestry Museum, The Factory (home to artists and makers), Abbot Hall Art Gallery (closed for redevelopment until 2022), and numerous festivals, Kendal Mountain Festival the best known.

There’s a neat coincidence in that the home of mint cake, relished by walkers and climbers, should also be the place where walking guide writer Alfred Wainwright once worked as borough treasurer. His office was in the town hall on Highgate.

Attractions

Information

Kendal website: www.visit-kendal.co.uk

Explore South Lakeland website: www.exploresouthlakeland.co.uk

Train. Kendal and Staveley stations are on the Lakes Line (www.lakesline.co.uk) between Oxenholme and Windermere. Oxenholme is on the west coast main line between London, Carlisle and Glasgow.

Kendal market days: Wednesday and Saturday. 

Kendal farmers’ market: last Friday of each month.

The Brewery Arts Centre, Highgate, Kendal LA9 4HE: 01539 725133 (box office), www.breweryarts.co.uk Venue for film, dance, drama, music, comedy and more. 

Kendal Civic Society: www.kendalcivicsociety.org.uk  The society has produced about 30 booklets detailing aspects of Kendal’s history.

Westmorland Gazette: www.thewestmorlandgazette.co.uk Weekly newspaper, published on Thursday. Covers Kendal and south Lakeland.

Kendal Midday Concert Club: www.kendalmiddayconcertclub.org Fortnightly concerts are held on Wednesdays (13–14.00) from October to March.

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