Table of Contents
A real draw for tourists, Kirkby Lonsdale is a wonderful chocolate box town, which benefits from being relatively traffic free in the centre, giving it a delightful olde worlde feel.
Right at the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, Kirkby Lonsdale is in Cumbria, very close to the Lancashire border, meaning it just makes it into this website for it’s accommodation and things to do which fall within the National Park.
The town is on the A65 which runs from Leeds to the Lake District, and it’s within easy reach along this busy road of the M6 motorway, which provides access to airports in Carlisle, Glasgow and Manchester.
Kirkby Lonsdale Accommodation
10 Facts about Kirkby Lonsdale
- Devil’s Bridge: The town is famous for the Devil’s Bridge, which is an exquisite medieval bridge spanning the River Lune. According to local legend, the Devil himself built the bridge, and it has become a popular tourist attraction.
- History of Settlement: Kirkby Lonsdale has a rich history of settlement dating back to the Roman and Norman eras, making it a treasure trove for history enthusiasts. The name “Kirkby” means ‘church town’ in Old Norse, indicating Viking influence in its history.
Architectural & Natural Beauty
- Ruskin’s View: The picturesque scene from the churchyard over the River Lune, famously known as Ruskin’s View, was painted by J.M.W. Turner and praised by the Victorian art critic John Ruskin. It’s hailed as one of the loveliest views in England.
- Historic Buildings: The town boasts numerous historic buildings, including St. Mary’s Church, which dates back to the Norman era and showcases intricate Norman architecture.
- Market Town: Kirkby Lonsdale is known for its bustling market, which has been a central part of life in the town since 1227 when it was granted its market charter by King Henry III.
- Thriving Local Businesses: The town boasts a variety of independent shops, boutiques, cafes, and pubs, showcasing the vitality of its local economy.
Social & Cultural Aspects
- Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery: The local brewery, known for producing a range of craft beers, is an integral part of the community and reflects the town’s dedication to preserving traditional industries.
- Cultural Events: The town hosts numerous events throughout the year, such as the Kirkby Lonsdale Christmas Fair and the Arts and Crafts Festival, reflecting a vibrant cultural scene.
- Proximity to National Parks: Kirkby Lonsdale serves as a gateway to the Yorkshire Dales National Park and is also near the Lake District, offering ample opportunities for exploring the natural beauty of Northern England.
- River Lune: The town is located on the banks of the River Lune, which provides stunning landscapes and various recreational activities such as walking and fishing.
Kirkby Lonsdale on the Map
Kirkby Lonsdale FAQ’s
Is Kirby Lonsdale worth visiting?
The town boasts independent shops, charming restaurants, and a programme of interesting festivals throughout the year. A weekly market takes place in the picturesque square, and local Ruskin’s View was immortalised in a Turner painting. Visitors come from miles around on sunny weekends.
Why is Kirkby Lonsdale famous?
The Town is notably home to the 14th century Devil’s Bridge, as well as Ruskin’s View, which inspired a painting by artist JMW Turner in 1822, and poet John Ruskin to declare ‘I do not know in all my country, still less in France or Italy, a place more naturally divine. ‘
Why is Devil’s bridge Kirkby Lonsdale called Devil’s bridge?
Local legend has it that the Devil appeared to a local woman who could not retrieve her cow from across the river. The Devil appeared offering to build a bridge in exchange for the soul of the first to cross it, and the woman agreed. Once the bridge was completed, the woman threw some food over the bridge, which her dog chased, thus outwitting the devil.