Christmas Shopping in Kendal

There seems to be an air of panic about starting the Christmas shopping, but there is no reason why it can't be an enjoyable experience. The southern Lakeland town of Kendal is famed for it's shopping and it is a great choice to pick up something delightfully different. Here is my guide to negotiating the fascinating yards and ginnels, the pedestrian friendly high streets and the interesting markets.

The first (and most important due to my love of tea) is to make sure you stop for a brew in the famous tea and coffee merchants!

Kendal's market charter dates back to 1189 and the calendar is certainly busy when it comes to markets. The indoor market is open Monday to Saturday and outdoor markets are held every Wednesday and Saturday. A farmer's market takes place n the last Friday of each month.

Elephant Yard Shopping Centre is the place to go for fashion, shoes, cosmetics and gifts. Here you will find Next, Monsoon, Hotter, Laura Ashley and Boots to name but a few.

Low Sizergh Barn is just south of Kendal and sells charming crafts and locally produced foodstuffs. The setting of a traditional Westmorland Barn on a working farm is just delightful. All in one visit you can shop to your hearts content, sample the mouthwatering menu in the tea room, watch the milking and enjoy a ramble along the woodland trail.

Wainwright's Yard has won awards for its design and is named in memory of the famous fell walker Alfred Wainwright. The independent shops here lean towards luxury and quirkiness. Artisan sells gorgeous food, Wesley Barrell stocks and designs exclusive furniture and Montroc specialises in fast and light outdoor clothing.

Westmorland Shopping centre is a modern indoor centre where you can stay warm and dry when the weather turns. Packed full of high street names and cafes plus a few independent retailers too. You can expect seasonal entertainment for kids (and adults!) during November and December.
Blackhall Yard dates back to the 1700's and was originally a brush factory. It is now a small collection of independent shops. It is accessed via a low passageway reflecting the heritage of the area.

K Village is a premium factory outlet centre with a cafe on a riverside terrace. There is full disabled access and a large underground car park.
Plumgarths Farm Shop and Cafè(c) is north of Kendal and if you shop at Asda you may well have sampled their wares already. Plumgarths supply over 80 different products to the supermarket including quality beef, salt marsh lamb, English Lakes ice cream and the famous Cumberland Sausage. The owners are big fans of local brewing and stock some of the finest ales in Cumbria. An award wining range of diabetic friendly jams and chutneys are on sale in the shop. The onsite tearoom offers a full menu starting with a farmhouse breakfast. Everything is made on site and the pates on freshly made bread are to die for!

Kendal is the gateway to the Lake District from the south and offers so much more variety than your average high street shopping. There is a vibrant arts and culture scene too. There are several Lake District cottages which would make an ideal base from which to explore this beautiful Lakeland town.

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