The self-billed “Gateway to the Lakes” (though nearly ten miles from Windermere), KENDAL is the largest of the southern Cumbrian towns. It offers rewarding rambles around the “yards” and “ginnels” on both sides of Highgate and Stricklandgate, the main streets, and while the old Market Place long since succumbed to development, traditional stalls still do business outside the Westmorland Shopping Centre every Wednesday and Saturday, which are good days to visit.

Outside Kendal, the main trips are to the stately homes of Sizergh Castle and Levens Hall, just a few miles to the south, both of which have beautifully kept gardens.