Five reasons Kirkby Lonsdale is the best place to live in the North West

Posted on June 3, 2019 | Information, News

Kirkby Lonsdale has bagged the top spot as the best place to live in the North West in The Sunday Times 2019.

It’s official – Kirkby Lonsdale is the best place to live in the North West of England, according to the hotly contested listings in the Sunday Times for 2019. This picturesque and historic town in the south-eastern corner of Cumbria has long been admired by residents and visitors alike, but just what is it that gives Kirkby Lonsdale the edge over other towns in the region?

Simply stunning landscape
Kirkby Lonsdale is positioned betwixt Lakes and Dales amid some of the most beautiful rural scenery anywhere in the country. Elevated above the western banks of the River Lune, it offers panoramic views – some of which remain relatively unchanged since the artist JMW Turner painted them more than two centuries ago. In fact, if you wander in a northerly direction through St Mary’s churchyard, you’ll happen upon a spot known locally as ‘Ruskin’s View’, so called because the art critic, social theorist, painter and poet John Ruskin reportedly said of it: ‘I do not know in all my own country, still less in France or Italy, a place more naturally divine’. As recommendations go, this one is hard to top.

Historic architecture
Kirkby Lonsdale owes much of its charm to its picture-perfect town square which showcases the town’s proud Georgian heritage. Kirkby’s origins go back much further – there’s been a settlement here since Roman times – and it’s easy to see evidence of its history in buildings like 900-year-old St Mary’s church, The Sun Inn and the Old Manor House on Mill Brow. The town’s unspoilt charm is a magnet for TV and film producers. An episode of ITV’s Poirot was shot here, as was the BBC’s recent dramatisation of Jamaica Inn and big-budget Hollywood movie Dr Dolittle with Robert Downey Jr.

A friendly community
The Sunday Times made much of Kirkby Lonsdale’s ‘shining community spirit’ – and with good reason. While some may think of the town as a tourist destination, the townspeople who live here all year round are a warm and welcoming bunch. There are plenty of clubs and societies that cater for every type of sports, cultural and leisure pursuit and a schedule of town-wide events designed to bring people together, including a music festival in June. This year sees the Irish Fleadh come to town! Check out for all the latest community news.

Top-notch educational opportunities
Kirkby Lonsdale has its own primary school – St Mary’s – and extensive secondary provision that draws pupils from a wide area. Queen Elizabeth School (QES) is one of the highest-rated schools in Cumbria catering for students from 11 to 18, with its own dedicated sixth-form unit. A QES Studio School has recently opened offering increased opportunities for career and vocational training. Highly respected independent Sedbergh School also has a campus in nearby Casterton, providing places for boys and girls attending as day and boarding pupils.

Superb local facilities
There aren’t many towns of this size (pop. 1800) that can boast the range of facilities on offer in Kirkby Lonsdale. Residents enjoy access to a doctor’s surgery, dental healthcare, post office, library, supermarket (Booths) and a host of shops, pubs, cafes and restaurants to tempt and delight. If you love the outdoors, quiet routes for walking and cycling abound. Sports fans can enjoy rugby, football, cricket, netball, tennis and crown green bowls – with lots of opportunities for kids and adults to watch and play.

Finally, if you fancy a move to Kirkby Lonsdale, you can take your pick from a wide selection of properties – everything from quaint cottages to quality new builds. Russell Armer’s Oakfield Park offers a wide range of contemporary two-, three- and four-bedroom homes close to schools and shops.