Kendal – One of the best places to live in the Lake District

Posted on October 11, 2017 | News, Property

Often called the ‘Gateway to the Lakes’, Kendal is one of the best places to live in Cumbria.

Kendal regularly features in The Sunday Times’s ‘Best Places to Live’ list, a calculation that takes into account factors such as jobs, exam results, broadband speeds, culture, community spirit and local shops. Its top ranking comes as no surprise to people who already call the ‘Auld Grey Town’ home but it might give pause for thought to those who consider it as a pleasant stop on the Lake District tourist trail.

One of the things Kendal residents love is the mix of town and country. There’s plenty to see and do in Kendal all year round and there’s a good selection of houses from period properties to new-build homes, with excellent road and rail links that make commuting further afield easy. All this set against a wild backdrop of spectacular Lakeland scenery that’s there for everyone to enjoy whenever they choose.

A town with history

Once upon a time, it was snuff and shoes that made the headlines. K Shoes, founded by the Somervell family in the 19th century, was one of the town’s prime employers until its manufacturing base was moved elsewhere. Today, the town is home to a diverse range of industries – not least a burgeoning design and digital community – and is famous for Kendal Mint Cake, beloved by adventurers the world over.

Interestingly, Russell Armer is currently working on an exciting housing development half-a-mile west of Kendal town centre with a historical connection to the K Shoes dynasty. Tenterfield is set in the conservation area that encompasses Greenside, Beast Banks and Gillingate in a really lovely part of town that still retains a village feel. It’s the site of a rambling Victorian property built by the Somervells that later became a nursing home before falling into disrepair.

Just 19 properties are being created here, designed to make the most of its leafy location. The original buildings are undergoing a sensitive transformation into a well-planned collection of houses and apartments, with additional, high-quality new builds situated in the extensive grounds. It’s the perfect option for those like to be close to local amenities but appreciate the benefit of coming home to a quiet retreat at the end of the day.

The hub of 19th century industry

Greenside is a very different proposition from how it was two centuries earlier. Kendal was an important lime burning location from the early 1700s, with more quarries and kilns being added when the canal opened in 1819 – including a number around High Tenterfell. Locals became concerned at the levels of congestion, especially on Beast Banks, but lime burning continued in the town – albeit on a smaller scale – until the 1950s.

As the last of its kind in Kendal, the Greenside Lime Kiln has been restored by conservators and is now a scheduled ancient monument. It’s definitely worth a visit, if only to see this amazing glimpse of the town’s industrial past in what is now one of the most sought-after areas of Kendal.