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Holidays in Kirkby Lonsdale

A small, picturesque market town characterised by the intriguingly named ‘Devil’s Bridge’

UK | North of England | Lake District | Kirkby Lonsdale
Devil's Bridge

The small town of Kirkby Lonsdale in South Lakeland sits on the banks of the River Lune. The splendid historic buildings – many dating back hundreds of years – that line the Kirkby Lonsdale quaint streets and squares now accommodate an impressive range of independent shops, cafés, pubs, hotels and restaurants.

Kirkby Lonsdale has had a market charter since 1227, and it runs every Thursday showcasing many local food producers’ wares.

The Devil’s Bridge, which dates from the 14th century, crosses the river, though it has been closed to cars since 1932. The bridge enjoys the prestige of being a Grade I listed structure and Scheduled Ancient Monument. The deep pools in the river below the Devil’s Bridge are popular with scuba divers.

The town’s most famous son is perhaps the Victorian artist and philosopher John Ruskin. Be sure to visit Ruskin’s View, immortalised in the well-revered painting by JMW Turner. It can be found at the churchyard of St Mary’s close to the centre of Kirkby Lonsdale. Ruskin wrote of the picture: “I do not know in all my own country, still less in Italy or France, a place more naturally divine.”

Devil's Bridge Falls

If you would like to do some freshwater scuba diving, you can book a course to take you down to the easily accessible deep waters below the Devil’s Bridge. Other places of historical interest include Salt Pie Lane and St Mary’s Rectory, which was used for location filming in the BBC’s 2013 TV series adaptation, Jamaica Inn. The author Daphne Du Maurier has links to Kirkby Lonsdale, even though she is largely associated with Cornwall.

Local walks around Kirkby Lonsdale include a circular trail from the town that follows the River Lune, introducing you to the best of the Lune Valley. You follow the river at its widest, making the walk a peaceful and relaxing prospect. The banks are popular with fisherman, and be sure to look out for kingfishers too. The path winds through the nearby village of Whittington which has a lovely pub to stop in (check opening hours).

“The view from St Mary’s churchyard has inspired great artists like JMW Turner and John Ruskin…”

You can also take in views of the hill ranges from Barbondale to Ingleborough, which can be compared to the Cairngorms in Scotland. The full circuit is about 5-6 miles with a total elevation of about 280 feet. There are other great walks within driving distance from Kirkby Lonsdale too, including the Barbondale walk, Ingleton waterfalls walk, and the ‘Exploring Kirkby Lonsdale Trail’.

Kirkby Lonsdale has a wide range of eateries to choose from in the day and of an evening. A favourite is Avanti, where the chefs have placed a tasty emphasis on Italian and Spanish cuisine. With a wide range of drinks, Avanti is a good place to try out a fine dining experience.

We have some lovely Kirkby Lonsdale cottages in our collection - why not visit our collection to get inspired?

While you’re there

The Devil’s Bridge

Cross the legendary 14th century bridge that crosses the River Lune and watch scuba divers explore the deep pools below the surface.

The Finestra Gallery

Collection of original works from local, national and international artists, plus handmade glassware, ceramics, sculpture and jewellery.

Ruskins View

A breathtaking view from the churchyard of St Mary's Church, made famous by the artist JMW Turner and the art critic John Ruskin.

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