101 places to go: Kirkby Lonsdale

One of the main reasons we started the ‘101 Places to Go in the UK, Ireland and France’ (aside from trying to think of a really long name for a feature) was to try and promote areas that you might not have heard of, or didn’t know that you wanted to visit. Well, Kirkby Lonsdale in Cumbria is just one such place.

Located between the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District, but offering more than enough attractions to make it worth a visit, Kirkby is the kind of market town that you didn’t know still existed – unless you happen to live there, or have been before. But if you haven’t had the pleasure then here are a few suggestions for things to see and do.

• Devil’s Bridge allegedly got its name when the Devil appeared to an old woman and promised that he’d build a bridge in exchange for the first soul that crossed it. As luck would have it, the old woman obviously wanted a bridge and soon agreed. Though when it became time to collect, she supposedly tricked the devil using her dog and some bread. OK, so it may not be the world’s greatest story – and nowadays you’re more likely to accompany the bread with bacon from the food caravan nearby – but it adds a little colour to Kirkby’s history. It might also explain why some hardy souls occasionally decide to jump from the bridge into the ‘refreshing’ waters of the River Lune below.

• The Highwayman Inn in Burrow boasts an equally unsavoury history. Once upon a time the inn was rumoured to have been the pub of choice for the region’s many notorious highwaymen, which must have made things easy for local lawmen! Maybe this is why you’ll now find something a little more palatable, in the form of award-winning food and drink. In fact The Highwayman’s regional menu is so good that it has become a staple of The Good Food guide in the past few years.

Have you got any suggestions for things to see, do or visit in Kirkby Lonsdale? Please leave a comment below.


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