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4 Things to do in Kirkby Lonsdale from The Plough

15 May 2017

Kirkby Lonsdale is a small town and civil parish in the South Lakeland district of Cumbria, England. Kirkby Lonsdale sits close to the River Lune and is known as a gateway to the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. Historically in Westmorland, it is situated 13 miles (21 km) south east of Kendal along the A65.

It is a great place for people who love the outdoors but also a great shopping destination for those who would like a little retail therapy. Notable buildings include St Mary's Church, a Norman structure with fine carved columns.

Here we’ve highlighted the top 4 must visits and things to do in Kirkby Lonsdale to help you plan your trip this year.

Devil's Bridge

The town is noted for the Devil's Bridge which at one time carried the Skipton to Kendal road over the River Lune. Dating back from around 1370 and is constructed of fine gritstone ashlar. It has three spans, and measures 45 feet from river to parapet. 

The bridge was probably built by the monks of St Mary's Abbey, York. In common with many bridges of the same name, legend holds that the Devil appeared to an old woman, promising to build a bridge in exchange for the first soul to cross over it. When the bridge was complete, the woman threw bread over the bridge and her dog chased after it, thereby outwitting the Devil. Several large stones in the surrounding area, including the Great Stone of Fourstones, are ascribed to the Devil's purse-strings bursting open as he ferried masonry to build it.

It was repaired in 1705, and re pointed in 1829 using Roman style cement. The roadway on the bridge is only 12 feet wide, insufficient for modern traffic, and with the numbers of vehicles increasing the bridge was closed to vehicular traffic in 1932.

Traffic now crosses the river by the Stanley Bridge, to the south, which was built in the 1930s. It is a grade I listed structure and a Scheduled Ancient Monument. The section of river underneath Devil's Bridge is popular with scuba divers because of the relatively easy access and egress, deep rock pools and good visibility.

Casterton Golf Course

Casterton Golf course in Cumbria borders onto Lancashire and Yorkshire. It’s a nine hole golf course, driving range and par 3 course - and more recently, open as a Footgolf Course too. The golf course is privately owned, has a thriving membership and takes walk up visitor bookings too. The golf course is 50 years old, but in recent years the course has been radically improved and extended after a new layout was introduced in 1993. The nine hole golf course is situated one mile north of Kirkby Lonsdale and is set in beautiful countryside overlooking the market town making it well worth a visit. 

Ruskin's View

A beautiful, amazing and historic view. A great spot to sit and ponder for a while in the sunshine with a brew or glass of fizz. From the corner of the churchyard, follow the signs to Ruskin’s View where the path opens into Church Brow, a promenade high above the River Lune. There you can cast your eyes on a breathtaking panorama of the Lune Valley and Underley Hall – the famous, heavenly Ruskin’s View.

Artist, JMW Turner, painted the scene in 1822 and the picture so impressed the 19th century art critic, social theorist, painter and poet John Ruskin, that he wrote: ‘I do not know in all my country, still less in France or Italy, a place more naturally divine.’ In 1875, Ruskin described the panorama as ‘one of the loveliest views in England, therefore in the world’. From Ruskin’s View, you can walk down the VERY Steep Steps to the river and follow the footpath to the scheduled ancient monument Devil’s Bridge, with its three ribbed medieval arches. Or you can access the river from further down the village.

The Plough Inn at Lupton

Obviously, we couldn’t leave out our pub in Lupton. We think our cosy pub and inn should be a must visit if you’re on you way too or through Kirkby Lonsdale. Serving food from 12pm daily, a selection of stylish rooms to choose from and perfectly placed to explore the Lake District, Kirkby Lonsdale and Cumbria.

Fancy a bite to eat? We have a sneak peak gastro pub food menu for you to view, or looking to stay over or the night? Take a look at our b&b lake district. The Hutton is my personal favourite. A large suite located at the back of the building. A king size bed in the main bedroom with superb views over Farleton Knott and a separate room with two twin beds. A 506 sq ft room with roll top bath.

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