Kirkby Lonsdale makes the Observer Happy List
Who would have guessed that the Observer would choose Kirkby Lonsdale as one of its cultural gems for 2017! Yes, hidden away amid the recipes for aubergine ragu with parmesan lentils and Will Hutton's eternal pessimism is the secret to New Year happiness: a trip to Ruskin's View and a glimpse of the "abidingly green and gorgeous" Lune Valley!
Admittedly, it's only number 27 on the list of 30, and scores slightly below Jurgen Klopp's goal celebrations and the Dimitri from Paris remix of Prince’s I Wanna Be Your Lover - but still! They are absolutely right that a walk along the river and a soul-nourishing gaze across the fells is a guaranteed mood-enhancer. To make your trip even better, here's our personal top five happy list for Kirkby Lonsdale:
1. Coffee from Kircabi Roasters. This is our new find, and has greatly enhanced our Kirkby mornings. Amazing tiny shop at 18 Main Street, dominated by an enormous shiny roaster where the owner does small batches of single-origin beans.
2. Stone-skimming on the shore under Devil's Bridge. This little beach is the perfect picnic place, it has a real holiday feel in the summer, and there's always a good selection of the right shaped stones. Plus you can feel smug that people travel miles to come here, and it's just on Lunefield's doorstep.
3. Pizza at the Royal Hotel. This was always the place for very fancy formal special occasions in our childhood, weddings and anniversaries, and it's now been funkily refurbished. I have memories of being wowed at age 5 by their Marie Rose Prawn Cocktail, but things have moved on a bit and we particularly love their artisan pizza which they do in child size too. And they are child, and dog, friendly too.
4. Proper Kirkby Lonsdale Ale! Kirkby now has a brewery all of its own, at the Old Station Yard. This local family run brewery produces some really tasty hand-crafted beers, all with Kirkby names. After doing the river walk, you can guiltlessly indulge in a pint of Ruskin's...
5. Well, fierce lobbying from the under-12s means that we couldn't possibly leave out the sweetie shop. This is an institution in Kirkby, and has been on the market square for as long as we can remember. Hanging from the ceiling and all round the walls is the most enormous selection of gobstoppers, jelly beans, white mice, chocolate drops, humbugs, cinder toffee, dolly mixtures - you name it, we have devoured a bag of it. Find it at 5 Market Square.
We haven't got any links to the places mentioned above, we just love them when we stay at the cottage ourselves. Come and make your own happy list with a mood-enhancing holiday at Lunefield!