Described as a “bijou market town” in the South Lakes, Kirkby Lonsdale has taken the top spot as the best place to live in the North West by The Sunday Times.
Chosen for its stunning scenic location between the Lakes and the Yorkshire Dales and made complete with booming local businesses, it was the town’s community spirit which inspired the judges to name it as the best of the best.
However, according to The Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide, the landscape alone would have been enough to earn Kirkby Lonsdale the top spot on any respectable wish-list.
Town council chairman, councillor Geoffrey Buswell said he would not want to live anywhere else.
“It’s very difficult to pinpoint one key factor,” he said. “But it’s such a friendly town, and it’s so idyllic.
“There’s plenty to see and do and, if you’ve noticed, all the shops in the town are occupied.”
The Milking Parlour, the ‘cow to cone’ ice-cream shop which opened 11 months ago, received a notable mention in the guide due to its popularity with local residents and tourists.
Sarah Beattie, who owns the business with her husband Edward, said they were incredibly pleased to have been recognised.
“We are over the moon with this,” she said. “But we are lucky to live and work here, and it’s really down to the fact we feel extremely supported by the community as a family business.”
The ice-cream parlour makes all of its artisan Gelato using fresh milk from the Crackles family farm in Burrow, less than three miles from the shop in Kirkby Lonsdale.
This year The Sunday Times home editor Helen Davies said along with “shining community spirit” the judges were looking for convenience and culture. With a 1,800-strong population, the schools, St Mary’s Parish Church and the rugby club, the town apparently reflected this.
Cartmel, described as ‘the tiny Lakeland honeypot’ by the national newspaper, also made the cut, despite missing out last year because the judges thought the village was “a bit too Michelin starry”.
It is also in the running to be Countryfile’s village of the year.
However, with Simon Rogan’s top-end restaurant and other local food eateries including Harry’s cafe and a former garage converted into a “retail piazza,” Cartmel has been named as the “tastiest village in the land”.
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