Kirkby Stephen is an area of Cumbria not as well known as the Lake District. However, this traditional market town is just as appealing as the Lake District with its historic buildings, cobbled yards, quaint corners and interesting shops. The place is surrounded by a landscape of pastoral rural scenery and wild uplands and has a good selection of bed and breakfast and self catering accommodation for visitors to enjoy their stay here.
With so much beautiful countryside there are many outdoor activities to try out while staying in Kirkby Stephen. There are miles of footpaths and bridleways for walkers and horse riders, not to mention a large number of cycle lanes. Should visitors fancy trying something different than the fells around the town offers some of the best sites in the UK for paragliding.
In fact people taking a holiday in Kirkby Stephen have many sporting options available to them with facilities for bowls, tennis, swimming as well as an Astroturf pitch for football or hockey. There are a number of golf clubs to reach from a Kirkby Stephen cottage as well.
There are no shortages of eateries in the town with restaurants, bistros, cafes, tea shops, pubs, fish and chip shops and takeaways all present to suit different tastes and budgets. Visitors will find an array of quaint and individual shops including antique shops, bookshops, craft shops, gift shops and galleries.
There are many places to visit while taking a holiday in the area with coach tours offering round trip from Kirkby Stephen to Hawes. The Lake District Park is just a one hour drive away with many boating and fishing activities as well as hikes available in the area. Kirkby Stephen has a number of historic old buildings worth visiting too including the parish church and castles such as Brougham, Brough, Pendragon and Lammerside.
Due to its location on the northwest coast of England and its mountainous geography, Cumbria is the wettest part of England. The average rainfall for the area is over 2,000 mm a year, but there is a very large local variation and Penrith near Kirkby Stephen is way below the average at 870 mm per year. The driest months of the year are normally between March and June with July and August generally the warmest with an average of 19C.
Manchester Airport (MAN) serves more domestic destinations than any other UK airport and is an ideal link to Kirkby Stephen being just an hour and a half drive away. Domestic flights from London are offered by British Airways and BMI. Aer Lingus and Ryanair offer flights to Manchester from Ireland, while many of the major European airlines such as Air France, KLM and Lufthansa fly here too. Northern Rail operates a train service direct to Kirkby Stephen station from Carlisle and Leeds.