One of my favourite spots is the pretty market town of Kirkby Lonsdale. It's attractive and well-kept, thanks to some very green-fingered residents.
It has a different feel, perhaps revelling in its more exotic location at the intersection of Yorkshire, Lancashire and the Lake District.
The collection of 17th and 18th century buildings, coach yards, cobbled lanes and passages all add to the very welcoming atmosphere of Kirkby Lonsdale.
You can walk down to the river by going down the steep steps from Church Brow, after enjoying 'Ruskin's View' The steps are known as the Radical Steps, built by Dr. Francis Pearson in the 1820s.
Dr. Francis Pearson was apparently known for his strong political views, and courted local controversy when he diverted a public footpath that originally ran through his garden, hence the name of the his steps.
I really like Kirkby Lonsdale because it's got such a great collection of independent shops, good pubs and restaurants, but particularly for its many interesting corners with odd names and unexpected architectural features.
Nowadays a 'gazebo' is a flimsy half tent hastily erected in case of rain during an event. The Kirkby Lonsdale version of a gazebo in St. Mary's churchyard is a two storey stone-built octagonal affair, standing proud over the meadow.
Salt Pie Lane is fairly clear too: those pies must have been quite special to have a road named after them. Jingling Lane is less obvious: I think it's from the sound made by small bells or coins being rubbed together but maybe some one will correct me?
At one time there were numerous mills in the town, carding wool, making snuff, bobbins and cloth as well as grinding corn.
Don't miss the new, free attraction, The Vaults, in the Tourist Information Centre. It's a great place to uncover some of Kirkby Lonsdale's fascinating past.
An old woman lived on the riverbank with her small collection of animals. One night one of her cows wandered across to the other side of the river and wouldn't return.
The devil appeared and said he'd build a bridge in exchange for the soul of the first body to cross it. She agreed, and the devil built the bridge, leaving his own hand-mark in the stone, which can still be seen today.
Perhaps some in Kirkby Lonsdale still regret the treatment of that poor dog and want to make amends. Outside the Sun Inn is a dog drinking dish and a very smart shower for boots and dogs!