Kendal has been named as one of the best places to live in the entirety of the UK.

The Cumbrian town was included in the annual Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide, which was revealed on Friday.

Read more: Cumbria town named one of the best to live in the northwest | The Westmorland Gazette

We might be biased here at The Westmorland Gazette, but we are not surprised that Kendal has earned this national recognition thanks to these five reasons.

1. The Shopping

Kendal has a whole host of independent shops that make the town stand out and attract plenty of visitors to the area.

Peter Brendling, the manager of Kendal Business Improvement District, said: "Kendal is lucky to have a lot of people who are passionate about improving and making the most of our town.

"[They are] proving that despite the current difficult climate, with the willpower to succeed, businesses can thrive and grow."

Independent shops include Iluvmemost, Begin with Nature, Little bRogues, Hogarth Jewellers, Fellside Brides, and Cable and Blake.

That is not to mention the ongoing development of Spinning Jennies in the town, which will further promote local businesses and attract more tourists.

2. The Surroundings

The Lake District is one of the most idyllic settings in the country, perhaps even the best to experience first hand.

It is no wonder then that Kendal is such an attractive place to live when you can wake up to the fells on your doorstep.

With the River Kent flowing through the heart of the area, Kendal is the quintessential, picturesque postcard town.

And, thanks to its proximity to the M6, exploring the rest of the Lake District is simple - although the Sunday Times do not see any reason to leave.

3. The Arts Scene

Kendal has made itself known as a thriving hub of culture, promoting the best performers and artists that the nation has to offer.

Brewery Arts continues to provide an outlet for locals to see these performances, whilst the likes of the Mountain Festival has put Kendal on the global map.

This year is set to be no different, with a number of events further boosting Kendal's cultural reputation.

These include Country Fest and Kendal Pride in June, the Unity and Family festivals in July, and the return of Torchlight in September.

4. The Pubs and Cafes

Every town needs the perfect spot to grab a bite to eat and a refreshing drink.

Kendal is fortunate that it has so many to offer, with Brian Burrow, owner of the Garden Cafe for five years, saying this was largely down to the 'support' these businesses receive.

He said: "There are a lot of businesses in Kendal, more like a business community, where we support each other.

"I'm hopeful that businesses will grow more - I know there are new plans for new small independents in the pipeline and that will certainly make Kendal more attractive."

5. Its Heritage

Kendal might be thriving in the present and it might have a keen eye on the future, but its history places a key role in its attractiveness.

The castle is the standout focal point, but that is complimented by the local museum and parish church.

The people of Kendal are proud of what came before them, promoting the wool trade that shaped the town into a northwest powerhouse.

And the Civic Society has ensured no one forgets this history, with plaques across Kendal telling the story of its fascinating origins and growth.