Cartmel Tourist Information
Cartmel - A delightful small village of narrow streets, well-stocked shops and comfortable inns. In it's centre, the market cross and "fish slabs" occupy a prime position in the cobbled market place, and off to one side is the old gate-house bearing an inscription of it's history.
The village is dominated by the 12th century Priory, built, it is said, in response to a Heavenly prompting. Parts of the building were destroyed during the Reformation, but the church itself was spared because it was thought to be suitable for Protestant worshippers. This fine building is of great appeal to the visitor. It contains much to see and admire including a bronze sculpture by Josephina de Vasconcellos donated by her to the Priory.
The Spring and Summer Steeple Chase events draw large enthusiastic crowds to the small local racecourse. This is an entertaining day out for the whole family. The racing, refreshment tents, stalls and fairground providing a carnival atmosphere.
This is a village to savour, not only for itself, but as a centre from which to travel and explore the other parts of the Lake District. Grange over Sands is a short distance over the picturesque fell road; the beautiful house and grounds of Holker Hall is just down the road in Cark, and the lakes are all in easy reach with Windermere and Coniston as the nearest.
The accommodation, restaurants, cafes and pubs with their traditional fare ( not forgetting the sticky-toffee pudding) will add to the pleasure of your stay.
How to get there:
By rail: From the West Coast Main Line, change at Carnforth for Grange over Sands or Cark on the Cumbrian Coastline. From there the journey by road is approximately two miles.
By road: Reach us from J36 on the M6 along the A590 as far as High Newton. From there it is but a short drive along the signposted narrow roads to the village.
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Cartmel Village features strongly in the turbulent history of the Lake District and Cumbria. The traditional inns, shops and private dwellings huddle around the cobbled market place, market cross, water pump and fish slabs. This is far removed from the edifices of the modern day and provide an authentic and comforting glimpse of times gone by.
The lovely 12th C church is the dominating presence of the village and is one of the top Lake District attractions. Inside, the visitor will find much to admire from beautiful stained glass windows, 15th C choir stalls and the more recent sculptures by the Brazilian artist, Josephina de Vasconcellos. The nearby Cartmel Priory Gatehouse is thought to be a 14th C construction and depicts the history of the village and the Priory.
This is National Hunt Racing at its very best and attracting thousands of enthusiastic visitors who flock to the gala atmosphere generated in one of the countrys smallest courses. They are one of the years highlights held during the Spring and Summer Bank Holidays.
In the 1990’s the gardens were voted in a well read magazine as one of the best in the world and certainly deserves the present day reputation of the finest house and gardens in the southern Lake District. The grounds cover an area of around 25 acres of formal gardens and woodlands containing café, restaurant, gift shop, adventure playground and picnic area. The Holker Garden Festival is a most popular event.
Lakeland Motor Museum
A courtyard setting in the grounds of Holker Hall. Here you will find a wide ranging display of classic cars, motor-cycles, tractors, engines and a collection of rare motoring memorabilia. It’s one of the best that the Lake District and Cumbria can offer.
It is an important wildlife habitat not far from the village of Cartmel. During migration and in the winter months it provides a feeding ground for waders and wildfowl and for the naturalists, good watching facilities are provided at Hest Bank and Leighton Moss. The Cross Bay Walk is a well known attraction carried out under the watchful eyes of an experienced qualified guide. Visitors are reminded that it would be extremely dangerous to attempt this alone due to quicksands and treacherous unpredictable tides.
Aquarium of the Lakes
The aquarium is conveniently placed close to the landing stage of Lakeside on Lake Windermere. It is an imaginative designed complex of themed habitats clearly showing the diversity of lake life and glass tunnels showing views of a cleverly recreated bed of Lake Windermere.
The Predator Experience
Based at Ayside, Cartmel offering one to one lessons flying birds of prey including Ben, a five year old Golden eagle.
Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway
Take a trip from Lakeside to Haverthwaite and return on one of these trains hauled by lovingly restored steam locomotives. A delight for the enthusiast and a firm favourite with the children. www.furnessrailwaytrust.org.uk
Probably the most visited stretch of water in the Lake District and Cumbria.Windermere is England’s largest lake and best viewed from one of the many passenger launches which regularly ply its length from Bowness to Waterhead (Ambleside) and Lakeside. Much to see and do in Bowness and a particularly pleasant walk along Cockshott Point which is push chair and wheelchair friendly. www.windermere-lakecruises.co.uk
Stott Park Bobbin Mill
Another important piece of Cumbria and the Lake District history. It details the thriving bobbin industry of the 1800’s when about 250 people were involved in the manufacture. Open March – October. Free guided tours.
The Lake District and Cumbria has been voted the walkers favourite UK destination. Here is a region where it is still possible to find and enjoy isolated areas in secluded landscapes. One gentle scenic walk begins from Catmel Racecourse.
There are many leisure pursuits in this area including angling, archery, clay shooting and quad biking.