A guide to Grange-over-Sands
Grange-over-Sands lies on the coastline of the Cartmel Peninsular, looking out to the Morecambe Bay, a mere seven miles south of Lake Windermere. The bay is a pretty spectacular backdrop; when the tide is in it can be an ocean of blue, and when out, a shimmering mirror of silver sands engraved by serpentine rivers that carve their way through it.
Together with Cartmel, a mile over the hill, the town is a great place to stay and a good base for exploring all of the Lake District National Park.
Grange began life as little more than a few fishermen’s cottages, a granary and a small harbour. Out to sea runs the Gulf Stream, where its combination with the town’s position creates a unique mild eco-climate. Hence you can see palm trees in gardens and, back in the day, the good monks of Cartmel Priory had a vineyard on the slopes overlooking the water. This mild climate and the arrival of steam railways saw a small seaside village grow into a genteel and popular Edwardian resort with parklands, municipal gardens and the famous mile-long promenade with its grand lido – sadly now unused.
Today, Grange Over Sands is a pleasant, bustling little town, with friendly locals and welcoming shopkeepers, so much so we decided some twelve years ago to come here and live.
There are plenty of shops and cafés along with local walks within and around the town. You can also widen your choices by popping over the hill to Cartmel, the foodies’ paradise.
We have some lovely cottages in and around Grange-over-Sands in our collection. Read on to feel inspired.
Shopping - Dining - Entertainment
The promenade is a relaxing place to stroll on a summer’s evening accompanied with its panoramic view across the sands. During the day there are plenty of cafés offering breakfast and lunch. The Hazelmere Bakery and café is very popular, offering good food and speciality teas. For evening meals consider the Lymehurst Hotel that is home to an enticing bistro and restaurant. Alternatively, enjoy dinner at The Pheasant Inn that lies a mile’s walk along the coast road and serves good pub grub and fine local ales. Take a short drive to Cartmel, situated a mile over the fell – it’s a very pretty village popular with foodies and celebrities alike. Cartmel has three good pubs: The Cavendish Arms, The Royal Oak, Pig & Whistle and The Kings Arms. For something a little special you must try Simon Rogan's Michelin star awarded L'Enclume, one of Cumbria’s finest restaurants. Another good option is Rogan's Bistro, down by the riverbank. Proffering welcoming surroundings and excellent cuisine, both of Rogan’s establishments are popular, so reservations are advised.
Out and About - Local Walks - Activities
The Cartmel peninsula is criss-crossed with quaint country lanes that pass between meadows, low rolling hills and by the coastal shore, all of which are perfect for trekking and cycling. One particular route that is favoured by locals and visitors is the track up to Hampsfell, an impressive, wooded limestone ridge. The area is full of wildlife and flora – at the summit is the limestone pavement, with its cracks and glints, forming a naturally giant pathway. From the summit you can enjoy a splendid panoramic view of both the mountains and Morecambe Bay. Crowning the ridge is the Hospice, a strange little limestone hut that has a fireplace and stone seats with carved instructions on how the shelter should be used. On from the summit, and you have Eggerslack Woods, a large mixed woodland, with plenty of trails - pleasant for all seasons.
A good day out is to head over to Cartmel and take a Segway off road tour. To hire one of these unusual vehicles head to the hire depot in the village car park. Alternatively, head to Humphrey Head for an amazingly rewarding short walk to blow off the cobwebs or travel a little further around the head of the bay to Arnside. Here, you have one of the most dramatic, flat walks along the shoreline of South Bay.
About eight miles north of the village, clustered at the foot of lake Windermere, is Newby Bridge, Lakeside and Fell Foot, the National Trust Parkland. Here you will find a couple of good inns, including The Swan and the Lakeside Hotel. From the here you can hop on a steamer for a trip on the lake, which winds its way for ten miles into the central fells, passing on its way, Bowness, and Sawrey before shoring up at Ambleside.
Country Houses - Gardens & Historic Buildings
There are some very enticing places of historical interest in and around Cartmel including fine country houses and Cartmel Priory. Founded in 1190 by William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke, it was intended for the Augustinian Canons and dedicated to Saint Mary the Virgin and Saint Michael. Although much was destroyed during the Dissolution, the church itself was saved. The building is magnificent with fine windows, massive arches over polished pews and a beautiful Renaissance-period screen.
Holker Hall and Gardens is a couple of miles from Cark and makes for a very pleasant outing. The house, grounds and a deer park are all open to the public and a complete delight to lose yourself in - the estate arranges an annual programme of events. Levens Hall is a fine example of the archetypal English grand country house. Make sure you spend time enjoying the box and yew sculpted topiary gardens. Let yourself be beguiled by the succession of secret 'garden rooms', wooded walkways and the fine ornamental pond used recently in the BBC series Henry VIII.
Finally, a trip to the National Trust managed Sizergh Castle is a real treat. It is a beautiful medieval house with wonderful gardens and estate grounds. An imposing building, it stands sentinel-like at the gateway to the Lake District.
We have some lovely cottages in and around Grange-over-Sands. Please visit our collection to feel inspired.