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Cartmel

Overview

Cartmel is one of Cumbria's best and unique villages. Set on the Cartmel Peninsular, surrounded by rolling hills that tumble down to the coast, it lies only seven miles south of Lake Windermere. Picture perfect, Cartmel has grown into a chic destination, wrapped up in the most delightful architecture of traditional lime washed and stone built houses, shops and pubs. It has a growing reputation for its accommodation, inns and restaurants, notably Simon Rogan’s L’Enclume, voted the UK top dining experience which, along with having the smallest National Hunt Race course in the UK, has made the village a place of pilgramage for foodies and celebrities.

Centered on a delightful square, overlooked by the huge Norman priory, Cartmel is a maze of lanes and bridges crossing the sweet little river, cruised by fleets of ducks and swans. The Priory, a magnificent building, rises up above the village like a great ship and is well worth a visit to see the architecture and, if so inclined, attend one of the daily services.

There are good local walks, lanes to cycle and plenty to explore. Notable is Hampsfell and Eggerslack wood, a limestone fell and ancient woodland where the summit gives panoramic views of the Morecambe Bay and the Lake District Mountains and come spring the woodland is carpeted in bluebells.  

 

 

Shopping - Dining - Entertainment

There are plenty of shops, both in the village and in nearby Grange Over Sands. The Cartmel Village Store is part deli, part grocer with an excellent café and is famous for producing the Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding.

In Unsworth Yard you have Cartmel Cheeses and The Bread Shed, along with The Red Pepper & Hot Wines shop and Cartmel’s own micro brewery.

By the priory entrance is Hales home made chocolates. Here also, once a month, the village holds a food market with many local producers setting up their stalls. Look out for the Indian takeaway tent where their food is yum, great for an easy night in.

For even more shops pop over the fell to Grange Over Sands where you will find a Spar, the Co-Op, two bakers, a veg shack and Stuart Higginson’s famous butchers, along with banks, a post office, two chemists, two ironmongers, a few boutiques, The Fishing Tackle Shop, another chocolatier and our wonderful Vet Tim, to name but a few.

Along with the foodie outlets in Cartmel there is The Larch Tree, selling quality gifts and clothing. Chamberlain’s offer a range of delightful gifts and is supplier of life size sheep and other animals for Cartmel-Sheepy Village. Perfect English is a stylish shop in the square, selling designer high-end gifts, home furnishings and luxurious toiletries.

For dining you really are spoiled for choice. There four 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 awarded L'Enclume, one of Cumbrias finest restaurants. Another good option is Rogan's wine bar, set by the river it is very relaxed and with excellent cuisine. Both are popular and reservation is advised.

 

Local Shows & Events

There are a host of events held  throughout the year on the Peninsular. To be sure not to miss out check out on Google for dates, times and entry fees.

Race Days

Come bank holidays the village buzzes with arrival of race day. Owned by The Holker Hall Estate, the course is on the edge of the village, where along with the racing there is a carnival and fair with many attractions, stalls and pop up food, beer and wine tents.

Cartmel Show

The Cartmel show is a grand and well attended affair, attracting many local artisans offering products and produce. Along side this is show jumping, livestock and horticultural shows, where at the days end is a great sell off some fantastic flowers and plants. Live music, competitions, food and beer tents make up the entertainment, where you can have a go at Cumberland Wrestling or try your hand at archery.

Holker Garden Festival

In May is the Holker Garden Festival. Some of the most accomplished plants men and women display in the grand marquee. Around this are tents and stalls selling everything from tractors to sheds along with designer boots and jackets. Beer tents and food halls offer local delights and the show is a grand day out. Again, at the end of the fesival you can pick up some fine specimines for your garden.

Winter Market

The Holker Winter Market is a nice precursor to the big event. Stock up on local produce, warm yourself around braziers and sample some fine foods and local ales.

Steam Gathering

The Cumbria Steam Gathering, held in July, is a feast of wonderful old steam engines, tractors, mechanical wonders and vintage cars. Held over the fell at the Flookbrough airdrome, there are plenty of stalls, shows and activities, including go-carts, Segways along with live music and demonstrations.

Prom Art

Grange Prom Art is held on the promenade in Grage over sands on the last Sunday of each month during summer. Local artists, entertainers and food tents make for a great day against a stunning backdrop of the Morecambe Bay.

 

Country Houses - Gardens & Historic Buildings

If you like a historic pile then the peninsula offers quite a clutch of fine county houses along with the priory. Check online for opening times and any restrictions such as dogs.

Cartmel Priory was founded in 1190 by William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke, 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, of particular note, a beautiful Renaissance screen.

Holker Hall, known locally as Hooker Hall, along with its gardens, is a couple of miles from the village at Cark and makes for good half days outing. The House is open to the public along with grounds and a deer park which are a delight to explore, finishing with lunch at the food hall. Throughout the year there are shows and market fairs so it is worth checking Holker's website. 

Levens Hall is a fine example of the grand country house. What is that bit extra special are the topiary gardens, a huge collection of the weird and the wonderful, sculptured from box and yew and will facinate adults and children alike. There are secret 'garden rooms', wooded walkways and a fine ornamental pond, which for those that followed the BBC's bodice busting, head rolling, Henry VIII, will recognise it as one of the locations used in the series. 

Sizergh Castle is a beautiful medieval house with wonderful gardens and estate grounds. An imposing building, it stands sentinel at the gateway to the Lake District, where The National Trust maintains its upkeep. The gardens include a national collection of hardy ferns and a fine limestone rock garden along with a pond and lake. You can savour local, seasonal food in the contemporary licensed café or buy a picnic to enjoy in the gardens and estate grounds. There is a pub, yes a pub, the Sizergh Arms, and a farm tea room and shop over at Sizergh Barn where, through a glass wall, you overlook the milking shed. Recently the farm has been selling 'Raw Milk', milk straight from the cow. To me it tastes just like milk used to and I can highly recommend this simple but tasty local product.
 

Out And About - Local Walks - Activities

There are plenty of easy walks from the village taking you through meadows and woodland and the surrounding lanes are perfect for cycling, with not too many challenging hills to climb.

A great day out is to take a Segway off road tour. The offices are by the car park and the reviews so far from our guests make this a must for a bit of fun.

Tracey & Rynardt Venter, specialising in breeding and raising magnificent Fresians, runs the Black Horses stable. You can hire a carriage ride through the landscape of the peninsula, which would make the perfect setting for romantic gestures and proposals.

A favourite is to climb high up onto Hampsfell, with its panoramic views across the Morecambe Bay, then descend down to Grange Over Sands or explore the tracks running through Eggerslack Woods. At the summit is a small, quite ornate, stone hut, built to shelter travellers. On top is a huge compass showing the fells that form your view and is the perfect spot for a picnic.

The fell also has a notable geological feature in the form of huge limestone pavements. These great sheets of stone are riddled with deep, wide fissures, which are quite wonderful to witness. If you want to explore them do be careful, as a slip could result in a sprained ankle.

A little further afield you have the coast where you can explore the edges of the bay. For me one of the finest walks in the Lake District is to set out along the shore from Arnside, on the south side of the bay. Ahead of you stretch miles of silver sand, and as the tide comes in the view is spectacular. It must be noted that the sands are hazardous, but providing you keep to the shoreline the walk is fine. 

On the Grange side of the bay is Humphrey Head, a huge limestone ridge that juts out into the bay and where you can explore the rock pools for shrimp and crabs.

For golfers there are two clubs over in Grange. Grange Fell Golf Club is a nine-hole course set on the slopes above the town. The par 70 card will provide you with interesting and unique features to ensure you enjoy your visit.

The Grange-over-Sands Golf Club is a challenging parkland 18-hole golf course. It is a very pretty looking affair and welcomes visitors where you can book your time online.

About eight miles north of the village, clustered at the foot of lake Windermere, is Newby Bridge, Lakeside and Fell Foot, the National Trusts Parkland. Here you will find a couple of good inns, the Swan at Newby Bridge and, a mile further on, 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 the way Bowness, Sawrey and finishing at the Waterhead terminus near Ambleside.

Also at Lakeside is the Aquarium of the Lakes and, at nearby Backbarrow, the Lakeland Motor Museum, a vast collection of vintage and specialist cars including a replica of Donald Campbell’s Blue Bird.

At Fell Foot you can moor boats and hire row and sailing craft or simply swim and picnic by the shore. Finally, one of the best easy walks starts from Finsthwaite leading up to High Dam, a beautiful little tarn nestled in woodland and rolling fells. The perfect circular route it makes for a delightful half day, with time to include a picnic by the waters edge and for those that like wild swimming this the perfect spot.

 

Lake District Cottages In And Around The Cartmel Area

For more information on our collection of fine Lake District Cottages and Lake District Self Catering Holiday Homes use our Availability Search or Lake District Cottage Browsers.

 


Cartmel

Cartmel
Speed Guide

Top Attractions

Cartmel Priory
Holker Hall
Levens Hall
Sizergh Castle
Grange Promenade 
Lakeside - Lakes Aquarium
Haverthwaite - Steam Railway
Backbarrow - Lakeland Motor Museum 

Activities

Cartmel Segway
Grange Golf Club
Grange Fell Golf Club
Black Horses Carriage Rides
Fell Foot Park Boat Hire
Lakeside For Windermere Lake Cruises 

Local Events

Race Days - National Hunt Horse Racing
Cartmel Show
Holker Garden Festival
Holker Winter Market
Flookbrough Steam Gathering
Grange Prom Art

Dining Out

l'Enclume Restaurant
Rogans Restaurant
The Cavendish Arms
The Royal Oak
Pig & Whistle
The Kings Arms

Areas Close By

Kendal - See Guide

Grange Over Sands - See Guide

Newby Bridge - See Guide

Ulverston - See Guide

Information Web Sites

National Parks Authority
Cartmel Website
Explore South Lakeland
National Trust Website 
Westmorland Gazette Local Paper & Website 

More 

Our guide is only a flavour of what is on offer throughout the National Park - To get more info and the best from your holiday do take some time searching on Google etc.

 

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Clogger Beck Cottage

Cartmel
• Sleeps 4
• VE Awaiting Inspection
• Friday Change Over
• No pets
• Wi-Fi Braodband
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Middle Bank

Crosthwaite - The Lyth Valley
• Sleeps 4
• VE 3 Star
• Saturday Change Over
• Pets - See Property Details
• Wi-Fi Broadband
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Kiln Cottage

Bouth - Near Newby Bridge
• Sleeps 4
• VE 4 Star
• Friday Change Over
• No pets
• Wi-Fi Broadband
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Heron Beck

Bowstead Gates - Near Ulverston
• Sleeps 10
VE 5 Star Gold Award
• Friday Change Over
• No pets
• Wi-Fi Broadband
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Brookside

Cartmel
• Sleeps 4
VE 5 Star
• Friday Change Over
• Pets - See Property Details
• Wi-Fi Broadband
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The Old Pottery

Lindale
• Sleeps 3
• VE 4 Star
• Friday Change Over
• No pets
• Wi-Fi Broadband
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No 2 Rose Cottage

Bouth - Near Newby Bridge
• Sleeps 2
VE 5 Star Gold Award
• Friday Change Over
• No pets
• Wi-Fi Broadband
• Welcome Hamper
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No 1 Rose Cottage

Bouth - Near Newby Bridge
• Sleeps 2
VE 5 Star
• Friday Change Over
• No pets
• Wi-Fi Broadband
• Welcome Hamper
• Spa Bath
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Mill End

Starnthwaite - Near Crosthwaite
• Sleeps 4
VE 4 Star Gold Award
• Friday Change Over
• No pets
• Wi-Fi Broadband
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Top Bank

Crosthwaite - The Lyth Valley
• Sleeps 2
• VE 3 Star
• Saturday Change Over
• Pets - See Property Details
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1 Woodheads

Grange Over Sands
• Sleeps 4
VE 5 Star
• Friday Change Over
• Pets - See Property Details
• Wi-Fi Broadband
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The Old Coach House

Cartmel
• Sleeps 4
VE 5 Star
• Friday Change Over
• No pets
• Wi Fi Broadband
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Garret House Cottage

Cartmel
• Sleeps 2
VE 4 Star Gold Award
• Friday Change Over
• Pets - See Property Details
• Wi-Fi Broadband
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Old Bank House

Cartmel
• Sleeps 6
VE 5 Star
• Friday Change Over
• No pets
• WiFi Broadband
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Thorphinsty Hall Cottage

Cartmel Fell - Near Newby Bridge
• Sleeps 6
VE 4 Star Gold Award
• Friday Change Over
• No pets
• WiFi Broadband
• Pool Table
• Games Console
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Barrow Hollin

Cartmel Fell - Near Newby Bridge
• Sleeps 6
VE 5 Star Gold Award
• Friday Change Over
• Pets - See Property Details
• Wi-Fi Broadband
• Pool Table
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Ford Barn

Cartmel
• Sleeps 5
VE 5 Star Gold Award
• Friday Change Over
• Pets - See Property Details
• Wi-Fi Broadband
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Lands End Cottage

The Rusland Valley
• Sleeps 4+1
VE 4 Star Gold Award
• Friday Change Over
• No pets
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Summer Hill House - Apartment 4

Spark Bridge - Nr Coniston Water
• Sleeps 4
VE 5 Star Gold Award
• Friday Change Over
• No pets
• Wi Fi Broadband
• No Babies/Children under 14
• Non mobile babies welcome
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The Peat House

Nibthwaite - Nr Coniston Water
• Sleeps 4
VE 5 Star
• Saturday Change Over
• No pets
• Wi-Fi Broadband
• No children under 14 years old
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Lyme Cottage

Lindale
• Sleeps 2
VE 5 Star
• Friday Change Over
• No pets
• Wi-Fi Broadband
• Welcome hamper
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Millers Loft

Lindale
• Sleeps 2
• VE 4 Star
• Friday Change Over
• Pets - See Property Details
• Wi-Fi Broadband
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Tom Crag Barn

Finsthwaite - Near Newby Bridge
• Sleeps 4
VE 4 Star Gold Award
• Friday Change Over
• No pets
• Wi-Fi Broadband
• Occupants must be 18+ yrs old
• No Children or Babies
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Ash Cottage

Bouth - Near Newby Bridge
• Sleeps 4
• VE 4 Star
• Friday Change Over
• No pets
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Ducks Haven

Cartmel
• Sleeps 4
VE 4 Star Gold Award
• Friday Change Over
• Pets - See Property Details
• Wi-Fi Broadband
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2 Kiln Houses

Bouth - Near Newby Bridge
• Sleeps 3
• VE 4 Star
• Saturday Change Over
• Pets - See Property Details
• Wi-Fi Broadband
• Bubble Bath
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Nethercroft

Finsthwaite - Near Newby Bridge
• Sleeps 6
VE 5 Star Gold Award
• Friday Change Over
• No pets
• No Babies or Children under Age 10 yrs
• Wi-Fi Broadband
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Yew Tree Cottage

Bouth - Near Newby Bridge
• Sleeps 2
• VE 4 Star
• Friday Change Over
• No pets
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No 3 Church View

Cartmel
• Sleeps 2
VE 4 Star Gold Award
• Friday Change Over
• No pets
• WiFi Broadband
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The Old Police Station

Cartmel
• Sleeps 6 - 7
VE 4 Star Gold Award
• Friday Change Over
• No pets
• Wi Fi Broadband
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Rossendale House

Cartmel
• Sleeps 4
VE 5 Star
• Friday Change Over
• Pets - See Property Details
• Wi-Fi Broadband
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Ducklings Retreat

Cartmel
• Sleeps 2
VE 5 Star
• Friday Change Over
• No pets
• Wi-Fi Broadband
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Wheelhouse Cottage

Cartmel
• Sleeps 4
VE 4 Star Gold Award
• Friday Change Over
• Pets - See Property Details
• Wi-Fi Broadband