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Things to do in Cartmel

Things to do in Cartmel

You will find yourselves happy to soak in the chocolate-box charm of the village, winner of several Cumbria in Bloom and Britain in Bloom awards. Delight in the sleepy old-world atmosphere and lovely array of centuries-old buildings around the village centre. The famous medieval priory dates from the 12th Century, and is an iconic figurehead for the village. Cartmel is also well-known for its racecourse and its renowned sticky toffee pudding. Tempting inns and eateries abound, including the celebrated L’Enclume. Chris Evans described it as ‘A thimbleful of diamonds’ on Radio 2. And there are indeed a wide variety of beautiful sights, engaging activities and must-see attractions here. The whole of the Lake District lies on your doorstep waiting to be explored, with the southern tip of Lake Windermere a short car journey away. There are also beautiful Cartmel walks to enjoy.

In Cartmel

Cartmel was historically the hub of an ancient parish. The 12th Century priory has to be one of the finest holy buildings in the north of England. The beautiful architecture belies a turbulent history. Which includes partial destruction during the time of Henry VIII and gunfights during the English civil war. Today, tens of thousands of visitors and pilgrims visit each year. The gatehouse is one of the oldest parts of the building. It opens onto Cartmel village square, and now acts as Cartmel’s heritage centre.

Lakeland Segway

Enjoy the wonderful scenery around the area on a relaxed but adventurous guided segway tour. Lots of professional tuition and practice will ensure your safety. Lakeland Segway are based Cartmel and things to do also include electric bike hire and archery sessions. –

Cartmel – Holker Hall
Holker Hall

This historic hall is actually located at Cark-in-Cartmel, not far away from Cartmel village. The gardens, grounds, and house itself are excellent, and Holker is one of England’s most treasured stately homes. Many events and festivals take place here throughout the year, and we thoroughly recommend a visit during your time in Cartmel. –

The Friesian Experience

If you are passionate about horses and horse-riding, this is a must for you. A family of beautiful Friesian horses are waiting to take you on hacks, beach rides, carriage rides and more. The Friesian Experience is based at Greenbank Farm on Aynsome Lane just north of Cartmel village. –

Cartmel Racecourse

Cartmel Races, May 2006 The Cartmel Steeplechase race meetings occur 3 times a year during the May and August Bank Holidays and an one day event in July. The course is in beautiful park land on the edge or historic Cartmel. Cartmel is well-known for its National Hunt Racecourse, and it enjoys one of the highest average attendances in England on race days. There are seven major race days throughout the summer season, and plenty of other events frequently taking place, including concerts and festival days. –

Tourist Information

A Tourist Information Centre in the village car park near the racecourse will help you plan what to do in Cartmel.


The pretty Cartmel Peninsula is a perfect base for exploring the south of the region. Cartmel offers easy access to the Furness Peninsula to the west. Or you may fancy a visit to the market town of Ulverston if you are heading in that direction. East lies the pleasant promenades of Grange-over-Sands. If you follow the coast around Morecambe Bay you will come to Arnside and Silverdale, picturesque little villages in excellent walking country. To the north of you sprawls Lake Windermere, the longest of England’s lakes, and all the beauties of the Lake District. Drive north to Newby Bridge, where you can choose the busier eastern side of the lake up to Bowness. And thereafter Ambleside and Wordsworth’s Grasmere, or the quieter western shore towards Hawkshead, Beatrix Potter’s Sawrey, and the Coniston fells. We would also recommend a run to the peaceful Lyth Valley, over the hill past Gummer’s How, in the back country between Bowness-on-Windermere and Kendal.

Getting to and From Cartmel

The area is easily accessed from the M6 motorway. Leave at Junction 36 and travel along the A590 towards Barrow-in-Furness, following the signs into the little side lanes that lead you on to the Cartmel peninsula and to the village. The closest railway stations are at Grange-over-Sands and Cark-in-Cartmel. Buses all run regularly around the area, and information on bus timetables can be found here: