The unspoilt medieval village of Cartmel is the oldest and most picturesque village in the South Lakes. Here you’ll find the imposing 12th century priory. Cartmel Priory escaped destruction during the Dissolution of Henry VIII and remains one of the finest ecclesiastical buildings in the north of England.
The ancient village is home to 5 good pubs, 2 restaurants with Michelin stars and several lovely boutiques, cafés and artisan food shops.
In the last few years Cartmel has become THE place in Northern England to head for top cuisine. You can read more about the gastro delights of this wonderful village here>>>
Cartmel is a wonderful village and in many people’s opinion has more to offer than any other village in Cumbria. You’d be hard pushed to find such a beautiful small village that isn’t too busy, not at all commercialised and has so many great places to eat drink and buy wonderful local food and drink.
There are dozens of walks in and around Cartmel Valley with the ancient Cistercian Way and Cumbrian Coastal way passing through the and linking up to all major walking routes in the Lake District.
In the south of the valley is Holker Hall, Cumbria’s premier stately house and home to Lord & Lady Cavendish. Hear you can walk around the extensive parklands stocked with herds of deer and rare breed cattle and sheep, visit the stately house and gardens, relax in the ‘courtyard café’ or buy great local produce from the Holker Estate and other great local food in Holker Food Hall.
10 minutes’ drive north from Cark & Cartmel is the nostalgic Haverthwaite to Lakeside Steam Railway which connects you to the awaiting Windermere Lake steamers and cruise boats that travel the full 10 mile length of England’s longest lake, dropping passengers at Waterhead/Ambleside and Bowness-on-Windermere. The Lakes Aquarium on the shores of Lake Windermere at Lakeside gives you a look at the marine life of Lake Windermere and beyond but you won’t see Bownessie the mysterious Lake Windermere monster here!
Cartmel Valley is part of the Lake District Peninsulas and the southern and western areas of the valley are home to the spectacular Morecambe Bay.
Morecambe Bay remains one of the last wildernesses in England, a sand plain of over 120 square miles that changes twice each day with the ebbing tide which carves the surface into subtly different reliefs each time. It is a mercurial landscape existing in two states, as sea and as sand, while infinite variations of sky and cloud endlessly tint and shade the plains of water and of land.
Its vast expanse of sand, marshes, sand dunes and stunning estuaries are a great place to explore and popular haunt for bird watchers too.
In May, July & August Cartmel Racecourse is the spectacular setting for Cartmel races and a fabulous event for all the family with party crowds, a funfair, country stalls and a typical Lake District laid back atmosphere.
The original ‘steeplechase’ course is the only racecourse in Britain actually located within a village.
You can read more about Cartmel races here>>>