Carree Cottage is located away from roads at the end of a private, cobbled lane in the picturesque little village of Cark in Cartmel in Cumbria. Our village is located at the southern end of the Cartmel Valley and has a gentle pace of life-it’s quiet and peaceful without being remote.
Our cottage is just a 10 minute drive to Lake Windermere and Grange-over-Sands, whilst Kendal, Ulverston, Coniston, and Bowness-on-Windermere are all within 30 minutes’ drive. The spectacular and ever changing sands of Morecambe Bay are only a 10 minute walk from the cottage.
There are 2 good country pubs within 2 minutes’ walk of the cottage, both of which serve good food and welcome families, walkers and are dog & child friendly too.
The pretty stream that meanders through the village runs down to Morecambe Bay, Britain’s largest tidal bay. Being located so close to the bay brings a milder, drier climate than the rest of the Lake District. The valley is rarely affected by snow, however, when snow arrives elsewhere, it is only a short drive or walk uphill to view the snowy peaks.
In addition to the 2 pubs there is also a wonderful artisan bakery that make and bake gorgeous artisan breads, cakes & pastries. They also sell ‘made to order’ sandwiches and rolls and make home-made pizzas on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. There’s also a ‘Londis’ convenience store, hair & beauty salon and even a small train station on the Cumbria coastal railway that runs from Lancaster to Carlisle via Barrow.
The medieval village of Cartmel lies just 1½ miles north and is the oldest and most picturesque village in South Lakeland. The 12th century 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 square is home to 2 good pubs and is a lovely place to relax with a drink. There are also a further 2 good pubs in the village and a wealth of lovely boutiques, cafés and artisan food shops.
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.
Horse racing lovers and thrill seekers travel from near and far for the atmosphere and great fun days out. The National Hunt (jump) racing at the sharp and narrow left handed oval course is quite different from other courses with the home straight veering off the course and dissecting the main oval to give a thrilling finish for the crowds on either side of the run-in/finish straight which is unique to Cartmel and the longest in the country at just over 4 furlongs.
The steeplechase course has 6 fences which include an open ditch and a water jump and this spectacular event is set against the backdrop of the stunning Lake District fells and mountains.
On race days, the crowds start arriving quite early and as the atmosphere builds around the whole village, Cartmel square becomes a very special place to be with plenty of watering holes in this medieval square.
Cartmel is just a gentle 20 minute stroll through the woods and on race days there’s a regular shuttle bus that runs from our village to Cartmel.
After a couple of hours wandering around the cobbled streets of Cartmel or spending a day at the races, it’s a welcome break to stroll back through the woods to the peace and quiet of Carree Cottage
Cartmel Valley, with its gentle and attractive, undulating landscape of lush green fields, leafy lanes, and rolling hills is a great location from where you can easily access the whole of the Lake District, the Forrest of Bowland and the West Yorkshire Dales National Park. Cartmel Valley has a milder, drier climate than the rest of the Lake District.
Walkers can put away their car keys as there are dozens of walks from the door step with the ancient Cistercian Way and Cumbrian Coastal way passing through the village and linking up to all major walking routes in the Lake District.
Just around the corner from the cottage 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 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!
The spectacular Morecambe Bay with its vast expanse of sand, marshes, sand dunes and stunning estuaries is a popular haunt for bird watchers, as is nearby Leighton Moss bird sanctuary and Walney Island, Britain’s 8th largest island. The Bay and the Cumbrian coast are great for windsurfing, with clear winds from the south. Haverigg is a popular location for wakeboarding. You can go kayaking on calm lakes or coastal surf and if you like water sports with added adventure the Cumbrian coast is also ideal for kite surfing.
Nearby Walney Island’s coastal nature reserves is a great place to roam and explore and Piel Island has it’s own King-a tradition handed to the landlord of the Ship Inn on this tiny island that gets cut off by the tide. Nearby Roa Island is home to Dave Myers of Hairy Biker fame.
The Lake District is home to England’s five highest mountains, England’s deepest lake, 2175 miles of footpaths, countless cycle trails, hills, valleys, rich woodlands and forests and a wealth of flora and fauna, Cumbria’s rich, natural environment is geographically unique and the landscape is a real wonder of nature. Impressive peaks rise grandly, reflected in still waters. At their feet, intriguing valleys lay waiting to be explored. Undulating hills are lushly decorated with every shade of green, whilst wild moorland heather adds colour and texture to the fabric of the fells. Along the coast, sandstone cliffs meet sandy dunes, bathed by the ceaseless ebb and flow of the tide.
Carree Cottage is located close to many of the Lakes District’s top attractions yet still far enough away from the areas that can get crowded at peak times. The surrounding, unspoilt countryside is host to several interesting and unique South Lakeland villages with a host of great country pubs and fine gastronomic restaurants too. The area is a haven for those seeking peace, rejuvenation and relaxation as well as a playground for thrill seekers and adventurers. A temperate climate makes this an ideal, year-round holiday destination.
All of our cottages are provided with several folders full of our favourite walks, places to visit, info on where to buy great local produce and crafts including local cheeses and farm made ice creams fresh from the farm along with details of all the best local attractions in this richly diverse area. We will also send all our guests an up to date list all our favourite pubs, restaurants, cafés and other great places to eat, drink and buy great local produce.
There’s so much to explore and every fell, every tarn, every mile of footpath has its own unique appeal and inhabitants. While the fells and lakes define the landscape there are more wonders of nature to see such as waterfalls. Aira Force at Ullswater is the best known, tumbling nearly 100 feet below a stone bridge. Dungeon Ghyll Force in the Langdale Valley so impressed Wordsworth he refers to it in ‘The Idle Shepherd-Boys’. Cautley Spout is a series of waterfalls with cascades falling over 600 feet, the highest in England and Scale Force the highest in the Lake District.
Golfers can enjoy a round at a choice of two nearby courses, and Cark railway station is a four minute walk away, offering many day trip destinations as it transports you along one of the most picturesque coastal railways in England.
The cottage is ideally situated for easy access to some of Cumbria’s finest historic houses and stately homes with so many that also boast magnificent gardens, including the world famous Holker Hall just ½ a mile away. Levens Hall and Sizergh Castle and Holehird near Windermere are all just a 15 minute drive away.
All the Beatrix Potter and Peter Rabbit attractions are just a short drive away too.
Cartmel Valley is an ideal all year round destination and just about the only place that shuts down in winter is Holker Hall and gardens. These only close for a short time either side of Christmas but their café, restaurant and food hall remain open all year and only close for Christmas week.
Walk, cycle, sail climb, ride, fly and cruise through the magnificent diversity of terrain and the many varied activities, from the gentle to the adrenaline-fuelled that this amazing area has to offer. The local area has an abundance of woodland walks as well as fell walking, coastal walks, cycle paths and quiet leafy lanes to explore. Whether your pleasure is the physical challenge of conquering one of England’s highest mountains or a stroll with someone you love through beautiful scenery, this landscape of ours will leave you on a natural high.
Local Lake District Information Links
Beatrix Potter is famous throughout the world and this is the place to experience the best of her legacy. You can learn about the people behind the scenes, meet Peter Rabbit, learn about Beatrix Potter and experience the tales being bought to life.
Cartmel racecourse has the 3rd highest average attendance of any race meeting in the UK (after Ascot and Aintree) yet it is 1 of the smallest race courses in Britain.
People travel from near and far for this great social gathering and the atmosphere that provides a great fun day out for everyone. To top it off, this spectacular event is set against the backdrop of the stunning Lake District fells and mountains.
A historic village in an area of outstanding natural beauty. A regular winner of Cumbria in Bloom ensures it remains as picturesque as ever!
A lovely day out for all ages with many shops, eateries and places to stay including L’Enclume.
This two to three day trail follows this ancient trail along Morecambe Bay as well as the Furness and Cartmel penninsulas. Passing through a variety of places in the South-West Lakes including Cartmel, Dalton and Barrow. All areas are of great historic interest.
Enjoy a beautiful cruise on Lake Coniston in the Lake District. Choose to stay aboard for the whole cruise or get off and on to explore and walk.
Two special cruise are available: Swallows & Amazon and Campbells on Coniston.
This coastal path is 182 miles long going from the Cumbrian boundary which edges Lancashire to the Scottish boarders. Known to be one of the most beautiful coastlines in Britain. It can be walked in full over 10-14 days or in sections.
This historic branch line offers the chance to ride in a steam train to Lakeside which is the southern point of Lake Windermere.
There is a tea room, gift shop, adventure playground, picnic area and engine shed.
“A Lakeland garden for all seasons” overlooking Lake Windermere which also sells plants and between May-September offers free guided walks.
Holker Hall is one of the best-loved stately homes in Britain and home to Lord and Lady Cavendish & family.
Holker Hall which is within walking distance is set in exceptionally beautiful countryside with gardens that merge into Parkland framed by the Lakeland Hills.
The Lakes Aquarium in Newby Bridge is a wonderful day out. There is a virtual dive bell, an underwater tunnel beneath Lake Windermere, Rainforest exhibits, coral reef tanks and various other exhibitions.
There is also a shop and cafe.
Offering a selection of walks and hides in the largest reedbed in the North West. Most of these are suitable for wheelchair users. Home to butterflies, deer and special birds. Children can learn in the visitor centre and there is also a tea room.
Advertised as a hideaway but it has grown so much in popularity it has become something of an icon. Simon Rogan uses the best seasonal and local ingredients to ensure he meets his own farm to table standards.
This estate has been family owned for over 400 years.
Enjoy the hall, walk through Levens Deer Park, eat afternoon tea or enjoy the topiary gardens which has over 100 pieces.
Morecambe Bay is a beautiful historical coast line with the added bonus of being able to offer a large range of outdoor activities. It stretches from the south west coast of Cumbria all the way to Fleetwood in Lancashire.
A medieval house in beautiful grounds with its own lake, pond and limestone rock garden. Displaying unique art work, shops and a cafe as well as offering events for both adults and families throughout the year there is something for everyone.
A beautiful National Trust owned Victorian steam-powered yacht offers a unique experience on Coniston water.
Cumbria Wildlife Trust maintain this shingle island reserve containing lots of interesting things and the only grey seal colony in Cumbria.
Enjoy the scenic views of the Lake District while cruising on the famous Lake Windermere.
Cruises start from Bowness, Lakeside or Ambleside and vary in length from 45 minutes to 3 hours.