Lake District Towns and Villages
Cartmel in the Lake District National Park
Cartmel, 'the sandbank by the rocky ground', is situated afew miles inland of Morcambe Bay and five miles south of Lakeland, the southern tip of Windermere. It is a delightful village with a beautiful cobbled market square complete with cross, four pubs, art and craft shopsand a 12th century prior founded by Augustinian Canons.
Much of the Priory was destroyed at The Dissolution of the Monasteries, but the church remains and is still one of the best examples of medieval buildings in the Lake District. One of its most notable features is the unique tower set diagonally on the tower stage, whilst inside a splendid chancel is illuminated by a 45ft high window. One tangible relic of monastic times is the gatehouse, which now acts as a heritage centre. There are also numerous gravestones of travellers who have perished in the notorious quicksands of Morecambe Bay, a short cut to the region from Grange-Over-Sands to the south.
Cartmel is famous for its racecourse whose two annual meetings, held on the last weekend in May and August attract both tourists and locals. Cartmel also hosts an excellent annual, arts and agricultural show, which is held at the beginning of August.
Hooker Hall, one of Cumbria's most interesting country estates is only a couple of miles west of the village. It incorporates the Lakeland Motor Museum, and Hall, gardens and museum are open to the public.
There is a good walk from the village to Grange via Hampsfell, a massive escarpment to the east of the village, and offering excellent views of the whole valley.