Welcome to Cartmel in South Lakes, Cumbria

Cartmel near the Lake District

Welcome to the famous village of Cartmel, nestled in the southern reaches of the Lake District, Cumbria.

This idyllic destination is a treasure trove of history, culinary delights, and natural beauty, making it a perfect escape for those seeking a blend of relaxation and adventure.

From its medieval priory and quaint village square to the race course and world-class cuisine, Cartmel offers an immersive experience into the heart of rural English charm.

Join us as we explore the many facets of Cartmel, from its historical roots and scenic walks to its gourmet eateries and cosy accommodations.

Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or an outdoor enthusiast, Cartmel has something special to offer.

About Cartmel

Cartmel, nestled in the serene landscape of Cumbria, is a picturesque village steeped in history and tradition.

Renowned for its ancient priory, charming cobbled streets, and idyllic surroundings, Cartmel offers a tranquil retreat in the heart of the English countryside.

A jewel in Cartmel’s crown is the celebrated Cartmel Racecourse, famed for hosting thrilling horse racing events that draw enthusiasts from across the country, particularly during the Bank Holiday meetings.

These races, set against the backdrop of stunning natural beauty, provide a vibrant atmosphere filled with excitement and camaraderie.

Adding to Cartmel’s allure is its culinary scene, notably spearheaded by the esteemed chef Simon Rogan.

Rogan’s innovative approach to cuisine, focusing on locally sourced ingredients and a deep respect for nature, has placed Cartmel on the map as a destination for food lovers.

His flagship restaurant in the village has earned accolades for its inventive dishes that encapsulate the region’s essence, visiting Cartmel a must for gastronomy aficionados and those seeking the tranquillity of rural Northern England.

Where is Cartmel?

Cartmel is nestled in the southern reaches of the Lake District, not far from the coast of Morecambe Bay.

It is easily accessible by road and close to the M6 motorway, making it an ideal destination for a day trip or a longer stay within the Lake District National Park.

The village’s secluded location offers visitors a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, surrounded by rolling hills and lush countryside.

Cartmel Races

Cartmel Races are a central highlight in the village’s calendar, offering a unique mix of thrilling horse racing and a festive atmosphere, all set against the backdrop of the stunning Lake District countryside.

The Cartmel Racecourse, known for its quaint and intimate setting, provides a more personal racing experience than larger, commercial racecourses.

Racing events are held primarily during the summer, with meetings that coincide with Bank Holidays and weekends, making them a perfect family day out or a social gathering with friends.

The racecourse is steeped in history, with racing traditions dating back to the 12th century when monks from Cartmel Priory would race horses on the surrounding land.

Today, Cartmel Races retain much of their historical charm, with the course’s natural amphitheatre allowing spectators to enjoy picnics and socialising in the centre of the track, a tradition that adds to the communal feel of the event.

Race days at Cartmel are famed not just for the excitement of the races but also for the vibrant array of food and drink stalls, fairground attractions, and entertainment accompanying each meeting.

The atmosphere is one of celebration, where the races’ thrill combines with the setting’s beauty to create unforgettable experiences.

Whether you’re a racing enthusiast keen to study the form or simply looking to enjoy a relaxed day out in a picturesque setting, Cartmel Races promises a day filled with fun, excitement, and a touch of the traditional charm that Cartmel is celebrated for.

For those planning to visit, booking tickets in advance is advisable, especially for the more popular race days.

With a range of ticket options available, from general admission to more exclusive hospitality packages, there’s something to suit every preference and budget.

Simon Rogan and Cartmel: A Culinary Journey

Simon Rogan, a name synonymous with innovative British cuisine, has significantly impacted Cartmel’s gastronomic landscape, transforming this quaint village into a destination for food lovers worldwide.

As the chef and proprietor behind the acclaimed Michelin-starred restaurant L’Enclume, Rogan has brought his philosophy of farm-to-table dining to the heart of the Lake District, utilising the rich bounty of the surrounding land to create dishes that are as beautiful as they are delicious.

L’Enclume, in the historic village of Cartmel, has become a beacon for those seeking a dining experience that combines the finest local ingredients with creative culinary techniques.

Rogan’s commitment to sustainability and his innovative use of seasonal produce have earned the restaurant numerous accolades, making it a must-visit for any food enthusiast.

The dining experience at L’Enclume goes beyond mere eating; it’s an immersive journey that reflects the landscape and seasons of the Lake District, with each dish telling a story of its provenance.

Simon Rogan’s influence extends beyond L’Enclume, with several other ventures in Cartmel contributing to the village’s reputation as a culinary hotspot.

Rogan’s casual dining restaurant, Rogan & Co, offers a more relaxed yet equally delightful dining experience, featuring dishes that embody Rogan’s culinary ethos in a cosy, welcoming setting.

Additionally, the chef’s commitment to the local community and ecosystem is evident in his farm just outside the village, where various fruits, vegetables, and herbs are cultivated to supply his restaurants, ensuring the utmost freshness and quality.

The presence of Simon Rogan in Cartmel has not only elevated the village’s dining scene but also contributed to the broader appreciation of Cumbria’s culinary heritage.

Where is a Great Place to Stay Near Cartmel?

Whitewater Hotel from the Bridge in Backbarrow

If you’re looking for a wonderful place to stay near Cartmel, the Whitewater Hotel is an excellent choice.

Situated amidst the stunning landscapes of the Lake District and within easy reach of Cartmel, the hotel offers comfortable and luxurious accommodation.

The Whitewater Hotel is not only known for its exceptional rooms and services but also for its exquisite dining options.

Guests can indulge in various culinary delights, making it an ideal base for exploring the delights of Cartmel and its surroundings.

Click here to find out more about the hotel…

Where is a Great Place to Eat Near Cartmel?

Our Restaurant

Near Cartmel, food lovers are in for a treat with an array of dining options that cater to all tastes.

The Whitewater Hotel’s restaurant stands out with its menu showcasing the best local produce, offering dishes combining traditional flavours with a modern twist.

What Things Are There to Do Near Cartmel?

The area around Cartmel is teeming with activities and attractions for visitors of all ages.

Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy walking, cycling, and horse riding through the picturesque landscapes.

Cartmel Racecourse hosts exciting race meetings, providing a unique day out for families and groups.

Cartmel Priory and the village’s traditional shops offer a glimpse into the area’s rich heritage for those interested in history and culture.

Additionally, the proximity to the Lake District means that the adventures of England’s largest national park are just a short drive away.

What is the History of Cartmel?

Cartmel’s history is deeply rooted in its medieval origins, with the 12th-century priory at the heart of the village’s historical narrative.

The priory, which has survived the dissolution of the monasteries, is a testament to the village’s resilience and importance as a religious and cultural centre throughout the centuries.

The traditional stone buildings and the historic racecourse add layers to Cartmel’s rich history, making it a fascinating destination for history buffs.

What Are Some Good Walks Near Cartmel?

Dogs on a Walk by a Lake

The countryside around Cartmel offers many walking trails that cater to all abilities, from gentle strolls through the village and its surroundings to more challenging hikes in the nearby fells.

The Cumbria Coastal Way and the paths around Morecambe Bay provide stunning views and the opportunity to explore the area’s natural beauty.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful walk in the woods or a more strenuous hill climb, Cartmel is an ideal starting point.

Cartmel’s Famous Stick Toffee Pudding

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Is Cartmel Inside the Lake District National Park?

While Cartmel is located just outside of the Lake District National Park, but it still embodies the natural beauty, cultural heritage, and tranquillity the park is known for.

This position offers visitors the best of both worlds: easy access to the park’s vast landscapes and attractions while enjoying the peacefulness and charm of a historic Cumbrian village.

Is Cartmel Worth Visiting?

Cartmel is undoubtedly worth visiting for those who appreciate the blend of natural beauty, historical depth, and culinary excellence.

The village’s serene atmosphere, rich heritage, and stunning surroundings make it a perfect destination for a relaxing getaway or an active holiday exploring the Southern Lake District.

Does Cartmel Have a Beach?

Bardsea Beach Near Ulverston

While Cartmel itself is not located on the coast, the nearby shores of Morecambe Bay are within easy reach, offering expansive views and the chance to enjoy the seaside.

The bay’s unique landscapes, characterized by vast tidal sands and salt marshes, provide a different coastal experience than traditional sandy beaches.

What is the Weather Like in Cartmel?

Cartmel Weather Forecast

The weather in Cartmel is typical of the Lake District, with variable conditions that can change rapidly.

Summers are generally mild and can be the perfect time to explore the outdoors, while winters can be cool and wet, offering a cosy atmosphere in the village’s pubs and restaurants.

Visitors should come prepared for all types of weather, ensuring they can enjoy Cartmel’s offerings year-round.

Some Final Notes On Cartmel in Cumbria

Cartmel is a jewel in the crown of Cumbria, offering a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty.

Whether you’re visiting for the food, the scenery, the horse racing, the sticky toffee pudding, or the tranquillity, Cartmel provides a welcoming and enriching experience that captures the essence of the Southern Lake District.

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