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Holidays in Cartmel

A picturesque village with a fantastic array of great eateries

Cartmel racecourse

Cartmel is a pretty, historic village surrounded by the rugged countryside of Cumbria.

Cartmel sits in a peaceful valley, with spectacular views of the South Lakeland Fells. It’s an excellent base from which to explore the countryside, where hiking, swimming, cycling and a range of other outdoor pursuits can be enjoyed. The area is scattered with interesting historical sites, such as Cartmel Priory. The centre of the village is full of attractive cottages and houses with well kept gardens. It’s no surprise that Cartmel has won a number of prizes for the impressive floral displays which often greet visitors. Far from being trapped in the past, Cartmel is home to a number of modern cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy delicious meals, with a focus on local, seasonal produce.

Cartmel countryside

The countryside surrounding Cartmel is dotted with historical buildings and ruins which offer a glimpse into the region’s fascinating past. One of the most interesting is Cartmel Priory, in the village itself. It’s well worth making a trip to this stunning working church, which has been a pilgrimage for centuries. The Priory hosts an excellent food market on the third Friday of every month where you can pick up fresh meat, fruit, vegetables and bread from some of the area’s best producers.

Considering its modest size, Cartmel is home to a surprising number of high-quality independent shops. Don’t miss Unsworth’s Yard, near the Priory. Here, you’ll find artisan shops including Cartmel Cheeses, which sells an excellent selection of local cheese.

For a unique view of the pretty streets of Cartmel, why not take a ride in a traditional horse-drawn carriage? Black Horses will show you some of the area’s most interesting historical sites, take you to your restaurant and even provide champagne and flowers.

“Cartmel is a pretty, historic village surrounded by the rugged countryside of Cumbria.”

Cartmel is a great place to be if you love food, especially desserts.

To sample the village’s trademark Sticky Toffee Pudding, head for the Village Shop. For a unique insight into the production of butter, fudge and cheese, check out Old Hall Farm at Bouth, a traditional working farm with a number of attractions and an excellent tearoom.

There’s no shortage of places to eat in the Cartmel area. For fine dining by the river, try L’Enclume, where acclaimed chef Simon Rogan takes pride in using the best local, seasonal ingredients to create delicious, fresh dishes. Rogan and Company, in the heart of the village, is the two-Michelin-starred establishment's sister restaurant.

While you’re there

Roudsea Wood and Mosses National Nature Reserve

A natural wonder not far from Cartmel, comprising coastal saltmarsh and acid woodland.

Cartmel Priory

A wonderful place of worship for more than 800 years, with fine old stone and stained glass.

Unsworth’s Yard Brewery

Enjoy the tasting room and tours of a local institution.

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