We managed to find a parking spot behind the church in this small Southern Lake District village, and headed into the square to find the start of a walk my aunt had heard about. The weather was a bit iffy on the drive up but was dry, though cloudy the rest of the day. We checked meal times at the Royal Oak pub (12:00 pm – 10:00 pm) and asked about the walk – round the old post office to the right, around the race course and left to the footpath up the cul-de-sac after Know Farm. At one point we weren’t sure if we were on the right path but then we saw the sign to the left across the field. Town was busy but not as busy as it would have been the day before – the workers were busy dismantling the race accoutrements.
The walk was shorter than we expected but still pleasant. We took the footpath thru the woods and down to the race course. The woods were not too dense and there was a blanket of purple flowers. The diversion notices were still up from the weekend races so we went round the course and back into town. To continue building up our appetites, we had a look in the shops in town, including the Cartmel Village Shop – the home of Sticky Toffee Pudding – and some lovely boutiques before heading to the pub for lunch. It is in the village market square and feels like stepping back in time. The interior, in fact all the buildings in the village, feel dark and small compared to the white walls outside. It was the day after the races and the staff were busy cleaning up after all the race customers – this particular pub has a beer garden in the back as well. However, one of the staff members was helpful earlier in the day with directions to a walking path so we thought we’d give the food a try.
My aunt had chili, my uncle had a steak and I had scampi. We all enjoyed our meals. As it was a late lunch we also had room for dessert so tried the sticky toffee pudding. However, the sweet was definitely not from the shop across the square. Although it was tasty, it was a fair bit denser than we were expecting.
After lunch we walked back to The Priory Church of St Mary & St Michael Cartmel and had a look inside. The building is quite imposing and can be seen from anywhere in town. There is also a lovely Celtic cross in the church grounds in memory of those lost in the first WW.
This was my first visit to Cartmel and I will be back as there is much to do in this little village – we just scratched the surface.
On the way home, we drove through Grange-on-Sands and checked the trains to Arnside – it is only a five minute trip – but it was a half hour wait so we opted to drive instead and we beat the train even though the road is a much more circuitous route. However, we arrived around 4:30 and all the shops were closing. We walked up the hill towards The Knott but eventually turned back down to the promenade as we were parked in a one hour spot along the front. Finally the sun tried to make an appearance as we walked along the front to the car.