Cartmel with Upper Holker

Cartmel is a picture-postcard destination, with a delightful olde-worlde feel and a fine collection of inns, artisan shops and cute cottages. At the heart of the village is a beautiful 12th-century priory, which is only a few steps away from its ancient racecourse that still hosts one of England’s most famous racing festivals.

Parish Neighbourhood Plan

The Neighbourhood Development Plan, prepared by the Parish Council and the local community.


Although steeped in history, Cartmel is not trapped in time and the village offers today’s visitors many modern surprises in the form of fine quality attractions, shops, eateries and places to stay.

Around the square you will discover a delightful assortment of genuine 16th – 18th century building providing, as they have for centuries, friendly inns, well stocked shops and private dwellings.

Cartmel’s religious history dates back to 677 when King Egfrith of Northumbria gave the village to St Cuthbert. Founded for ‘the regular canons of St Augustine’, Cartmel Priory Church of St Mary and St Michael has been a focus for Christian worship for more than 800 years. The impressive medieval Gatehouse (built in 1330) still dominates the square. Horse racing at Cartmel dates back to 1865, but it is likely to have been a sport dating back to at least the middle of the fifteenth century when monks from the Priory would have entertained themselves by organising races on mules!

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