Local area/things to do
Cartmel village itself embraces a slow, laid back way of life where you can stroll carefree around the narrow streets, wander in and out of the individual shops, stop to enjoy a leisurely coffee or pint and watch the world go by, but there’s still a whole lot more excitement to be had on its doorstep.
People travel from all over the UK to see Cartmel, the Lake District and Morecambe Bay from a very different perspective…. 15,000 feet up in the air! For more than 40 years, Skydive Northwest based just outside Cartmel village at Cark airfield, have been providing adrenalin-fuelled skydiving experiences for people of all ages and abilities. Whether its raising money for charity, fulfilling a bucket list idea, trying something new, or experienced jumpers seeking out those incredible views over the Lake District, nothing beats the thrill of jumping out of a plane at around 120mph. It’ll take your breath away in more ways than one!
If you prefer to sit back and spectate then a good (to soft) option – see what we did there? – is a visit to Cartmel Races on the edge of Cartmel village. Without doubt one of the prettiest tracks in the country, Cartmel Racecourse dates back to 1856 but many believe the sport itself goes all the way back to the 12th century when monks from the Priory ran their own contests on mules. Nowadays there are nine race days at Cartmel, and the annual race calendar gets under way in May and runs through until the August bank holiday. In recent years, the racecourse has held open air summer concerts featuring a range of big stars from Simply Red, Boyzone and Sophie Ellis-Bextor to Sir Tom Jones and Sir Cliff Richard. The atmosphere in and around Cartmel village on race weekends is electric.
Racehorses aren’t the only breed of horse to be seen in and around the village as the impressive ‘black horses’ of Cartmel – otherwise known as Friesians – are regular fixtures on the cobbled streets. Sometimes with riders out for exercise or even visitors enjoying a relaxing carriage ride for a special occasion. Friesian Experience Days including beach and fell rides are also available.
A few miles from Cartmel at Ayside is the eco-tourist attraction, Predator Experience – the only place in the UK where people can enjoy unique ‘walking with wolves’ experiences. Resident wolf hybrids, Maska & Kajika claimed TV plaudits when BBC Countryfile viewers voted them howling with presenter, John Craven, as their ‘top magic moment’ in the programme’s history. Legend also has it that the nearby limestone crop of Humphrey Head was where the last wild wolf in England was killed in the 14th century. As well as walking with wolves, visitors can take part in Hawk Walks, bird of prey experiences on the fells, and try their hand at falconry.