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Photo of Cartmel Peninsula

Visit Cartmel Peninsula

A lesser known part of Cumbria and on the fringe of the Lake District National Park, Cartmel and the Peninsulas are true hidden gems.

Wherever you choose to take your Lake District cottages holiday, nowhere is far away. The Lake District National Park is quite a compact area, but with lots of variation crammed in. From gentle valleys, ancient woodland, our huge lakes which reflect the sky and landscape and of course the soaring mountains and craggy fells are all easy to explore, this along with a host of welcoming towns and villages.

The Cartmel Peninsular - The Morecambe Bay – Arnside

Whilst staying in a Lake District Cottage you will know doubt wish to explore the many lakes, mountains, forests and areas of natural beauty. Lakeland has three peninsulas, each jutting out into the Morecambe Bay. Furthest west is Millom, occupied mainly by Black Coombe, a huge outcrop of Skiddaw Slate facing the Irish Sea. Next, separated from Millom by the River Duddon, is the Furness Peninsular, the largest of the three and with its own little island of Walney. Here you will find the ship building town of Barrow, along with the quaint town of Ulverston.

Lastly comes the Cartmel Peninsula, pushing its mass of rolling fells and lush meadows out into the sheltered head of the bay. For me this is a perfect location for a Lake District holiday and is becoming ever more popular, with visitors choosing its peace and tranquility, along with the fine villages; this over the more crowded towns and villages such as Ambleside and Bowness Starting roughly from the foot of Windermere, the Cartmel Peninsular is a rural landscape, a patchwork of meadows, criss crossed with quiet country lanes perfect for cycling.

As you head towards the coast, you will come to a clutch of little villages. Cartmel is picture perfect, offering lots to entertain, especially noted for its excellent pubs, wine bar and restaurants. Little Cark in Cartmel is the home of Holker Hall, a fine country house which, along with its gardens, is open to the public. Grange Over Sands overlooks the bay with a fine, mile long, Edwardian promenade. West from Grange and you have Leven and Levens Hall. Famed for the topary gardens this is well worth a visit.

Walks - Cycling - The Bay

The bay is magnificent, a view to rival any of those offered by the lakes from Lake District cottages in this area. On a summers day, when the tide is in, it can flat and blue, when out its sands shimmer like a silver mirror. The sun rise is dramatic and come autumn, the harder light picks out the channels and rivers that snake there way out to the sea. One spectacular sight is when the bay fills with early morning mist. The view is a gossamer sea of white, with the dark fells of Arnside rising up in stark contrast - biblical.

Now it must be said that nobody should venture out too far onto the sands. They are dangerous, with fast tides and quick sands. However, there are routes across, where from Grange to Arnside there are regular guided crossings lead by Queens Guide, Cedric Robinson. A lifetime fisherman, Cedric knows the ever changing sands and safe paths. The crossing takes up to some four hours, where you will discover the flat expanse is not quite so, where at points you will have to wade across channels, sometimes near chest high deep.

The Coastal Way & The Arnside Bay Shore

West of Grange you can pick up parts of the coastal way which is well marked on OS maps. However, for me, one of the best walks in the Lake District is to drive - or catch the little train from Grange - around the head of the bay to the Village of Arnside. Like the villages of Cartmel and Grange, this is a little known gem. A fishing and cockling community, it has some good pubs and little shops along with a fine art gallery.

From Arnside you simply follow, and keep to the shore line, walking out along the south side of the bay. You can go for miles and miles, sometimes on shimmering sand or pebbles, sometimes up on the cliff paths, with gorse and windswept woodland. With the changing tide and huge vista, this will rival any lake walk. Back at Arnside is a path - indeed you can drive - to the summit of Arnside Knott. A respectable fell, it is a glorious walk on heather and gorse covered limestone rock, with little woods to punctuate the scenery and magnificent views across the bay, with a perfect backdrop of the mountains of central lakes.

Author Credit: article kindly contributed by Lake District holiday cottages.

(Note; photo is copyright)

You can find more local travel ideas in the Lake District guide and the

See also: 

Map of Cartmel Peninsula and places to visit


Cartmel Peninsula places to visit



Arnside guide
Newby Bridge

Newby Bridge

Newby Bridge guide


Ulverston guide


Sawrey guide


Windermere guide


Kendal guide

...or see all our recommended places to visit in Cumbria

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