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Hotels in Cartmel

Sitting on the River Eea, Cartmel is one of Cumbria's best-kept secrets. This Lakelands town boasts medieval architecture, industrial heritage and scenic walks in equal measure. The town's racecourse, meanwhile, is one of the best in the country and attracts thousands of visitors several times a year. Not only that, but the village has earned a seriously impressive culinary reputation over the years, thanks to its innovation and top-notch restaurants.

Authentic Cumbrian heritage set in a beautiful landscape

Undoubtedly the most impressive structure in the village, Cartmel Priory has been the religious centrepiece of the village ever since its construction in 1190. Surviving Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 16th century, the priory now attracts up to 60,000 visitors a year. Even more impressively, it still functions as a community hub, with concerts, floral exhibitions and local events held throughout the year. For an authentic piece of Cumbrian history, this should be your first stop.

A day at the races

Cartmel Racecourse is the village's other claim to fame, hosting seven race days per year. With crowds of up to 20,000, it's also one of the most popular, just behind Aintree and Cheltenham. Whether you're a gambler or not, a day at the Cartmel races is an experience in itself. The village also plays a central role in proceedings, with visitors usually afforded a day between races to explore the local area.

An enviable reputation for culinary excellence

If you're planning a visit to Cartmel, be warned: you may come back a few pounds heavier. This is partly due to the village's claim to being the ‘home of sticky toffee', examples of which can be found in the local shops. A variety of award-winning puddings are available for sale, handmade by a small and dedicated team. A must-try.

If you still have room, head on down to L'Enclume. This Michelin-starred restaurant is located on the riverside and is operated by Simon Rogan, one of the country's top chefs. Sourcing the best local ingredients and staying loyal to the region's gastronomic heritage, this charming establishment has received high praise from critics and the public alike.

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