Grange-over-Sands – Cartmel – Hampsfell round
Grange-over-Sands is a town by the sea, with a wide tidal range, in the southern part of the Lake District of Cumbria. Grange was once a small fishing village in the Victorian era and with the arrival of the railway brought many tourists and so became a popular seaside resort. The station, on the Furness Line, has been restored to its former Victorian grandeur. In 1932 a lido was built on the sea front but was closed in 1993 and has recently been listed as a Grade II, and is situated at the far end of the Promenade. The River Kent used to flow alongside the Promenade but the course turned south and the sands became grass-meadows quite often grazed by sheep. The area at certain points is mudflats with dangerous quick sands so must not be entered unless with a qualified guide. The town now has an Edwardian feel about it and the beautiful Ornamental Gardens near the centre has a large pond which houses many varieties of ducks and geese from all over world, many of them donated and introduced to the pond by a club. The Promenade suitable for both wheelchair users and pushchairs is traffic free and is a beautiful, leisurely stroll of 1½ miles from Grange railway station towards Kent Bank and the views over the estuary of Morecambe Bay, Arnside and Arnside Knott are amazing especially when the sun is shining. The Promenade, which opened in 1902, was built above the main sewer constructed in the later years of the 19th century, hiding the pipes and creating a fabulous feature for the town and to attract tourists. The gardens along the promenade, all of which are different, have been designed to provide year round interest and colour and have been maintained by volunteers, who have worked weekly, for over 10 years now. The promenade also features many activities for everybody of all ages to enjoy such as a children’s playground with adjacent toilets, a cafe with indoor and outdoor seating, skateboard ramp, table tennis table, basketball court, tennis courts, bowling green, putting green and crazy golf. For the walkers who wish to go further afield with a little bit of a challenge, just above Grange there are walks up to Eggerslack Wood and the Hospice on the summit of Hampsfell. The Hospice was built in 1846 by the vicar of Cartmel and provides shelter for walkers and is one of the best view points of all the foothills of the outlying southern Lakeland fells. The large compass pointer on the roof with a list of the peaks identifying the land marks such as the Old Man of Coniston, Helvelyn, the Langdales and Morecambe Bay.
Cartmel is an unspoilt, picturesque village close to the River Eea and only a few miles from Grange- over-Sands. The narrow winding streets leading from the main village square also hold a few ancient and interesting buildings. The village grew and prospered round the 12th century Cartmel Priory. According to legend it is said that he priory was built between two parallel streams in response to a heavenly voice. This beautiful, dominating ecclesiastical building is situated in the centre of the village and is the heart of village life it is not only a place of worship but a concert venue and a visitor attraction. As a visitor you can view inside the priory for £3 per person and there’s a guided tour every Wednesday during the summer months. Cartmel has become famous for its sticky toffee pudding which can be bought in various sizes from the Cartmel Village Shop. The village is also home to the famous Cartmel Races and the race course is situated on the edge of the village behind Cartmel Village Shop. Racing at Cartmel dates back to 1856 but it is said that from the middle of the 15th century monks from the priory used to race mules for their entertainment. In spring of 2011 improvements have been made to the race course and its facilities including a new Grandstand and a new building accommodating toilets and an Information Centre. Steeplechase meetings are held on occasions throughout the year the main being spring and summer Bank Holidays when the Market Square becomes alive with merry socialising. The Race Course also holds other meetings such as Barbecue Race Days, Charity Night and Cup Days.
We park in a small parking area just over the road from the Cumbria Grand Hotel on the B5277 and walk towards Grange-over-Sands after a short way just at the Netherwood Hotel and Spa we turn left at the signpost “leading to the promenade” we cross over the bridge and walk along the promenade with the railway line on our right. At the railway station we turn right and go under the line then turn left across the front of the station then head down to the pond and war memorial in the Ornamental Gardens. We wander around the lower part of the pond then make our way back to the war memorial and head up to the path above the pond with the railway line on our left and the promenade on the other side of the railway line. We walk forward on the path and into the car park. We walk forward across the car park and then turn left at the Commadore Hotel and go under the railway line onto the promenade. We turn right and follow the promenade until we see a sign post and we turn right for the town centre walking over the railway line and up the lane going quite steep uphill. We come out at the road, a small roundabout and a church in front of us. We cross straight over the road and take the right turn going behind the church. We pass the toilets on the left and head straight forward up the road opposite “Hampsfell Road” we walk uphill for a while and then turn left at the signpost “Charney Wood and Yew Barrow Wood”. We follow the tarmac lane keeping to the right. The tarmac becomes stony and after a short way we go through the gate on the left and then take the footpath on the right following the path with the wall and fields on our right and the wood on our left. We follow the footpath which bears to the left until we come to some houses. We walk forward for a short way until we reach a small road where we turn right. When we reach the t-junction we turn right at the sign post “Hampsfell” and walk uphill between the hedge and the disused quarry. The path turns left then right over a stile into a field. We walk forward to the right of the farm and up to the houses in front of us. Just after the houses we go over a stile and turn left and follow the small road slightly downhill until we see a sign post “Cartmel” on the right we go over the stile and follow the fence line and golf course on the left and gorse bushes on the hill side on the right. At the corner, where there is a broken seat, and where the fence changes to a wall we go over the stile marked Cartmel and walk through the golf course keeping to the way markers then go over another stile marked Cartmel. We walk down the hill to the road leading into Cartmel. We walk along the road and then turn right over a bridge at a junction. We then turn left at the side of the Pig and Whistle and follow the road round to the right. We take a look at Cartmel Priory then follow the road to the Kings Arms. At the kings Arms we take a quick look down the side of the beck then carry on over the bridge into the square. We then go to the left of Cartmel village store and take a look at the race course. We then go back to the square and turn left through the arch way leading to the Cavendish Arms. We follow the road round to the right passing the back of the priory on the right until we come to a t-junction. At the t-junction we turn left and then take the footpath on the right going up some stone steps. We walk forward over the field with the hedge on our right to a farm where we go over the stile turn left then right at the end of a barn. We carry on forward across the next field to a stile in the left corner. We now go steeply uphill until we come to a cross roads of paths nearly at the top of Hampsfell we turn left and head for the Hospice on the summit. We climb the steps at the side of the Hospice to the top and admire the view. When we go back down the steps we head straight forward on the grass path then at the wall we bear slightly to the right and head down towards Eggerslack Wood. At the wall corner we go through a gate onto a track and turn right through another gate we keep following the track until we come to a t-junction and a signpost “Grange over Sands 2/3m” we turn left with Eggerslack Wood still on our left and keep following the track downhill back into Grange and then make our way to the car.
This is a moderate to hard walk with a few steep inclines and declines.
Approx 7.5 miles using OS map OL7, The English Lakes South eastern area.
Grange over Sands is in the south eastern region of the Lake District.
From the M6 take junction 36 then take the A590 towards Windermere or from the A65 go under the M6 and take the A590 towards Windermere. At the roundabout take the first exit staying on the A590 towards Newby Bridge. At the next roundabout take the left turn onto the B5277 and follow the signs to Grange-over-Sands.
Toilets and Refreshments
There are five blocks of public toilets in Grange over Sands at Hampsfell Road, in the Ornamental Gardens, on The Promenade, Berners Close car park and disabled ones in Victoria Hall. Victoria Hall is also the tourist information centre. In Cartmel there are public toilets down the side of the Rogan restaurant and in the car park next to the race course where there is also an information centre. For refreshments in Grange there is the Commodore Hotel, cafes, restaurants, two Chinese take-away, fish and chip shop and local general stores. For refreshments in Cartmel there are four pubs the kings Arms, the Cavendish Arms, the Royal Oak Inn and the Pig and Whistle and there is also a restaurant the Rogan and Company, the Cartmel Hotel, cafe, restaurants, village store and various other shops.