For well over a century now, Cartmel races have been attracting people to the quaint village of Cartmel in their thousands. Today this hasn’t changed one bit, apart from one thing, the visitor numbers have grown vastly. As I walked around part of the race circuit, the hairs on the back of my neck pricked up at the sheer thought of the millions of people that have made the race goers pilgrimage each year at Whit since 1856. Now with 9 races every year, the pilgrimage has just grown in visitor numbers and with this race course being the only family owned race course left in Great Britain, a trip to Cartmel Races is always a special one. But horse racing isn’t the only thing on the Calendar these days. From fun runs to pop concerts, Cartmel Racecourse has become a hub of activity, but one can’t stop imagining what the monks based at the Priory would think of the modern day races.
Attraction in Cumbria
The long tradition of racing at Cartmel was started by the monks from Cartmel Priory in the 15th Century. In the early 20th century, jump racing had begun to take place once a year on the Whit Monday. Over time this increased and there are now nine race days to enjoy each summer at Cartmel between May and August, set against the backdrop of the beautiful Lakeland fells. The relaxed celebratory atmosphere during racedays is what makes this Racecourse so special and unique, drawing large crowds who congregate to watch the racing, picnic and enjoy the funfair. The Paddock Enclosure contains the Grandstand building, Parade Ring/Winners Enclosure, Tented Village and the Grandstand Restaurant. The main Racecourse Office is also located in this Enclosure. Holders of a Paddock Enclosure ticket can move freely over to the Course Enclosure at the track crossing point. Crossing is not permitted while horses are on the course. The Grandstand Restaurant is located on the first floor of the Grandstand building and boasts panoramic views of the racecourse, finishing line and the parade ring from a private viewing balcony, perfect for enjoying a day’s racing in style! In recent years, Cartmel Racecourse has hosted live music concerts after the racing from big name performers such as Simply Red, Tom Jones and Boyzone. The venue is also set up for weddings and events which can take place all year-round.
Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria, LA11 6QF