With the beautiful English lake district acting as a backdrop, Cartmel makes it possible to sample national hunt racing in its most original format.
With its party crowds, and funfair bend, for six days a year, Cartmel racecourse rekindles the social gathering tradition of the original steeple to steeple chases - the original form of racing which formed the basis of today's national hunt racing.
Five of the annual meetings at the picturesque course take place over the May and August bank holidays. There is also a special supplementary Barbecue Day in July.
Cartmel is an interesting and historic market town, in close proximity to the unique coastline of Morecombe Bay. It is also the home of the famous Sticky Toffee Pudding’, and as a result, many people use the race meetings as an excuse to take a holiday in a wonderful part of the United Kingdom.
Cartmel only stages national hunt racing.
The course is a sharp and narrow left handed oval. The main circuit measures just over one mile in circumference. There is also a finishing straight of one furlong, which unusually veers off the main circuit.
The steeplechase course has six unevenly dispersed fences, which are laid out in the following circuit pattern: an initial plain fence, an open ditch, the water jump, and three more plain fences. The first two jumps are situated before the top turn, with the other four coming in quick succession along the back straight. This means the run in starts before the fair ground turn, and at four furlongs in length, it is the longest uninterrupted run in on a British national hunt race track. Another unique feature of the run in, it veers off the main circuit, and for its last furlong, runs into the centre of the racecourse.
The narrow track, sharp nature of the bends, stiff fences, and undulating contours, make it difficult to win from off the pace. The track is ideally suited to front running course specialists.
The hurdles course has four obstacles. However, as the course is narrow around the last hurdle, it has to be removed during steeple chase races, and then rebuilt for hurdles events.
Enclosures and hospitality:
The listings below do not include the facilities available to Annual Members, Owners and Trainers, and Corporate Guests. These can be obtained by contacting the racecourse.
Despite its traditions, Cartmel has invested in the future with a new Grandstand. This facility incorporates hospitality and terraced standing areas.
Holders of a Paddock ticket can use the uncovered grandstand, and can also view all the pre race proceedings in the parade ring.
If they book early, these ticket holders can secure a table at the superbly appointed Grandstand Restaurant, which offers a selection of locally themed three course lunches, and comprehensive afternoon tea. While these patrons are dining, they can enjoy panoramic views of all the racing action.
In addition to the new Grandstand restaurant, in the Marquee area of the course, the Chasers Restaurant offers 3 course lunches and afternoon teas.
Paddock ticket holders can also sample the fayre offered by the Champagne and Seafood bar, The Pimms tent, or the whiskey and wine bar.
Course Enclosure Ticket.
The Course enclosure is on the opposite side of the finishing straight to the Paddock Enclosure. Although there are no stands, the design of the course ensures good views of the racing action.
It has a public bar, and lots of fast food outlets. However, many visitors bring a picnic, or use one of the specially designated areas to hold their own barbecue. It is also possible to gain access to the funfair from this enclosure.
The course offers designated parking for disabled visitors.
The grandstand lift allows access to a viewing platform.
Specialist toilet facilities are also available at the course.
All races at Cartmel are run under National Hunt rules.
Dates to follow.
From the East, take the A69, A66, or M62 to join traffic from North and South on the M6. For Cartmel races, leave the M6 at junction 36, and join the A590 for Barrow in Furness road. At the Lindale roundabout, follow the signs to Cartmel Races.
The Course car park is free of charge, but space at the Paddock car park is limited, and Paddock early birds soon snap up the spaces next to the running rail, as this ensures they enjoy a close up view of horses in running.
It is necessary to join the London Euston to Glasgow main west coast line. Alight at Lancaster, and join a service to Barrow in Furness. The nearest stop is two miles from the racecourse, and is at the station called Carke in Cartmel
On race days, a special service runs between Carke railway station, and the racecourse.
Blackpool Airport is around 30 miles from the racecourse.
Subject to prior arrangement with the racecourse management, helicopters can land on the course.
Address: Cartmel Racecourse, Cartmel, Grange over sands, Cumbria, LA11 6QF.
Telephone Number: 01539 53 63 40.
Fax Number: 01539 53 60 04.
Strathmore Cumbria Grand Hotel.
Tel No: 01539 53 23 31.
The Cumbria Grand Hotel, part of the Strathmore Hotel group overlooking Morecambe Bay, and with an extremely interesting and varied history, the Strathmore Cumbria Grand Hotel has been extensively renovated to provide the ideal mix of period charm and modern comfort, and with a professional and caring staff, the hotel ensures all Guests obtain high standards of accommodation and service during their stay.
Set in twenty acres of private gardens and woodland, the Cumbria Grand is within easy reach of the M6 motorway and Grange Over Sands railway station. The hotel is also in close proximity to Cartmel Racecourse, and this makes it the ideal base for race-goers attending the increasing number of meetings staged at the unique national hunt course at Cartmel.
The Cumbria Grand Hotel, offers 120 comfortable and stylish en suite bedrooms, all offering remote controlled televisions, dringks tray, and the standard room amenities expected by discerning guests. For that little bit of extra luxury, be sure to enquire about our Four-Poster Rooms, some with views over Morecambe Bay, and all with in-room extras.
With a team of dedicated chefs using the best local produce, the Hazelwood Restaurant offers a superb carvery menu, and you can compliment your tasty fayre with a fine wine from our list of worldwide favourites. After your meal, unwind in the newly appointed Jacobean Lounge and Bar, with its inviting sofas, open fire, and warm welcoming atmosphere.
For the more energetic, the hotel offers snooker and table tennis facilities indoors, and externally, visitors can have access to a tennis court, putting green, and a woodland walk. While a round of golf on the adjacent golf course can also be secured by pre-arrangement. To find out more about the Strathmore Cumbria Grand Hotel, or to be sure of securing your room ahead of the very popular race meetings at Cartmel Races,
click on the link below: