Cartmel and it’s surrounding area

Similarly to Carlisle, Cartmel Racecourse is located close to The Lake district, particularly close to Lake Windermere and Coniston Water, both beautiful. It’s about 65 miles further south from Carlisle and not a huge distance from the M6 though there are narrow local roads to be negotiated.

The most notable local landmark is The Priory in the village itself. It’s a very pretty area.

The Racecourse

Cartmel host only National Hunt Racing.

The course is left handed with tight bends and a run in from the last of half a mile. The course is oval shaped and is 1m1f round. There are six fences on each circuit.

Unusually, all the course facilities, bars, viewing etc are in side the circuit which makes viewing difficult other than on the big screen. The finishing straight though divides the paddock and course enclosures.

It’s not unusual for the lead to change after the last due to the long run-in. This could be due to fatigue or from the horse just idling in front. Course and distance experience is an advantage.

Clerk of the course is currently Mrs Anthea Morshead

Telephone number: 01539 536340 

Getting to Cartmel

The course is well signposted though the roads in are quite narrow and must be driven carefully. Parking on the overflow area is free as I understand it. Paddock parking cost £6 today.

Postcode for Satnav is LA11 6QF.

The nearest railway station is Cark-in-Cartmel, a taxi ride away

Racecourse Facilities

What there is of a stand isn’t very big but gives a very good view of the finish. Walking down the home straight to get a view seems largely pointless as there are cars parked against the rails from around the ½ furlong marker. But there are plenty of other viewing points around the circuit given that the course itself surrounds the enclosures.

I am impressed by the food and drink available and the way it was laid out. There was even a sticky toffee pudding stand! There also seemed to be some Gazebos set up for hire by groups and families etc. Not sure how much they cost though.

My Day

The day was another scorcher, quite oppressive heat for me.

Cartmel is quite different to any other course I have visited, and it took me a while to warm to it. It’s very much a party atmosphere with picnics etc going on around the place. I could only liken it to Epsom Downs on Derby Day though on a much smaller scale.

Today, racing was followed by a concert by Boyzone. I am irritated that I had to pay for this also even though I had no intention of staying. I queried this at the racecourse office and was told that was just the way it was and there was no other way of doing it. Well I disagree and with a little imagination, I think that could easily be addressed. I will follow this up with the course separately. This wouldn’t stop me coming here again necessarily.

The heat and the crowd got too much for me and I left after the fourth race. But not before I devoured a gorgeous Pepperoni ‘Perfect’ Pizza, prepared and cooked before my very eyes. Fantastic.

Unbelievably, another winning day with two winners from three bets.

Happy enough!

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