Grange-over-Sands is a very pretty place to visit in the south of the Lake District. It’s roughly a 30-minute drive from The Malabar. In Edwardian times, it was called the Lakeland Riviera due to the views across Morecambe Bay and its warmer micro-climate. When the railway came to Grange in the 1850s, it became very fashionable with the wealthy mill owners in Lancashire who flocked to the area to build the many imposing mansions you can still see.
The walk across the sands
Nowadays the town brings visitors from all over the world who come to enjoy a stroll along the promenade and take in the stunning view across the bay to Morecambe and beyond. Others come specifically to ‘walk the sands’. Walking across the sands to or from Arnside has been a tradition since the 1500s. Originally it was used as a much-needed shortcut across the bay to avoid the long and badly maintained coastal road. Special guides were appointed to lead people safely, avoiding quicksand and the rapid whirlpools that can be dangerous.
Anyone who can walk for 3-4 hours can take part in a guided walk across the sands. It’s great fun and it gives you a perspective of the Lake District fells and a view out to the Irish Sea that you just can’t get any other way.
Just as a word of caution, we recommend to everyone that you should not attempt to walk across the sands without joining an organised group with an experienced guide. The tide comes in very quickly and we wouldn’t want anyone to get caught out.
If you don’t fancy the walk across the sands, we recommend the 222-metre high Hampsfell route, just above the town. At the top of the fell is the old Hampsfell Hospice, a limestone tower that offers shelter for walkers. You can climb up onto the roof (via a very safe and well-protected ladder) for an even better view and you will find a large compass pointer with a list of peaks identifying the landmarks of the panorama.
A day at the races or an evening of gastronomic delight
While you’re in Grange-over-Sands, it’s just a short drive to the village of Cartmel. This pretty village is famous for its racecourse, a 12th Century Priory and the world-famous L’Enclume restaurant run by Simon Rogan. L’Enclume holds two Michelin stars, five AA Rosettes and was named the number one restaurant in the UK by The Good Food Guide 2020. We recommend the tasting menu. It never disappoints.
The racecourse is a small National Hunt course that hosts nine meets a year between May and the end of August. It offers a great day’s racing against a backdrop of the Lake District fells. You won’t see any other racecourse in the world with a better view. Outside of the Hunt season, the racecourse hosts many concerts and outdoor entertainment events. Find out more here.
If you like mooching around old churches, we recommend Cartmel Priory. It was founded in 1190 and is steeped in medieval religious and political intrigue including tales of Knights Templar. It was one of the few monasteries that survived the dissolution by Henry VIII. The villagers at the time protested that the priory was actually their parish church, and so it was saved from ruin. You can read more here.
Explore the Grange-over-Sands and the Lake District from The Malabar
If you are planning a visit to the Lake District, naturally we’d be delighted to welcome you to the Malabar which is the perfect location to explore the South Lakes.