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Cartmel and Hampsfield Fell Walk

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Cartmel and Hampsfield Fell Walk

Walk Details
Once regarded as a quiet backwater, in recent years Cartmel has become a deservedly popular village, with the outstanding Priory Church as only one of its many attractions. Our walk today starts in the heart of the village.

The church was rescued for parish use at the time of the dissolution of the monasteries by King Henry VIII.

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The diagonal setting of the belfry (1410) is unusual; look also for the holes in an external door, resulting from shots fired by (or at?) Cromwell’s troops when they camped in the building for a night in 1643.

Internal features include ‘The Holy Family’ by the late Jose na de Vasconcellos, a sculptress of international stature who lived locally for many years.15th and 17th Century woodcarving and several memorials. The other surviving part of the former priory is the gatehouse, for many years in the care of the National Trust, now used for exhibitions.

The tiny Market Square also has the remains of the market cross, fish slabs, inns and interesting shops.

After exploring Cartmel (or you can do that on the way back), we’re going under the arch at the gatehouse, following the road past the Cavendish Arms and behind the Priory. At the main road we turn left, then right up a few steps, at a ‘public footpath, Cistercian Way’ signpost. The well used path is obvious ahead. At Pit Farm bear left then right, going through a gate to the opposite field corner, to continue the ascent of Hampsfield Fell. The way steepens. At a gate with footpath sign stay on the near side of the wall, heading for a waymarked kissing gate. Ignore minor tracks to left and right. The views over Morecambe Bay are superb. At a major crossing of tracks close to the top of the ridge, turn left; there are waymarks on a post. Continue to rise towards the focal point of the fell – the ‘Hospice’.

After admiring the stupendous views in all directions, we leave the Hospice on the doorway side to the east. Bearing right round a wall corner then go left over a stone wall stile at the way-marked post and follow the path down to the wall boundary of Eggerslack Wood.

Turn left along the wall as far as the gate and bearing left off the main footpath down to the steps above the  Little Hazlemere shop. You reach a short post with a sign to Hampsfell and The Hospice. Take this path to join a public footpath to a large gate. Through this bear right, with a wall on the right, to a gate/squeezer stile. At a waymarked junction keep left to another gate. Cross a field to a waymark and a gate and walled lane towards Hampsfield Farm.

We turn left along a surfaced road, with a ‘restricted byway’ signpost. As the road bends to the right, turn left at a ‘public footpath’ sign to walk through High Hampsfield Farm, turning right at a waymarked gate. Continue along a fine level path with a wall on the right. Descend over grass, passing an old lime kiln, to a waymarked stile over a wall. Cross this down to another stile; the path continues along the bottom edge of a wood to a tied-up gate. Head across the next field towards an overgrown pond. Go through the gate at the bottom, bearing left, past the pond to Hampsfield Hall Farm. Go through the farm before turning right along the farm access track to walk to the public road.

Here we turn left, pass the entrance gates to Broughton Lodge then turn right immediately through an awkward stile with a ‘public footpath’ sign. The path goes along the edge of a field. Cross a minor road, with stiles on each side, to continue along the edge of another meadow and reach a stream with two little bridges. Cross; there are more stiles and then a narrow cultivated meadow before entering woodland. Bear right, then left to find a waymark and stile at the far edge of the wood. Go over; turn left to join a minor public road in a short distance. Turn left along the road, soon passing Aynsome Manor. Go ahead at a road junction.

In a further 90m turn right at a ‘public bridleway’ sign, keeping the field boundary on the left. The Priory Church is in view to the left. Go through a gate at the top. There is now a wall on the right as the path descends to a stream, crossed by a footbridge. Rise across the meadow opposite to a gate giving access to a minor road. Turn left towards Cartmel, along the side of the racecourse. We head back into the village and where we started.

Carpark: Grange-over-Sands Car park, Station Square, Grange-over-Sands LA11 6Eh

trainNearest Train (or tube) Station(s):
Grange-over-Sands, Preston

Local Information

Read the Countryside Code before venturing out
Make sure to take a map and compass, and know how to use them before going into our National Parks #BeAdventureSmart

Tips for New Walkers: click here to download (PDF).

Remember to prepare properly before heading out on any type of walk or outdoor activity. Tell people where you are going and what time you are expected back. As Wainwright says "There's no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing".