This family seat of the Cavendish family can be dated to the early 16th century. In 1871 a devastating fire destroyed the west wing, subsequently rebuilt in red sandstone. Today, the whole of this wing is open for visitors to wander around at will. Here can be found the magnificent library, fine linenfold panelling and an impressive cantilevered staircase. The adjacent courtyard contains a café, gift shop and food hall selling local Cumbrian produce.
Priory Church of St Mary and St Michael, Cartmel
Founded in 1189 by Augustinian canons as the priory church and threatened with destruction after the Dissolution of the Monasteries Act in 1536, the church survived to become the parish church and serves as a place of worship and a centre for the community today. The internal soaring proportions of the church house a fine 14th-century tomb to Lord Harrington and intricately carved choir stalls and misericords. Look out for the nail-studded door into the south aisle, pitted with bullet holes from when villagers fired on Cromwellian troops causing havoc in the church. The tower is unusual, being set crossways to its base, and believed to be unique in England.
Cartmel Priory Gatehouse
The Square, Cartmel
Built in the early 14th century as the gateway to the priory precinct, the building has been variously used as a courthouse, grammar school for 200 years and latterly, as a shop. The Great Room will be open for viewing on selected days. See website for dates.
Lakeland Motor Museum
Holker Hall, Cark-in-Cartmel, Grange
A nostalgic reminder of transport bygones with a large and eclectic collection of automobilia, including historic cars, motorcycles, bicycles and engines and a replica 1930s garage. The Campbell Bluebird exhibition pays tribute to Sir Malcolm Campbell and son, Donald, who together secured 21 world land and water speed records. Full size detailed replicas of the various Bluebirds are on display including a K7 in which Donald Campbell was tragically killed attempting to break his own water speed record on 4 January 1967.