Cartmel Racecourse

The Racecourse, Cartmel, Nr Grange over Sands, Cumbria, LA11 6QF - Map & Directions
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Cartmel Racecourse Sign
Cartmel Racecourse Sign (Basher Eyre /

Set in the humble ambience of the Lake District in the county of Cumbria, Cartmel racecourse is arguably the most picturesque and aesthetically pleasing racing environment in the UK. An exclusively National Hunt track, Cartmel gets the third highest attendance of any UK jumps track after Aintree and Cheltenham, averaging a gate of 20,000 when at full capacity. The earliest recorded racing there occurred during 1856, but there is thought to have been action there for many years prior.

It has generally always been a small course, which featured predominantly amateur riders, however after WWII the racing programme was expanded and made more professional and progress continues to this day. Easily the most popular horse at Cartmel over recent years has been Soul Magic, who prior to the 2014 season had won at the track on a total of seven occasions.

There is a small grandstand on site at Cartmel, but the majority of the facilities in place are temporary. The site at Cartmel is located just 20 minutes off the M6, where leaving at Junction 36 brings those driving to sign posted directions provided by the AA. Alternatively, regular trains run to either Cark-in-Cartmel or Grange-over-sands stations, both of which are just two miles from the track and provide regular bus services.

Ticket Prices

Tickets are priced moderately generously for entry to the track, with access to the course just £12 whilst entry to the paddock is slightly more at £20. Over-60s get a £2 discount on the adult price, whilst there is a further £2 deduction for all tickets purchased online. Tickets cost slightly more for Bank Holidays and Saturdays and under-16s are allowed free entry with a full paying adult.

The Course

Cartmel Racecourse Map

The course at Cartmel is split into two sections, as the spectators are positioned on the inside of the track with the home straight bisecting the crowd. The oval shaped 1m long course features a 4f run in, which is the longest in Britain, as well as being home to six fences, including an open ditch and a water jump.

Due to the track being very narrow, with sharp bends and stiff fences, it is a very difficult course to win a race from off the pace and is definitely more suited to front runner specialists.

Major Meetings at Cartmel

Cartmel Town Centre
The racecourse is located in the picturesque Lake District town of Cartmel

Cartmel hosts a three-day meeting every May, which is actually a festival spread out over five days, with action on the first, third and last. Race goers are treated to a day off in between each day of racing in order to experience the beautiful surroundings of the Lake District, which gives the organisers an opportunity to clean up the course and prepare for the next day, as it just isn’t possible to have consecutive race days due to the early arrivals and late finishing time of the course.

There is also a two-day event every July (with a day off in between) which is reasonably new and features Cartmel’s most valuable race – The Cumbria Crystal Hurdle race – with a prize purse of over £25,000. The meeting in August features Cartmel’s two other prestigious races – the Cartmel Cup is a hurdles race, whilst the Cavendish Cup is a steeplechase.

Dining and Hospitality

Cartmel Racecourse
Cartmel Racecourse (Bill Boaden /

Dining at Cartmel can be experienced in either of their two restaurants – The Conservatory Rest starts at £80 + VAT per person, whilst the Louis Roederer Restaurant is a bit more pricey at £115 + VAT per person. There are also four separate hospitality options if you want a private box for your party, with prices ranging form £85-95. The corporate facilities at Cartmel can be used exclusively on non-race days for business functions, corporate events and weddings.


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