Grange-over-Sands is set in an ideal location between the Lake District fells and Morecambe Bay, but if often overlooked as a place to visit. But we think this charming town, which still retains an Edwardian appearance, is well worth a look if you're in the area. We wanted to highlight some of the best things to see and do in Grange-Over-Sands for 2023, let's get into the guide:
This promenade which stretches from Grange railway station for around 1 mile is lovely for a stroll. Known as "The Prom", the path takes you from Grange-over-Sands to the Morecambe Bay estuary and is a lovely way to take in the local scenery of the bay and across to the Dales. If you're a fan of birdwatching then you'll likely have the chance to spot some birds as you walk along the promenade, and if you're lucky they might be rare such as White Storks or White-tailed Eagles. If you're staying in Grange-Over-Sands for a few days and you like to get a morning run in, you can't do much better than a jog down the Promenade. The real standout aspect of this promenade for many people is the plantlife dotted along the path, which is vibrant and colourful.
You can access the promenade from a number of locations across the town, learn more here - grangeoversandstowncouncil.gov.uk
Visit the Railway Station
This railway station has been restored to its former Victorian grandeur and is well worth a visit, particularly if you're a railway or architecture geek. It is situated on the Furness Line and offers direct access to and from Manchester Airport, so it can get quite busy for a small town railway station. The restoration is impressive and the station was awarded 'Heritage Station of the Year' in 2012. Learn more here - northernrailway.co.uk
If you're a fan of a leisurely stroll then a visit to the Ornamental Gardens is absolutely worth your time. The first thing you'll be struck by when you visit the Gardens is the amazing colours from the amazing variety of plants and trees on display, which rivals any botanic garden we've ever visited (the tulips are especially pretty). The other aspect of the park you'll immediately notice is a large number of ducks and swans, including many rare ducks which you won't find anywhere else in this part of the country, including Carolina Wood Ducks and the Mandarin Ducks which are sure to delight bird enthusiasts.
Learn more here - southlakeland.gov.uk
Hampsfell Hospice was built in the 19th century by the vicar of Cartmel, and has provided shelter for travellers ever since. Just a half hour’s walk from Grange Over Sands, the Hospice is the place to head to if you're looking for amazing views of the area - from here you'll be able to see the Old Man of Coniston, Helvellyn, the Langdales, and Morecambe Bay. This is definitely a bit of a hidden gem and you could easily overlook it as we felt it wasn't particularly well signposted, plus getting up to it through Eggerslack Woods is quite steep, but we think it is well worth the effort. It can also get chilly up there so make sure you bring suitable clothing!
High Dam (and low dam)
This tarn is located above Finsthwaite, but is only a short distance from Grange Over Sands and well worth a look. If you're not sure what a tarn is, that's ok because neither were we! It's essentially just a lake.
You've got a number of trails to explore around High Dam, but to be honest we wouldn't get too hung up on following a specific trail. Instead, just enjoy a wander around as the scenery is gorgeous. If you're feeling brave then you can actually swim here too, but of course, be careful!
As beautiful as the High Dam itself is the walk to it from Stott Park Bobbin Mill, which is marked and takes you through lovely woodland and past the Low Dam first of all (which is arguably prettier than High Dam).
Low Dam is situated just beneath the much larger and more famous High Dam, the main source of water power for Stott Park Bobbin Mill situated further down the hill.
This area is popular with locals and considered a bit of a hidden gem, so don;t be surprised if you find lots of people there when you arrive.
This limestone cliff is stunning and provides some of the best views you'll get of Morecambe Bay in the area. Humphrey Head is the tallest limestone cliff in Cumbria and from here you can enjoy a fabulous panorama across Morecambe Bay. It's only three miles south of Grange-over-Sands and is well worth the trip. It's also famous for apparently being where the last wolf in England was caught.
The highlight for most at Humphrey Head is having the chance to watch the birds at the estuary (including shelduck and peregrines) however plant geeks will be interested by the unusual plantlife in the area (a result of the unique location of the cliff next to the sea). There are plenty of rocks to scramble over and small caves to explore, which kids will love. But it's also a really peaceful place where you can enjoy a relaxing stroll. If you're looking for a great area to explore near Grange-Over-Sands, Humphrey Head is one of the best places to head to.
The village of Cartmel is just a 5-minute drive away from Grange-over-Sands, and is worth a visit just to see the Cartmel Priory. Even if you're not religious, the building is fascinating from a design and architecture perspective - the unique square belfry tower is the only one of its type in the UK, and you'll find art by Josefina de Vasconcellos throughout the church. There is also some interesting history to explore, with the door in the south west corner of the Priory being of particular interest. Known as 'Cromwell’s door', it is peppered with bullet holes said to have been fired by villagers who tried to shoot Oliver Cromwell’s Roundhead troops, when they stabled their horses in the nave of the priory.
Lastly, perhaps the most beautiful part of the priory is the east window. Covering almost the entirety of the east wall, this window still retains stained glass from the 15th-century and is quite stunning to behold.
According to legend, this priory was built between two parallel streams which flowed in opposite directions. This is because Bernard was told to do so by a mysterious man, believed by many to be a messenger from God. You can apparently still find these streams flowing in opposite directions today, one heading for Morecambe Bay and the other heading towards Lake Windermere.
Learn more here - cartmelpriory.org.uk
Nearby locations to visit
Grange-Over-Sands is a great place to visit, but if you're spending more than a few days there you might run out of things to do quite quickly. Luckily you are near a number of other villages and towns which are well worth a look. Coniston is 20 miles away and is home to The Old Man of Coniston, a popular fell which walkers will love. It's also the place where Donald Campbell broke the water speed record, and where he died trying to break it again. Hawkshead is 15 miles away and is also worth a look for anyone who likes to explore quaint little villages - it is tiny but very pretty, and actually cars are banned from driving through the village (there is a car park on the outskirts) which gives it quite a surreal feeling. Lastly, Bowness-on-Windermere is 14 miles away and is home to the beautiful Lake Windermere, which can be explored via a small motorboat that you can hire. The town sits on the banks of the lake and is much more of a tourist location than the previous two villages, so if that's what you're looking for then it is a great place to head to!