Cartmel to Humphrey Head & Holker Hall Cycle Ride
This short ride has a bit of everything- the delights of Cartmel with its Priory, lovely square and range of cafes, pubs and restaurants, a chance to walk to the end of Humphrey Head for spectacular views of Morecambe Bay and the option to visit the splendid house and gardens at Holker Hall. The ride heads due south from Cartmel, climbing gently then dropping steeply to cross the B5277 and passing Wraysholme Tower. Stay on your bike and follow the road to its end at the edge of the bay, however, on a fine day it’s worth locking up your bike and walking out to Humphrey Head for the view. Back on your bike through Flookburgh to The Green from where you have the option to visit Holker Hall. From Holker Hall you can take an off road route directly back to Cartmel racecourse or re-join the main route at The Green for a tarmac option back to the start.
Points of interest along the way
Wraysholm Tower -South of Allithwaite village is the 15th century three storey stone tower house Wraysholme Tower. It is rectangular in shape, with a small projecting garderobe tower at the south-east corner. At roof level are the remains of a parapet and three corner turrets, with the site of a later hall covered by a 19th century farmhouse.
It’s in good condition as English Heritage have replaced the roof – it now has a steepled roof, rather than the flat one it originally had – and they have repaired a gable wall that was cracking and falling away from the main body of the tower. One of the spiral staircases still stands.
The rough limestone tower, rectangular in shape, which is 39ft high, has walls some 4ft thick, bonded together with a mixture of lime & bullocks blood.
The hall is believed to have been built by the Harrington family of Gleaston, of which Sir James Harrington supported Richard III during the war of the Roses, culminating in his estates being seized and given to the Stanleys, later to become ‘The Earls of Derby’.
Wraysholme Tower is visible from the road that runs along side the farm, but is on private property, and as it’s actually part of the farm you’re not able to get close at all.
With excellent views over Morecambe Bay, this limestone promontory has an unusual assemblage of plants and interesting geological exposures. Great place for watching birds on the estuary.
Fabulous home of the Cavendish family, and parkland, gardens and home are open to the public
|Short day – will take most of the day but you will be able to start late in the morning or finish early in the afternoon.|
|Tracks, bridleways and single track through valleys or over low fells. Route alignment is clear but you might need to identify turns or junctions.|
|Nearly all rideable but might have to dismount for the odd ford or rough bit.|
|OS map||Landranger97 Explorer OL97|
|Toilets||Cartmel, Flookburgh, Holker Hall|
|Refreshments||Lots of choice in Cartmel.|
Cycle Route: Cartmel-Flookburgh-Cartmel
Duration: 1.5-3 hours
- From the square in Cartmel head towards the Priory, past the Kings Arms pub.2. At the cross roads (Give Way) on the edge of the village go straight ahead (sign posted Allithwaite, Grange)
3. After ½ mile, on a sharp left hand bend, bear right, (signposted Templand)
4. Gentle climb. On descent, on another sharp left hand bend, bear right on Templand Lane (NB not sharp right to Boarbank Hall)
5. At cross roads (Give Way) with B5277 go straight ahead (signposted Holy Well 1 ¾ , Humphrey Head 1 ½ )
6. At T junction, shortly after the level crossing, turn left (no sign)
7. Follow this road to its end at the tip of Humphrey Head for fine views of Morecambe Bay. For better views still, lock up your bikes near the Field Centre (signposted up to the left off the road to the coast about ¾ mile after the level crossing) and walk along the top of Humphrey Head.
8. Retrace your route. At the first road junction follow the road to the Left.
9. At the T junction at the end of willow lane turn right (Sticky Toffee Pudding Factory ahead).
10. At the T junction with Market street in the centre of Flookburgh turn right then after 200 yards turn left onto Green Lane, just before the Crown Inn.
11. After ½ mile, at the T junction with a stone wall and house ahead turn right then shortly left, (signposted Cartmel)
12. After just over 1 mile, turn right at the T junction then after 400 yds take the first left (signposted Cartmel Priory) to return to the square.
Option to visit Holker Hall.
After ½ mile at the t junction with stone wall and house ahead, turn L. At the next T junction turn right then after 50 yards turn left uphill through a gate.
A. Go through another gate. At T-junction with a wooden Bridleway sign ahead and a track to your right, turn sharp left uphill.
B. Emerge on the B5278 opposite Holker Hall. Cross with care and proceed along the road opposite to the Hall. (there is no entrance fee to pay if you just wish to visit the café)
Retrace your route from Holker Hall, (take care crossing the B5278) on to minor lane opposite and, climbing steeply, follow the road for ¾ mile to the end of tarmac.
C. Follow the outward route , turning sharp right on the tarmac lane between stone walls and follow through two gates to return to The Green at point 11. Bear left the shortly after left again at the next T junction ( signposted Cartmel 1 ¼ ) Follow route instruction 12 to return to Cartmel.