With around 15 million visitors every year, the Lake District is hardly off the beaten track. In fact, its main town, Windermere, is extremely commercial and overrun with tourists during peak Season (June-August). Personally, I hate crowds, so after some research, I decided to use Grange Over Sands as a base for my Lake District trip. Here are 5 reasons why you should consider Grange too!
Easy to get to without a car
Unlike places such as Ambleside and Keswick, there’s a train station in town (change at Lancaster). There is a direct train to Oxenholme from London but for anywhere else in the Lake District, you’ll need to change trains and maybe even bus. After almost 4 hours on the train, the last thing I want to face is another bus journey- also bear in mind that bus services can be notoriously infrequent outside London- so this was a major plus point for Grange.
And not so commercial
Windermere is another town with its own train station. However, it’s super commercial and packed with tourists. Moreover, it’s not even by the Lake! (That is a different town- Bowness on Windermere- which is 1 to 2 miles from the train station). Grange, on the other hand, is located by the sea: there is a lovely Promenade seaside walk and you get amazing views of the water from many B & Bs in town.
View from Promenade- do NOT climb over the barrier- there is quicksand!!!
But still close to the Lakes.
I travelled by train but if you do drive, it’s only 30 minutes to Windermere. If you don’t, it will be a bit more inconvenient getting to the Lakes, though not impossible. Alternatively, make sure you are there on a Wednesday as the Mountain Goat tour does a pick-up from Grange then. (Review of tour coming in separate post)
Keswick boat tour with Mountain Goat 10 Lakes tour (11.30 am)
Note: there are many lovely country walks around Grange but if you have no car & your sole aim in visiting the Lake District is to do lakeside hiking, then Grange may not be the town for you.
Value for money
I stayed at the Corner Beech B & B for under £60pn (based on a 1 person stay). In contrast, B & Bs in Windermere and Ambleside were quoting me over £100 for the same dates. Enough said!
Corner beech B & B: about 20 minute walk from the train station
The owner (Pete) used to be a chef with Hyatt Hotel and his breakfasts are the best I’ve ever had at a B & B!
Convenient for Cartmel
Grange is quiet and quaint- more retirement town than tourist hotspot- but not cute, so don’t expect a picturesque, postcard-esque English village.
Sight that greets you off the train- a 2nd hand bookstore (they buy & sell). Isn’t it cute? I didn’t think they still existed!
However, it is very close to 1 of the prettiest towns in the UK though- Cartmel- which is also a foodie paradise. (Review of Cartmel in separate post). You can get there in Elizabeth Bennett fashion- via a 1 hour easy country walk- or grab the bus but be warned there are no buses back after 1 pm! (On Saturdays, the bus service runs slightly later)
Nice country walk over fields and styles to Cartmel- the cows were very bemused by my sudden appearance
Cartmel priory in the distance
Have I convinced you? I have an itinerary here if you’ve decided to visit 🙂 Or if you’ve already been to Grange, let me know what you think of it! 🙂