Carnforth is a town rich in railway heritage, famous for being the film location for the David Lean Classic ‘Brief Encounter’ and a market town full of independent shops waiting to be discovered. Plan your visit to Carnforth below.
Enjoy a Brief Encounter experience
Romance is right on track when you embark on a journey to Carnforth! Recreate the iconic scenes from David Lean’s classic ‘Brief Encounter’, described as one of the greatest romantic films of all time. Have your picture taken under the famous platform clock before having tea in the beautifully recreated refreshment room, then sit back and watch the film afterwards in the award winning Carnforth Station Heritage Centre.
Discover some great independent shops
Carnforth’s shopping experience is growing in reputation, with an increasing number of independents opening up their doors. We’ve highlighted a few of our favourites below but for more ideas and special offers, visit the Carnforth Business Network Facebook page which is championing local independent retailers…
Let your creativity grow at Artisan Felt and Stitch. They stock an amazing selection of wool, yarns and threads for felting, weaving, stitching, knitting and crochet. They also hold Stitch & Textiles Workshops.
Kitty Brown Boutique stocks many leading brands in clothing, footwear and accessories including Seasalt Cornwall, Rieker, Adini, Lily and Me, Skechers and Fly London. Shortlisted as one of the six best independent boutiques in the UK for 2019.
Carnforth Bookshop offer a massive selection of new, second-hand and antiquarian books. They offer something different to the larger chains, and work with many local publishers to showcase their books.
Dyno Start stocks a great range of cycles and bike accessories. They also offer a general cycle repair service to help you stay in the saddle and get you back on the road. (Their wonderful adjoining cycle museum is currently closed for refurbishment but due to open again soon.)
Acorn Oak sells a unique collection of hand crafted oak furniture, suitable for the most informed home or garden, all made locally.
Finally, try not to miss the annual Arts and Crafts Festival held in Carnforth every summer. You will find stalls from a whole range of local artists and crafters along with children’s games, live music and entertainment.
Hit the town’s heritage trail
Enjoy this self guided Circular Walk around the historic heart of the town which starts and ends at the railway station. Discover the Station Master’s House, the Lancaster Canal and the old Drill Hall of Lancaster’s King’s Own Royal Regiment. On route, you will also encounter the town’s oldest inns and pass by the former home of Lord Cecil Parkinson of Carnforth.
Find places to eat and stay
There are a number of fine places to stay in town. Here are some below:
The Royal Station Hotel is situated in the heart of Carnforth, overlooking the historic railway station. This hotel has enjoyed an extensive refurbishment with stylish ensuite rooms to stay in and live bands to enjoy in the Junction bar.
The County Lodge and Brasserie is situated on the main road through Carnforth, just 5 minutes from junction 35 M6. Their comfortable and affordable accommodation is designed to suit everyone’s needs – from families and couples through to independent travellers and business guests.
The Canal Turn enjoys its wonderful location on the Carnforth Canal Basin and following extensive refurbishment is celebrating after making it to the finals of The Great British Pub Awards 2019 for its great food, ales and entertainment.
Venturing outside the town, you will also find many self catering cottages in order to enjoy a longer stay. Our top picks are below, but you can discover more on our Places to Stay page.
One Zero Nine – A stylish, contemporary holiday cottage located in Warton, just outside Carnforth. Perfect for a short stay or holiday.
Lake Cottage – A charming 200-year-old gamekeepers’ cottage close to Carnforth which borders a local Nature Reserve. The lawned garden leads through willows to a private jetty on beautiful Hawes Water lake. Ideal for walking and nature-watching at the heart of the nearby Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Nature Beauty.
Explore the wider area
Here are some days-out ideas for in and around Carnforth:
Warton Crag overlooks Carnforth and is ideal for outdoor pursuits like hiking, climbing and abseiling. The village of Warton, the ancestral home of America’s first President George Washington, is well worth discovering too.
Passing through the town is the Lancaster Canal, linking Carnforth to many of the surrounding villages and beautiful countryside.
Don’t miss visiting Leighton Hall, the ancestral home of the famous furniture-making Gillow dynasty. As well as touring the beautiful house and grounds, you can watch birds of prey displays followed by refreshments in the café – or delight the kids in the children’s play area.
Don’t forget to visit Greenlands Farm Village where there’s something for everyone from fun and farming to shopping and relaxing, which is less than a mile away from Carnforth.
And if you fancy seeing where the BBC’s Autumnwatch was filmed recently, head to the wildlife haven of Leighton Moss RSPB Nature Reserve which offers year round events and activities.