Over the past 5 months, I’ve spent approximately 5 weeks in Northwest England on business. I stayed exclusively at Pine Lake Resort in Carnforth and commuted daily to an office Lancaster (15 min drive).
Carnforth is a sleepy village about 10 miles North of Lancaster, off of the the M6/A6. There’s really not much to the place to be honest. There are a few restaurants, some hotels and a grocery store or two. Pine Lake Resort is a cluster of log cabins centered around a man made lake a few miles to the north of Carnforth’s “city center”. The town may not be much to see, but the scenery is. The area is very much rural, and on a sunny day (mind you, these are quite rare), the rolling grassy hills which are dotted with sheep paint a beautiful picture of the countryside. There are several walking and biking trails through this area, but unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to participate in one.
Lancaster is the largest city in Carnforth’s vicinity and I found it to be quite charming. There is a very old pedestrian-only city square which holds a farmer’s market every weekend. Additionally, there are some nice shopping facilities all within walking distance from the parking lots that sprinkle the outskirts of the old town. Lancaster is an old city, and is cut by several canals originally built several hundred years ago to facilitate travel within the UK. These canals are now used for leisure as opposed to a means of transportation and offer residents and tourists alike a different view of their surroundings. Atop the old town sits a castle, the origins of which I believe can be traced to the 12th century (I learned this from the free local museum in the town square). The castle is now used as a white collar prison, but much of it is still open to visitors.
Carnforth and Lancaster offer a different sort of travel experience from London and other major cities. The people are different, the scenery is more rural, and the pace of life is slower. To be honest, the area is not really my cup of tea, but I’m still glad I had the opportunity to see it. And I certainly do not want to take away from the beauty of the scenery in this part of the country.