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Things to do in Oxenholme, Cumbria

Oxenholme is a tiny village in Cumbria, although it was originally in the former county of Westmorland. It is on the outskirts of Kendal, two miles away, and not far from the lovely town of Kirkby Lonsdale, said to be one of the prettiest towns in the area.

Kendal and Oxenholme, Cumbria, at Sunset
Kendal and Oxenholme, Cumbria, at Sunset ©StaCheck Photography - stock.adobe.com

As Oxenholme does not have a church it is technically a hamlet, but it does have a disproportionately large railway station.

The village took its name from Oxenholme Farm and it grew up mainly around the railway station which opened in 1846.

The Oxenholme Station was originally on the historic Lancaster and Carlisle line and opened as Kendal Junction, but quickly became known as Oxenholme Station.

The building was designed by architect William Tite, who is better known for building the Bank of England and the Royal Exchange in London.

Oxenholme Lake District Station is on the West Coast Main Line and the junction with the local Windermere Branch Line, which is served by Virgin's TransPennine Express.

Although the crime rate in Oxenholme is extremely low, Oxenholme has hit the national news on several occasions.

In 1965 a fugitive, John Middleton, was caught hiding in the railway station and shot two policemen, one of whom died.

In 2006 the station was again the location of a murder when a 19-year-old passenger was stabbed to death as the Glasgow - Paignton train came into the station.

Finally, in 2007 a train derailed just after leaving Oxenholme Station. The Grayrigg crash left one passenger dead and 22 others injured.


Present Day Oxenholme

Local villagers pronounce the name of the village as Ox-nome. The hamlet is made up of a scattering of cottages and farms around the railway station and local pub, called the Station Inn.

Oxenholme ©traveltofreedom - stock.adobe.com

It is well served by local businesses in the nearby locality, including the Westmorland General Hospital which is just outside the village.

Oxenholme has plenty of local buses and is close to the M6 motorway.

The railway station continues to be well-used and has a popular vegetarian buffet on the northbound platform.


Things to do in Oxenholme

Oxenholme is known as the Gateway to the Lakes. It is within walking distance of Kendal, a pretty Lakeland town which has plenty of local services and shops catering to the many tourists as well as the locals in the area.

The scenic area has miles of public footpaths and walking trails. Hill walking, mountain biking, climbing and horse riding can all be enjoyed.

View of Kendal from The Helm
View of Kendal from The Helm ©StaCheck Photography - stock.adobe.com

The lovely Lake Windermere is just 11 miles from Oxenholme and offers boat trips, steamer rides, shops, tea rooms and gift shops which make a pleasant day out.

Even closer are the sandy beaches of Grange-over Sands at the head of Morecambe Bay.

Beach walks, fishing and bird watching can all be enjoyed in the area, or stroll along Grange promenade and listen to one of the local band concerts if you're really lucky.

The 12th Century Cartmel Priory is just a little further afield and offers guided tours, or spend the day at the picturesque Cartmel Racecourse which hosts National Hunt (jump) race meetings throughout the year.

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