The town is located at the north-east end of Morecambe Bay. In the 19th century, it grew to some prominence as a railway hub, but this ended with the closure of the main line in 1960. Today, Carnforth functions mainly as a small market town and acts as a base for tourists and hikers visiting the nearby hills and coast. It has a population of around 5,500.
The 1945 David Lean film Brief Encounter was filmed exclusively in Carnforth railway station. The big station clock above the center of the main platform played also a role in the film. This clock has been replaced after being restored, thanks to the Carnforth Station Heritage Centre.
Carnforth railway station is located in the middle of the town.
By car Carnforth is well connected to the M6 via Junction 35.
Carnforth is on the National Cycle Route 6. This route follows the Lancaster canal from direction Lancaster (South). In northern direction the route continues over fairly flat terrain.
- Carnforth Station Heritage Centre (Behind the famous iconic station clock at the main platform). The free museum shows much information and pictures about the era of steam trains. There's also a section about Brief Encounter and naturally, the film itself can be seen here. The centre also organises expositions.
- Regional shopping and go out center Lancaster is about 7 miles from Carnforth.
- In northern direction by both the A6 and the M6 the Lake District National Park can be reached.
- More near to the North along the A6, tourist will find the very old Saint Michaels & All Angels church in the picturesque hamlet Beetham.