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 visting 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.