The town developed from a small fishing village in the Victorian era with the arrival of the railway as it became a popular seaside resort, lying on Morecambe Bay, across the sands from Morecambe itself.
The River Kent used to flow past the town's mile-long Promenade, subsequently the river has switched its course to the Arnside side of the estuary, allowing nature to develop the "sands" (mudflats, in truth, with dangerous quicksands at uncertain points) into a grass meadow now frequently grazed over by small flocks of sheep. More recently due to sustained easterly winds in the early part of 2007, the river has begun to switch its course back across the bay, and it remains to see whether the 'sheep-meadows' survive.
Above the town is Hampsfield Fell, crowned by 'Hampsfell Hospice', a sturdy limestone tower monument offering shelter to the rain-drenched walker, as well as the finest viewpoint of all the foothills of the outlying southern Lakeland fells. On the roof, a large compass pointer and list of peaks identify the greater and lesser landmarks in the magnificent panorama. Inside, painted boards commemorate its construction, praise the view and welcome the visitor.
Adjacent to Grange are Lindale, to the north-east, Cartmel to the north-west, with its Priory to which the village was once the 'grange' or farm, and Allithwaite to the west. The country house Holker Hall, which was built on land which once belonged to Cartmel Priory, is nearby. The stables at Holker Hall house the Lakeland Motor Museum.
Grange-over-Sands railway station, which serves the town, is situated on the Furness Line, giving connections to Ulverston and Barrow-in-Furness to the west, and Lancaster, Preston and Manchester to the east.