Carlisle is an English cathedral and historical fortress city located in the modern county of Cumbria, at the northern end of the Lake District and 10 miles from the Scottish border. It's an ideal base for exploring the English Lake District, the world famous Hadrian's Wall and the Northumberland National Park.
The city is only 10 miles from the English-Scottish border. The M6 runs just to the East of the outskirts of Carlisle, giving this city excellent road links with the rest of the country. Carlisle is only two hours from both Edinburgh, Scotland's capital, and Glasgow, Scotland's second and largest city.
Carlisle is a major railway junction.
The West Coast line, from London Euston through to Glasgow and Edinburgh, stops in the city. There is a branch line going West to the coastal towns of Whitehaven and Workington.
The railway line running east goes via Tyne Valley to Newcastle upon Tyne, taking 90 minutes. There is also an alternative route to Glasgow via Dumfries and Kilmarnock.
Carlisle is also at the northern end of the famous Settle and Carlisle railway line; as well as regular service trains there are regular steam trains over this route.
Carlisle has a small airport.
Much of Carlisle's history is within walking distance of the city centre.
Other places can be reached by bus, Stagecoach and Reays operate the bus services in the city.
- Explore the Eden Valley.
- 2 Carlisle Castle, Castle Way, CA3 8UR (Carlisle city centre), ☎ . Carlisle Castle was first established in 1093 by an English king, William II, and has guarded the border area for 900 years. adults £5.70, children £3.40, concessions £5.10.
Museums and Galleries
- Tullie House Museum, Castle Street. Mon – Sat 10am – 4pm, Sun 12noon - 4pm (5pm in summer). An excellent museum dedicated to all aspects of Border life and featuring great exhibits relating to Hadrian's Wall. An interesting permanent exhibition is dedicated to Border Reivers. Adult £7.70, discount for locals.
- The Guildhall Museum. 28 Apr - 1 Sep: Thu 12pm to 4.30pm. A museum in the city centre is housed in the upstairs of Carlisle's only medieval house. Built in 1407 of timber, tile bricks and clay, by Richard of Redeness, who left the house to the community of Carlisle when he died. The tradesmen of the Middle Ages found it necessary to protect themselves by forming special associations or Guilds. Carlisle had eight Trade Guilds, and each had one room as a meeting place. The Guilds were Butchers, Merchants, Shoemakers, Skinners, Smiths, Tailors, Tanners and Weavers. Free.
Carlisle offers easy access to many parts of Hadrian's Wall (though the Hadrian's Wall Footpath is just a scenic route along a path where wall was). The city runs just to the north of this historic landmark.
- Talkin Tarn Country Park. Close to the historic market town of Brampton, nestles in a 165 acre site, containing a glacial tarn surrounded by mature woodland and gentle meadows with the stunning Pennine Hills as a backdrop. The Tarn has a 1.3 mile circular path that is ideal for a gentle stroll. This path is hard surfaced and accessible to all. There are also three way marked trails of varying lengths; 1.5km, 2.5km and 3.5km starting from the car park and on into woods and fields.
- Solway Aviation Museum. Solway Aviation Museum is home to a collection of aircraft, aviation artifact’s and displays reflecting Britain’s position as a world leader in aircraft design and innovation at the dawn of the jet age. The museums’ primary objective is the preservation of our Aviation heritage, its display and interpretation. Take a nostalgic journey back to Wartime Cumberland and the men and women of the RAF who served in WWII.
- Watchtree Nature Reserve. Watchtree was declared a nature reserve in 2003 though much of the ecological restoration began immediately following Foot and Mouth: Water storage lagoons, used to store surface water were designed with wildlife in mind by creating shallow margins and scalloped edges; A species rich grass mix was used to reseed large areas of soil following burials; Hedgerows were planted on top of the burial pits which attract a variety of farmland birds and other fauna, and; over eighty thousand broadleaved and coniferous trees have been planted to enhance the existing woodland in addition to creating habitat for endangered species including the Red Squirrel.
- Carlisle United F.C.. Brunton Park is the home of the city's team, who play in Football League Two
Strawberry Fields: very good second hand and retro clothing store near the Law Courts.
Bookcase: a massive second hand book store that spans four floors and a basement with a large stock of book, both fiction and non-fiction as well as CDs and LPs. You could spend hours in this store opposite the cathedral that has friendly staff.
- Foxes Cafe Lounge. Amazing coffee, healthy food, wonderful environment, art gallery, music, performance, art and more.
- 1 Alexandros Greek Restaurant, 66-68 Warwick Road. A cheerful place with delicious Greek food and friendly staff. If you don't know what to order, order a meze (that is, a bit of everything) and you will not regret it.
In 1916, during World War 1, the government nationalised the breweries and pubs in the area around Carlisle, to reduce drunkenness in the workers in the munitions factories near Gretna. The State Management Scheme persisted until 1973, and can still be seen in the design of the New Model Inns, built in the early twentieth century.
- Concrete on Lowther Street is a popular nightclub.
- Botchergate is lined with bars of differing styles and expense.
- 1 King's Head Inn, Fisher Street Carlisle CA3 8RF, ☎ . A very pleasant pub in the heart of the city which is well worth searching for. Reasonable priced lunchtime meals served. Recently fitted are bicycle securing bolts! The variety of guest ales is second to none. Very large outside smoking area includes a large screen TV for sports coverage. Food 10-3 weekdays. 11-3 Sat. Live music and theatre gigs in the pub courtyard.
- Hall Hills (Self-Catering Holiday of the Year), Raughton Head, Dalston, CA5 7AN (4 miles south west of Carlisle), ☎ . Five self-catering cottages in converted 17th century stone barns.
- Hollow Creek Cottage, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 4-star self-catering Grade II listed farm cottage built 1760 lies within 7 acres of land in Kirkandrews-on-Eden. On Hadrian's Wall Path/The Vallum, 500 m from River Eden and Cumbria Coastal Path. Cottage sleeps 2(4) + cot, pets welcome. Full access to internet.
- Hilltop Hotel, London Rd, CA1 2NS, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 92 room hotel with pool, sauna and gym. from £38.
- Willowbeck Lodge, Lambley Bank, Scotby, CA4 8BX (From M6 take A69 to Newcastle. First exit to right and into village. Go under railway bridge and turn right.). Check-in: 10PM, check-out: 11AM. Luxury b&b in architect designed house with private grounds. Evening meals available and fully licenced. Full access to the internet. £100.
- North across the border into Scotland to Gretna, Annan and Lockerbie
- West to Cockermouth
- Southwest to the Lake District National Park including Keswick
- South to Penrith, Appleby in Westmorland and the Eden Valley
- East to Brampton, Castle Carrock and Haltwhistle