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Europe > Britain and Ireland > United Kingdom > England > North West England > Cumbria > Carlisle

Carlisle

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For other places with the same name, see Carlisle (disambiguation).

Carlisle is an English cathedral and historical fortress city in the modern county of Cumbria, at the northern end of the Lake District and 10 miles (16 km) 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.

Get in[edit]

Carlisle Castle
Carlisle Cathedral

By car[edit]

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 two hours from Edinburgh, Scotland's capital, and from Glasgow, Scotland's largest city.

By train[edit]

1 Carlisle station 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 at the northern end of the famous Settle and Carlisle railway line. There are regular service trains and regular steam trains over this route.

By plane[edit]

  • 2 Carlisle Lake District Airport. (CAX IATA) is a small airport about 5.8 mi (9.3 km) northeast of the city near Brampton. The airport has facilities for flight training and sightseeing flights, but no commercial passenger flights. Carlisle Lake District Airport on Wikipedia Carlisle Lake District Airport (Q3536424) on Wikidata
  • Manchester Airport is best choice global connections and competitive fares. There's an hourly direct train from the airport, taking two hours to Carlisle and continuing to Glasgow.
  • Newcastle upon Tyne and Glasgow airports are reasonable alternatives.

Get around[edit]

Map of Carlisle

By foot[edit]

Much of Carlisle's history is within walking distance of the city centre.

By bus[edit]

Other places can be reached by bus: Stagecoach and Reays operate the bus services in the city.

See[edit]

Landmarks[edit]

  • 1 Carlisle Cathedral. Viewing M-F 7:30AM to 6:15PM, Sat, Sun 7:30AM to 5:00PM. Choral evensong M-F 5:45PM, Sun 3PM, Eucharist Sun 10:30AM. Founded in 1112, with a fine set of carved wooden misericords. Free, £5 donation requested. Carlisle Cathedral on Wikipedia Carlisle Cathedral (Q2533552) on Wikidata
  • 2 Carlisle Castle, Castle Way, CA3 8UR (Carlisle city centre), +44 1228 591922. Carlisle Castle was 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. Carlisle Castle on Wikipedia Carlisle Castle (Q614836) on Wikidata

Museums and galleries[edit]

  • 3 Tullie House Museum, Castle Street. M–Sa 10AM – 4PM, Su noon - 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 £6.50. Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery on Wikipedia Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery (Q7852186) on Wikidata
  • 4 The Guildhall Museum. 28 Apr - 1 Sep: Th noon-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.

Do[edit]

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.

  • 1 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 (2 km) 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; 1.5 km, 2.5 km and 3.5 km starting from the car park and on into woods and fields. Talkin Tarn on Wikipedia Talkin Tarn (Q7679798) on Wikidata
  • 2 Solway Aviation Museum, Aviation House, Carlisle Airport, Crosby-on-Eden, CA6 4NW, +44 1228 573823. Apr-Oct: F-Su 10:30AM-5PM. 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 museum's primary objective is the preservation of Britain's 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 World War II. £6. Solway Aviation Museum on Wikipedia Solway Aviation Museum (Q7559049) on Wikidata
  • 3 Watchtree Nature Reserve. Watchtree was declared a nature reserve in 2003 though much of the ecological restoration began immediately following an outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease: 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.
  • Watch football ie soccer at 4 Carlisle United. They play in League Two, the fourth tier of English football, and their home ground is Brunton Park. Carlisle United F.C. on Wikipedia Carlisle United F.C. (Q19575) on Wikidata
  • Eden Rock, 9 Brunel Way, Durranhill Industrial Estate, CA1 3NQ (Turn off at the road between the fire station and Cavaghan & Gray (on the left when heading off London Rd towards Warwick road (northwards) on Eastern Way)), +44 01228 522 127, e-mail: . 10AM- 10PM Weekdays, 10AM- 8PM Weekends. Bouldering wall with 1000 m2 of climbing surface, serves homemade pizza as well as tray-bakes, tea, & coffee. Occasionally there are some very friendly dogs around. £8.50 (non-member 18+).
  • 5 Carlisle Racecourse (Durdar Rd a mile south of town.). Watch horse racing at Carlisle Racecourse, which has flat-racing Apr-Oct and jumps races Nov-March. Carlisle Racecourse on Wikipedia Carlisle Racecourse (Q5041405) on Wikidata

Buy[edit]

  • 1 Bookcase, 17-19 Castle Street. Mon-Sat 9.30AM-5PM, Sun 11.30AM-4PM. a massive second hand book store that spans four floors and a basement with a large stock of fiction and non-fiction books, CDs, and LPs. You could spend hours in this store opposite the cathedral that has friendly staff and a cafe. There is a small museum on The State Management Scheme, when all the pubs in Carlisle were run by the government during the twentieth century.
  • 2 Market Hall. Mon-Sat 8AM-5PM. Traditional covered Victorian market. Carlisle Market Hall on Wikipedia Market Hall (Q16938750) on Wikidata

Eat[edit]

  • 1 Foxes Cafe Lounge, 18 Abbey St. Amazing coffee, healthy food, wonderful environment, art gallery, music, performance, art and more.
  • 2 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.

Drink[edit]

In 1916, during World War I, 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. Very popular amongst students, it has a very positive atmosphere with 2 bars, 2 dance floors and a pool table.
  • Walkabout, 1RP, 6 Botchergate, CA1 1QS. Su-Th noon-3AM; F Sa noon-4AM. Australian pub and restaurant.
  • Botchergate is lined with bars of differing styles and expense.
  • 1 King's Head Inn, Fisher Street Carlisle CA3 8RF, +44 1228 533797. A very pleasant pub in the heart of the city which is well worth searching for. Reasonable priced lunchtime meals served. The variety of guest ales is second to none. Very large outside smoking area includes a large screen TV for sports coverage. Food 10AM-3PM weekdays. 11AM-3PM Saturday. Live music and theatre gigs in the pub courtyard.

Sleep[edit]

  • Hall Hills (Self-Catering Holiday of the Year), Raughton Head, Dalston, CA5 7AN (4 miles south west of Carlisle), +44 16974 76779. Five self-catering cottages in converted 17th century stone barns.
  • Hollow Creek Cottage, +44 1228 576403, e-mail: . 4-star self-catering Grade II listed farm cottage built 1760 lies within 7 acres (2.8 hectares) 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, +44 1228 591419, e-mail: . 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.

Go next[edit]

Map of places with Wikivoyage articles nearby

Routes through Carlisle
Glasgow ← merges with A74 (M)  N UK-Motorway-M6.svg S  PenrithLiverpool and Manchester
END  NW UK road A6.svg S  PenrithLake District
EdinburghHawick  N UK road A7.svg S  END
END  W UK road A69.PNG E  BramptonNewcastle-upon-Tyne


This city travel guide to Carlisle is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.