Distance: 13 mi
Drive time: 25 minutes
Carlisle is a border city and the county town of Cumbria. The city is located at the confluence of the rivers Eden, Caldew and Petteril, 10 miles south of the Scottish border. Part of the historic county of Cumberland, it is the largest settlement in the county of Cumbria.
The early history of Carlisle is marked as a Roman settlement by its statues. It was first established to serve the forts on Hadrian's Wall. During the Middle Ages, Carlisle became an important military stronghold due to its proximity to Scotland. Carlisle Castle, built in 1092, is still relatively intact and once served as a prison for Mary, Queen of Scots in 1568. The castle now houses the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment and the Border Regiment Museum.
The introduction of textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution combined with its strategic position meant that Carlisle became an important railway town.
Nicknamed the Great Border City, Carlisle today is the main cultural, commercial and industrial centre in the Borderlands. It is home to the main campuses of the University of Cumbria and a variety of museums and heritage centres which are open for visiting.
Things to do in Carlisle:
The Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery (opened in 1893) features resident exhibits detailing the history of Roman occupancy of the region, Hadrian's Wall and the Border Reivers. It also hosts travelling exhibitions. The city's Guildhall Museum is based in a 14th-century house and the Border Regiment Military Museum is in the castle. Visit Carlisle Castle and explore the medieval castle rooms, discover a turbulent history with the exhibition, and walk some of the castle walls. The Sands Centre Sports Hall is Carlisle's main entertainment venue which sometimes hosts touring musicians, theatre and comedians. The Old Fire Station hosts touring bands, live stand up comedy, dramas and more and the Carlisle Music Festival takes place in Carlisle Cathedral each year. Go for a scenic walk along the River Eden in Rickerby Park or Bitts Park.