You don’t have to travel far from Carlisle to reach Scotland. It’s only a few miles up the M74 to Gretna and Gretna Green, a little longer via the A7 through Longtown.

In the years before the Waverley Line was closed, Longtown was a station on the 98 mile (158km) railway route from Carlisle to Edinburgh through the Scottish Borders. Campaigners would love to see it open again.

It’s fairly flat countryside around Carlisle, littered with reminders of the ancient warring between two nations and dotted with churches of beauty and unusual character.

St Mary’s Church, Wreay (south of Carlisle) is designed in the style of a Roman basilica, Kirkandrews-on-Esk church (close to the border) has an Italianate Baroque interior, Brampton church has stained glass windows by Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris.

Lanercost Priory near Brampton was for six months a base for Edward I, so making it the effective ‘capital of England’. Not to forget Bewcastle Cross, a great treasure in the same remote place as the Romans built a fort and the Normans a castle.

Attractions

Information

Brampton Tourist Information Centre, The Moot Hall, Brampton CA8 1RW: 016977 3433. The centre is located in the octagonal Moot Hall. The centre has lots of information on Hadrian’s Wall. 

Hadrian’s Wall Country website: www.hadrianswallcountry.co.uk                        

Train: Wetheral and Brampton Junction are both on the Carlisle to Newcastle line (www.northernrail.org).Dalston is on the Cumbrian Coast Line  (www.cumbriancoastline.co.uk) between Carlisle and Barrow.

Market day: Wednesday in Brampton.

Farmers’ market: Brampton farmers’ market is on the last Saturday of every month.

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