Few places in England have been knocked about by so many different peoples as this small city, five miles (8km) from Scotland, 301 miles (484km) from London. Romans, Vikings, Normans, Scots and Border Reivers have all left a mark on what is Cumbria’s administrative capital and biggest centre of population.

Historic Carlisle says the brown sign on the M6 and there’s no doubt that it’s the eventful history here which is the obvious draw for the tourist. The Norman castle, the beautiful 12th century cathedral and Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, with its Roman Frontier Gallery, are the three main attractions.

Carlisle’s actual location is a big plus as well, if you want to explore areas north and south of the border. It’s right on the line of Hadrian’s Wall, 40 minutes from Ullswater - Carlisle calls itself the City of the Lakes - and within striking distance of the Scottish Borders, Dumfries and Galloway and the Northumberland National Park. And these days it’s under three and a half hours by train from London. Carlisle Airport also opens to commercial flights in 2019.

Attractions

Information

Carlisle Tourist Information Centre, The Old Town Hall, Carlisle CA3 8JE: 01228 598596, www.discovercarlisle.co.uk 

Carlisle City Council: www.carlisle.gov.uk

Train. Carlisle is on the west coast main line between London and Glasgow. Trains from Carlisle also go to Dumfries and Edinburgh, to Newcastle, to Settle and Leeds (on the Settle to Carlisle line) and Whitehaven and Barrow. 

Farmers’ market: first Friday of every month in the city centre. 

Sands Centre, CA1 1JQ: 01228 633766. Cumbria’s premier entertainment venue. Also a sport and leisure centre. 

Vue Carlisle, 50 Botchergate, CA1 1QS: 0871 224 0240, www.myvue.com 

Cumberland News. Weekly newspaper, published on Friday. Covers Carlisle, Brampton and area.

News and Star. Published daily except Sunday. Covers Carlisle and area.

Cumbria Life. Monthly magazine, full of news and features about Cumbria. 

Carlisle Living. Monthly magazine about Carlisle. All four of these titles are part of Carlisle-based CN Group (which is owned by Newsquest).

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