The Great Border City
Carlisle is a small city in the Northwest of England, with around 100,000 residents. Carlisle and it’s surrounding area has a long and colourful history. There has been a settlement in what is now Carlisle for nearly 2000 years (some archaeological evidence even suggests up to 4000 years). It was a Roman supply town for Hadrian’s Wall (built A.D. 122-128), at that time being called Luguvalium.
Carlisle is situated in the ‘debatable lands’ near the border of England and Scotland. In the past the city has changed many times from being the last city in England before Scotland to being the last city in Scotland before England and vice versa. It has seen many historical characters and conflicts, including Emperor Hadrian (battling Celtic tribes from Scotland), Mary Queen of Scots (who was imprisoned in Carlisle Castle), Prince Charles Edward Stuart (who besieged and captured Carlisle during the Jacobite uprising in Scotland), William Wallace, Rob Roy, Robert the Bruce, and Henry VIII.
Today Carlisle is a quiet city, just over the border from Scotland, near the remains of Hadrian’s wall, and just North of the stunningly beautiful Lake District. It is used as a base to explore the area, especially the Lake District with it’s majestic mountains, breath-taking lakes, hair-raising small roads and plentiful sheep. There are regular bus services into the lakes and surrounding area from Carlisle. Carlisle has several landmarks from its long and at times violent history including the 900 year old castle and 800 year old cathedral, the Citadel at the top of Botchergate (commissioned by Henry VIII), the 15th century Guildhall in the town centre and the old city walls.
The story of Carlisle’s history is preserved and retold at the highly acclaimed Tullie House Museum, and the exploits of the Border Regiment are chronicled in the Military Museum located in the inner ward of Carlisle Castle.
Carlisle is accessible by:
- Foot – Via the ground
- Car – Via the M6, junctions 42, 43, 44
- Coach – from any city
- Train – from any major city
(London in under 5 hours, Glasgow in under 2 hours, Manchester in under 2½ hours, Newcastle in about an hour)
Stranraer is only 100 miles away for people travelling from Ireland by ferry.
The closest airports to Carlisle are at Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Manchester. Getting to and from these airports is quick and simple. London Gatwick and London Heathrow airports are also easily accessible from Carlisle, though not as quickly (4-5 hours by train, much more by coach).