Located on the English and Scottish border, Carlisle is a city that provides an interesting mix of the historic and modern, which gives visitors plenty of options when visiting this part of the ‘borderlands’.
The vibrant history of the town is brought to life through numerous museums in the city, along with attractions like Carlisle Castle, which has over 900 years of history within its walls, Carlisle Cathedral, founded in 1122, and the Citadel Drum Towers, which used to hold the city courts and gaol.
Carlisle is also a haven for those who enjoy outdoor pursuits, with walkers enjoying the routes along three rivers, and Rickerby Park, which connects to the Hadrians Wall National Trail. Family fun is also catered for at Walby Farm Park on the outskirts of the city.
Carlisle Racecourse also attracts visitors of different ages, with a yearly program of special evening events, and flat/national hunt racing. There is a lively program of events held throughout the city centre too, with seasonal attractions including the summer music festival, a fire show in November, and the Cumbrian Christmas Market. Tourists can also book tickets for the Cumberland Country Show or Border City Steam Fair (both held in Rickerby Park), Ghost Tours, or a show at the popular Sands Centre Theatre.
Day to day needs are well catered for too, with the Lanes Shopping Centre, a Victorian Indoor Market, and a variety of high street brands catering for shoppers, and a selection of country pubs, modern bars, and restaurants providing refreshments. There’s also the so called ‘Entertainment Alley’ at Botchergate, a popular spot for nights out.
There’s plenty to do in the city on a day trip or a holiday, but Carlisle is also an ideal base from which to explore other towns in the area, such as Brampton and Gretna, or even take a trip further afield to visit the Lake District or Newcastle. Accommodation choices are available in both the city centre, and in the quieter/scenic confines of the Cumbrian countryside. This could include pitching up a caravan or tent alongside the River Eden, staying in a traditional bed and breakfast, or checking out one of the hotels in the city centre. These include both modern chain hotels, and those housed in Edwardian or Victorian style buildings.
Carlisle can cater well for visitors then, and it’s also easily accessible as well. Car drivers will find the city signposted on three exits of the M6 motorway, while there is also a train station serving four routes into the city, and a National Express coach stop. High flyers can also reach Carlisle if they land at airports in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, or Manchester. More locally, there are local road and bus networks connecting Carlisle with nearby towns and other points of interest.
There are all the ingredients in Carlisle for tourists to enjoy, the only question is, how will you decide to mix them up?