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Carlisle & East Cumbria Tourist Information

Hadrian's Wall at Birdoswald Roman Fort

Hadrian’s Wall at Birdoswald Roman Fort

England’s great borderlands of Carlisle and East Cumbria are ideally situated between the Lake District and Scotland close to numerous beautiful landscapes rich in outdoor activities and a host of heritage and family attractions. Focal point in the area is the ancient city of Carlisle with heritage attractions including a magnificent medieval cathedral and castle, and first class museums including the fantastic Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery.

To the east of Carlisle sweeps the great Roman World Heritage Site of Hadrian’s Wall which along the Cumbrian stretch features one of the Wall’s best preserved Roman forts – Birdoswald Roman Fort. Spectacular rural landscapes in the area include the charming Eden Valley nestling between the wild North Pennines and the high fells of the Lake District. Not to be missed are the panoramic views of the North Pennines from the high viewpoint of the Hartside Summit near Cumbria’s highest village Alston.

Things to do & see

Eastern Cumbria is where you will find some of the region’s most ancient heritage treasures spanning several periods from the Roman and Norman to medieval and Georgian. These borderlands contain the ruins of several castles, notably around the Eden Valley. Head off along the Lady Anne’s Way walking trail in the area – the trail passes Brougham Castle.

Real ales and fine local produce are plentiful in the Eden Valley, market city Carlisle and Cumbrian towns/ villages alongside Hadrian’s Wall. Sample the finest of Westmorland real ales in Appleby in Westmorland, an ancient Eden Valley market town with many fine old inns and famous associations with Elizabethan historic character Lady Anne Clifford.

Brougham Castle alongside the River Eamont

Brougham Castle alongside the River Eamont

Appleby is also a top spot for cycling holidays, located alongside the C2C and Pennine Cycleway! Stay in Brampton or Carlisle for easy access onto one of Britain’s great Roman relics – the 73 mile sea to sea Hadrian’s Wall flanked by the Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail. Delightful market towns and villages are across the region and around Carlisle sits the pretty town Wigton, a good gateway into the city and the Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Getting here

Carlisle and the East Cumbria region is incredibly accessible by road, via the M6 motorway which puts you right in the heart of the area. Access off the M6 for pretty walker friendly villages like Shap and you will be surrounded by glorious rural Lakeland scenery in minutes.

Key roads in from the east include the A66 into the heart of Eden and the A69 from Newcastle (Airport). Both are two of the most scenic drives in England. Major International Airports within easy driving distance include Newcastle, Manchester, Liverpool, Blackpool and Glasgow.

Bus and rail services in the area are excellent – they include one of the famous routes into the Lake District – the iconic Settle-Carlisle Railway which runs through the heart of the Eden Valley en-route to Carlisle. Fantastic little hopper bus services also operate in the area, particularly the Hadrian’s Wall bus services which stops at all key heritage sites and forts along the wall.

Carlisle is a major mainline rail link between England and Scotland. Virgin Trails operate super fast regular rail links between London Euston and Carlisle.

Hartside Viewpoint near Alston - North Pennines AONB

Hartside Viewpoint near Alston – North Pennines AONB

Where to stay

Choose from hundreds of rural holiday cottages in the Eden Valley and in the Cumbrian Pennines listed here on iknow or stay in an elegant B&B around Brampton near Hadrian’s Wall. Luxury accommodation is plentiful and guests can expect the highest quality locally sourced produce in their hearty breakfasts and evening meals.

A selection of real ale inns with restaurant and rooms are also here around the Pennines and gentle Eden Valley, perfect for that cosy winter romantic retreat with real log fire and a choice of walks from your door. Carlisle is well serviced with quality hotel accommodation ideal for business or leisure, or opt for a welcoming B&B in walking and cycling top spots like Shap and Alston. Find your perfect Lakes and Pennines accommodation online now and book with iknow.

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