Best Things to Do in Carlisle | Cumbria

Best Things to Do in Carlisle | Cumbria

Things to Do in Carlisle: Carlisle is the capital of the county of Cumbria, it's position near to the border of Scotland has made the city strategically important throughout British history and this is reflected in the ancient remains still present.

History of Carlisle Cumbria

It is believed that there was a prehistoric settlement at the site which now comprises the city.

The Roman leader Agricola chose the area as the site of a fort on the Fortified east-west road Stanegate in AD 78, however, this was soon replaced by the more imposing Hadrian's Wall.

This fort eventually became the site for the Roman town of Luguvadio, which now lies buried beneath the modern city centre.

From the time of the Normans until the 18th century the ownership of Carlisle continually changed hands between the Scottish and the English.

The battle was finally won in 1745 when the English drove out Bonnie Prince Charlie's troops.

What is There to See in Carlisle?

Carlisle Castle is surprisingly well maintained considering its violent history.

The castle was built by William Rufus in 1092 and subsequently strengthened by David I of Scotland, numerous battles have been fought in and around the city over the centuries and occasionally the castle bore the brunt of the damage.

Once home to Mary Queen of Scots, the castle has some well preserved mediaeval dungeons, passageways and chambers.

Carlisle cathedral (the second smallest in England) began life as a Priory Church back in 1123, later a cathedral in 1133.

The building was damaged by fire in 1292 and much of the nave was destroyed in the Civil War, however its use as a church was continued until 1870.

Today, the cathedral is home to mediaeval carvings, for example the Brougham Triptych, and the east window is reputed as one the finest examples of 14th century stained glass windows in the country.

The cathedral is open daily and there is a cafe and gift shop on the premises.

Today, Carlisle is a busy, growing city.

Carlisle city offers some of the best shopping in Cumbria, with the majority of high street names housed in the pedestrianised streets and the Lanes Shopping Centre.

Things to Do in Carlisle

Carlisle also has a full range of leisure facilities including the Sands Centre (which has a full programme of pop concerts, theatre and ballet).

Laser Quest, go-karting, ten-pin bowling, the Pools Swimming & Health Centre, the Sands Leisure Centre, 2 Golf courses, a ski & snowboard club and finally Carlisle Racecourse, which has a calendar of National Hunt and flat racing throughout the year.

Getting to Carlisle

Carlisle is situated just off the M6 motorway (junction 42 from the south, 43 from the east, and 44 from the north) and is also served via the West Coast Main Line by direct trains from London, Glasgow, and Edinburgh.

The city's location makes it an ideal touring base if you wish to explore Cumbria, Northumbria, and Southern Scotland.

Have you been to Carlisle before?

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