Local Attractions

Carlisle provides an excellent base each of the following attractions. We can help with planning your trips out and provide you packed lunches, maps, cycle storage and much more.

The Lake District

It will only take you about 45 minutes by car from Carlisle to enter the Lake District the destination of millions of visitors each year. Some come to pursue the challenges of the mountains, or the pleasures of sailing, hiking and horse riding. Some to visit its many and varied attractions, while others come to the events and festivals in the area. Many visit the picturesque towns and villages, and enjoy quiet lakeshore walks, and all who visit appreciate the grandeur of the scenery unique to Lakeland.

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Bowness on Windermere

A thriving holiday town, the largest in the Lake District National Park, situated on the shores of Lake Windermere. This dynamic town boasts hundreds of shops, eating and drinking establishments and many fine cultural and historical attractions.

The lakeside town is popular with all ages, with a bustling focus on the lakeshore. Many kinds of lake excursions can be made from here, from the hiring of wooden rowing boats to sailing on the 'steamer' taking visitors further out across England's longest lake (almost 11 miles long). Elsewhere in Bowness visit the Steamboat Museum and The World of Beatrix Potter attraction and the many boating and aquatic attractions.

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Keswick is situated on the north shore of Derwent Water, famed for its salmon and trout and regarded by many as one of the most beautiful and unspoiled lakes. Derwent Water is in fact the lake in the Beatrix Potter story 'The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin'. It's attractive town centre characterised by narrow streets and buildings of the local grey stone.

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The historic village of Hawkshead lies between Ambleside and Coniston and is one of the Lake District's unspoiled treasures. One of Britain's best loved children's authors Beatrix Potter, lived here. The movie Miss Potter starring Renée Zellweger and Ewan McGregor, was shot on location in Hawkshead and around Cumbria.

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The birthplace of William Wordsworth where you can visit his fine Georgian House built in 1744 and now owned by the National Trust. Another famous resident of Cockermouth was Fletcher Christian, who led the renowned mutiny on the Bounty.

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Penrith is a busy market town, lying in the lovely Eden Valley, to the north east of the Lake District and a few miles north of Lake Ullswater.

At its most colourful on market day, which is a Tuesday, don't miss sampling the local specialities, the famous Penrith Toffee and Fudge.

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Hadrian's Wall

Built in AD122 on the orders of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, and stretched from the East to West coasts of Britain, from Bowness on Solway in the West to Wallsend in the East. It is the most remarkable Roman monument in the country, and quite unique throughout the former Empire. Over 1800 years after its construction, Hadrian's Wall still offers spectacular remains for examination.

Tracing the line of the wall is extremely popular with ramblers and it became a National Trail in May 2003 with many new sections of path.

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England's highest market town boasts potters, blacksmiths, wood turners, furniture makers, knitters, candle makers, rug makers and a mustard manufacturer.

Old stone buildings cling to the sides of cobbled streets, narrow lanes lead to secret passageways. You will also come across the unexpected - a 21 foot diameter water wheel, a mill race running through the town, the start of the South Tynedale narrow gauge railway, antique shops, craft galleries and artists galore.

The town is an ideal starting point for many walks, some taking in part of the Pennine Way -- and you can even go skiing in winter.

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Talkin Tarn

Talkin Tarn Country Park lies nine miles east of Carlisle. There is a 65 acre lake set amid 120 acres of farmland and woodland. The tarn is an ideal place for active recreation or a quiet stroll through the mature woodland.

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Lanercost Priory

Standing close to Hadrian's Wall, this Augustinian priory was much involved in the Anglo-Scottish wars. During his last campaign in 1306-7 the mortally sick Edward I rested here for six months, before dying as he prepared to enter Scotland.

The abbey suffered terribly from Scottish raids and was finally dissolved by Henry VIII in 1537. Today its beautiful 13th-century church remains remarkably well-preserved, standing to its full height: part is now in use as the parish church.

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Solway Coast

The Solway Firth is the third largest estuary in the UK and a designated area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The Solway Coast has an abundance of natural landscapes and is renowned for its spectacular sunsets.

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Gretna Green

When people hear the name Gretna Green their thoughts often step back in time to the history of runaway marriages. The Old Blacksmith's Shop is at the heart of this fascinating tradition. Runaway marriages began in 1754 when an Act was passed which stated that if both parties to a marriage were not at least 21 years old then consent to the marriage had to be given by the parents. This Act did not apply in Scotland, where it was, and still is, possible to get married at 16 years old, with or without parental consent.

The Blacksmith's Shop, built around 1712, was opened to the public for the first time in 1886. No stop at Gretna Green would be complete without a visit. As you step inside the Award winning Gretna Green Story Exhibition, imagine the hopes and fears of the young elopers as they plan their daring dash. Will the marriage take place without bloodshed? Will the angry father arrive in time to stop the marriage? Soak up the atmosphere and the sounds of the building that has seen so much and has so much to tell.

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