Carlisle Visitor information


An Introduction to Carlisle

Carlisle is the county town of Cumbria, and the major settlement of the wider City of Carlisle in North West England. Historically the county town of Cumberland, the early history of Carlisle is marked by its status as a Roman settlement and Carlisle became an important military stronghold. Nicknamed the Border City, Carlisle today is the main cultural, commercial and industrial centre for north Cumbria. It is home to the main campuses of the University of Cumbria and a variety of museums and heritage centres.

Things to do in Carlisle

Hadrian's Wall is near to Carlisle and a favoured attraction due to the remains of the stone-built wall and regularly spaced forts, milecastles and turret stations can be seen along most of its 73 mile length. Hadrian's Wall Path National Trail has been specially devised to follow the course of the Wall.

Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery is in the heart of Carlisle's historic quarter and has exhibitions documenting the areas history. The two imposing drum towers are collectively known as the Citadel, built in 1541 by Henry VIII to strengthen the southern approach to the city they housed the courts and County gaol in the 1800's. Houghton Hall contains 50 rooms to peer into in their miniature world.

On a prominent site north of the city centre, Carlisle Castle was first built by William Rufus and is is strategically located on the border between England and Scotland, witnessing many attacks over its 900 years of history.

Travelling to Carlisle

By Car

There are three exits from the M6 motorway, allowing easy access into the city centre from the north, south or east. Major roads radiate out from the city connecting with local towns.

By Rail

The city's train station serves four railway routes - the West Coast main line between Scotland and England, the Tyne Valley cross-country route to Newcastle, the Cumbrian Coast Line to Barrow-in-Furness, and the famous Settle to Carlisle railway.

By Coach and Bus

The city's central bus station is the arrival point for National Express coaches and departure point for local and national coaches.

By Air

The closest International airports to Carlisle are Newcastle, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Manchester.