Cumbria’s proud border city sits to the north of the Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
You can follow the line of the famed Hadrian’s Wall, a World Heritage Site, out of this historic city to access the Solway Coast. There are some lovely villages to explore, including Burgh by Sands with its distinctive clay dabbin buildings, the traditional vernacular building type of the Solway and a unique addition to this area’s landscape. It also has a fortified church and you can walk across the salt marsh to the King Edward I Monument.
If you continue to the west, you’ll find spectacular views across to Scotland from the coastal salt marshes, then arrive in Bowness on Solway, the start of the Hadrian’s Wall walk. Out on the Cardurnock Peninsula there’s the RSPB Campfield Marsh Nature Reserve and the Solway Wetlands Centre, both ideal places to discover more about this area.
Carlisle is a place packed with history. The Romans shaped its landscape, not least through the creation of Hadrian’s Wall.
Carlisle Castle was built for William II, son of William the Conqueror who invaded England in 1066. Back then, Carlisle sat in the county of Cumberland and was part of Scotland. Carlisle Castle was also where Mary, Queen of Scots, was held captive and it was home to the King’s Own Border Regiment which is marked there in Cumbria’s Museum of Military Life.
Dating back 900 years, Carlisle Cathedral is another historic gem, as is The Citadel, the impressive oval towers which greet those who’ve arrived by train as they step out of Carlisle Station.
The city has numerous entertainment venues staging everything from music and comedy to theatre fresh from the West End. It is also home to Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, which has loads of information about the Solway Coast in its permanent exhibitions, and holds the oral history archive from the Remembering the Solway project.
Carlisle is also an ideal place for a bit of retail therapy. Lots of big names mingle with some lovely independent shops in the city centre.
It’s a great place to eat and drink too, with food to tempt all palates and purses. Seek out the restaurants serving some excellent local fare – some of it grown and nurtured right here on the Solway Coast.
Find out more on the Discover Carlisle website.
Carlisle is easily accessible from the M6 by car, by rail from both the West Coast Mainline and the Cumbrian Coast Line, and by bus. See our Getting Around page for more information.