Tourist Information in Cumbria and The Lake District
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Carlisle Town Information

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Nestling in the beautiful, salmon-leaping Eden Valley, Carlisle has a long and remarkable history, which is well displayed in a number of local museums. Although it is close to the Scottish border, the city has often been the main guardian of the north and, in the long-dead past, may even have been the capital of the ancient kingdom of Rheged.

Its comparatively small cathedral was founded in the 12th century but was ravaged by fires in both the 13th and 14 centuries, so there is little left of its original Norman architecture. Sir Walter Scott married here in 1797.

In the 9th century, when it was a Saxon stronghold, the city was pillaged by Vikings and later came under fierce attack from other marauders, notably William ‘Braveheart’ Wallace, Robert the Bruce, Oliver Cromwell and Bonnie Prince Charlie.

Carlisle Castle - Photo © John Gibson
Carlisle Castle - Photo: John Gibson CCL

The most efficient way to discover Carlisle’s many charms is on foot. The centre contains an 18th century town hall, 14th century Guildhall and a museum displaying Roman artifacts from Hadrian’s Wall.