The city of Carlisle lies in the far north of Cumbria, 10 miles from the Scottish border.
Once the county town of Cumberland, Carlisle is the administrative centre for both the district and for Cumbria. The Border City is also the main shopping, commercial and industrial centre for North Cumbria and a good part of southern Scotland.
An ancient site, Carlisle lies on a slight rise at the confluence of the Rivers Eden, Caldew and Petteril. The Romans established a settlement here to serve the forts on Hadrian's Wall. Because this was the last English town before the border with Scotland, Carlisle became an important military stronghold.
Carlisle Castle was built in 1092 by William Rufus, son of William the Conqueror. In 1568 Mary Queen of Scots was held prisoner at the castle. Today the ancient fortress houses the King's Own Royal Border Regiment and the intriguing Border Regiment Museum.The Norman keep, boasting panoramic views, hosts an exhibition on Bonnie Prince Charlie's uprising. In 1746 'The Young Pretender' and his supporters briefly captured Carlisle Castle.
In the early 12th century Henry I allowed the foundation of a religous settlement in Carlisle. When he made the town a dioese in 1122, the priory became the cathedral.
Carlisle's fine red sandstone Cathedral has the largest east window of any cathedral in Europe. Within the grounds of the Cathedral is the Prior's Tower, dating from the 14th century, which has a painted 16th century heraldic ceiling and houses a small exhibition.
At the end of the 18th century Carlisle began to prosper as a textile centre. In the 19th century Carlisle's strategic position meant that it developed as an important railway town, with seven railway companies sharing its impressive station.
The city lies at the northern end of the famous 72 mile Settle - Carlisle Railway and steam trains can often be spotted at Carlisle Station.
Tourist attractions nearby include the award-winning Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery.
Linking the museum and the castle is the Millennium Subway, featuring specially commissioned art works. These include the Bishop Stone, a 2.5 meter boulder inscribed with the colourfully worded curse, issued 500 years ago by the Archbishop of Glasgow on border rustlers and robbers.
A feature of Carlisle is the Citadel, two immense oval towers which once formed the southern entrance to the city. Until recently the towers housed the city's civil and criminal courts. Now restored, the building houses the Cumbria County Council and the West Tower, which held the criminal courts, is open to the public.
Towns Near Carlisle To Visit - straight line distance:Gretna Green (8.50 miles) Wigton (10.18 miles) Penrith (17.47 miles) Langholm (17.91 miles)
Carlisle Castle This castle has a long history and well worth a visit.
Carlisle Cathedral Visit the Cathedral, founded in 1122.