Carlisle Local Information: 10 top things to know... more

  • 1. History

    The earliest inhabitants of Carlisle are known to be the Carvetti tribe of Brythonic Celts. Carlisle first came to prominence as a Roman settlement to serve the forts on Hadrian’s Wall and in the Middle Ages it became an important military stronghold because of its proximity to Scotland. In 1066, by the time of the Norman Conquest, Carlisle was a part of Scotland. However i...Read moren 1092, William the Conqueror’s son William Rufus invaded Cumberland and it returned to English rule. The Conquest of Cumberland started a long war between England and Scotland which only ended in 1603 when James VI of Scotland became James I of England and created the United Kingdom. In 1707 Carlisle ceased to be a frontier town when the act of union passed which created Great Britain. Read less

  • 2. Now

    Nicknamed the Border City, Carlisle is the main commercial, cultural, shopping and industrial centre for northern Cumbria and some of southern Scotland. It is home to many museums and heritage centres and is just a short distance away from the stunning Lake District.

  • 3. Events

    One of the most exciting events on the Carlisle calendar is the Carlisle Great Food Fair. The whole of Carlisle’s city centre is pedestrianised every August Bank Holiday and the city is taken over by stalls selling delicious delights and foodies wanting to sample them. Other events in Carlisle include Upperby Gala, the Carlisle Fireshow and the Pirelli International rally, wh...Read moreich starts and ends in the centre of Carlisle every April. Read less

  • 4. Attractions

    Carlisle Castle was built in 1092 and still remains relatively intact. The castle was built by William the Conqueror’s son, William Rufus and once served as a prison for Mary Queen of Scots. The castle now includes the Duke of Lancaster’s regiment and the Border Regiment Museum.

  • 5. Things To Do

    The Lake District is only a short drive away from the centre of Carlisle, and as well as offering stunning scenery that has inspired some of the Britain’s greatest poets and artists, it also boasts some of the best restaurants in the country. L’Enclume, Sharrow Bay, Holbeck Ghyll and the Samling in Ambleside are all Michelin starred restaurants located in the Lake District.

  • 6. Business

    During the Industrial Revolution, Carlisle became a centre for textile manufacturing and a busy mill town. Carlisle also developed as an important railway town due to its proximity to the Scottish border. Kingmoor Traction Maintenance Depot is a major facility and business in Carlisle that serves the train industry.

  • 7. Transport

    Carlisle is linked to Scotland by the M74/A74 motorway that travels towards Glasgow and the North and the M6 that links the city to the rest of England. Carlisle is still a major station on the West Coast and offers services to Newcastle, Leeds and Glasgow.

  • 8. Entertainment

    Carlisle’s main entertainment venue is the Sands Centre which offers musical, theatrical and comedic performances throughout the year. The Stanwix Arts Theatre shows amateur performances and Brunton Parkstadium has hosted big live music events including a concert by Elton John in 2007.

  • 9. Famous Landmarks

    Carlisle Castle is centuries old yet still remains in surprisingly good condition. In the early 12th century, the priory at the castle was allowed by Henry I to be developed into Carlisle Cathedral. Both of these historical buildings are a must see for any visitor to Carlisle.

  • 10. Interesting Fact

    During the First World War, the government had to take over all of the breweries and public houses in Carlisle. This was because the construction and munitions workers at the nearby munitions factory in Gretna were too often inebriated and unable to safely complete their work.

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