Carlisle has had a turbulent history and was once the capital of Scotland before the border was redrawn. After much squabbling over where the border line between Scotland and England runs, Carlisle ended up in England.

It has been invaded and sacked by Romans, Vikings, Scots, and a number of others but has always remained of strategic importance in the area.

The Castle is a 900 year old medieval fortress and its dungeons, chambers and stairways are open to the public. The Castle has connections with William Rufus, Bonnie Prince Charlie and Mary Queen of Scots.  It also houses the Border Regiment museum.

The Cathedral was founded in 1122 and is famous for its stained glass windows which date from the 14th to the 20th centuries. It also houses the famous Brougham Triptych which is a 16th century Flemish altar decoration.  The Treasury below the cathedral displays a huge collection of Cathedral and Diocesan silver.

Other things to see are the Guildhall with its low ceilings and Tullie House art gallery and museum with its Viking and Roman displays. West Walls is a narrow road which follows the old City walls and leads from the centre of Carlisle city to Caldewgate where remnants of the Old Carlisle Canal can still be seen.

A walk around the city close to the cathedral and through the back streets still gives a feeling of what the city used to be like. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for gargoyles on some of the older buildings like the Guildhall and those along past the Board Inn, behind the cathedral and along Abbey Street.

There is a lot more to see and enjoy in Carlisle but most of it can be found in a guide book or by calling into the tourist information office and picking up some leaflets.



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