Carlisle & Solway



Wherever you go in Carlisle city centre, you are walking in the footsteps of Brigantian tribes, Roman soldiers, early missionaries, medieval traders, Cromwellian troops, Jacobite rebels and countless generations of ordinary people that once occupied this great Border city.

The city’s history reaches back to the Iron Age when the Brigantes ruled over much of northern England and later the presence of a large Roman army in Carlisle attracted trade and industries to service their needs. The remains of shops and dwelling houses have been excavated along Blackfriar's Street and other Roman remains lie beneath both the Market Hall and The Lanes shopping centre. With increasing prosperity, Luguvalium became a civitas (an important administrative and economic centre). The city was strategically important when it came to supporting the forts at the western end of Hadrian's Wall.

Carlisle Castle, still relatively intact, was built in 1092 by William Rufus, and once served as a prison for Mary, Queen of Scots.

During the Industrial Revolution, it became a prosperous mill town, and with the introduction of the railways, Carlisle became an important railway interchange in the first half of the 19th century

Modern-day Carlisle is a centre of commerce and is a popular destination for shopping trips but also has a townscape that still carries many reminders of times past – Carlisle Castle and Tullie House Museum are well worth a visit.

The beautiful Solway Coast with its broad expanses of tidal waters, mudflats, salt marshes and sand dunes is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a bird watchers' paradise.

At the western end is the Victorian seaside town of Silloth where you can sample traditional potted shrimps and stroll along the seafront promenade. To the east and overlooking the Solway Firth, the frontier villages of Bowness-on-Solway, Drumburgh, Burgh-by-Sands, Beaumont, Kirkandrews-on-Eden and Grinsdale are all linked by the line of Hadrian’s Wall, which officially ends at Bowness. For more information, visit the Solway Discovery Centre at Silloth.


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