With Willowbeck Lodge as your base there is so much that you can see and do...
Carlisle is the forgotten border city. The vast majority of travellers merely pass it by. What a big mistake they are making. Carlisle is situated on the cross-roads of so many interesting places. Carlisle is a small but perfectly formed city. It has a large pedestrianised centre which is festooned with floral displays in the summer. It's a good place to shop. All the main multiples are to be found in and around The Lanes shopping centre. It's interesting that many residents of Newcastle like shopping in Carlisle because it is so compact. There is an excellent covered market too.
Our Christmas illuminations put many larger cities to shame. On Guy Fawkes Night, Carlisle hosts one of the best firework displays in the country.
Carlisle has a well preserved 9th century castle which houses a permanent military museum. It is steeped in history. Mary Queen of Scotts was imprisoned there in 1567. It became a permanently occupied garrison from 1820 and was the headquarters of the Border Regiment until 1959.
Carlisle's cathedral , established in 1122 is well worth a visit. Within the Cathedral grounds are various other buildings of interest, including the Deanery, with its 14th century Prior's Tower which contains a fine painted 16th Century heraldic ceiling. There is a gift shop in the Cathedral, which is a member of the 'Made in Cumbria' scheme. In an adjoining building, the undercroft of the fratry, is the 'Prior's Kitchen' serving teas, coffee and hot and cold lunches.
The award-winning museum, Tullie House, traces the turbulent history of the city of Carlisle and the border regions through interactive displays and audio-visual aids. From the Roman invasion, the building of Hadrian's Wall, and the years of the Border Rievers, the museum examines the history, archaeology, and social history of the Carlisle area. The art gallery houses exhibitions of fine and decorative arts, including an extensive Pre-Raphaelite collection, and changing exhibits of contemporary artists from all across the country.
Twenty minutes drive south, takes visitors into the North Lakes. You don't have to stay in the lakes to enjoy them. There are only a few guesthouses with Willowbeck Lodges's '5 Star Gold Award accreditation' in the whole of Cumbria. Stay at Willowbeck and transform a visit to the lakes into a memorable occasion.
Hadrian's Wall is a World Heritage Site and spans the dramatic countryside of Cumbria and Northumbria (about eighty miles) A significant portion of the wall still exists, particularly the mid-section, and for much of its length the wall can be followed on foot by Hadrian's Wall Path or by cycle on National Cycle Route 72. It is the most popular tourist attraction in Northern England, where it is often known simply as the Roman Wall. It was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. English Heritage, a government organisation in charge of managing the historic environment of England, describes it as "the most important monument built by the Romans in Britain". For those wishing to visit the Wall, the best parts are to be found a short drive from Willowbeck Lodge. Guests can drive to Birdoswald Fort and Visitors' Centre in twenty minutes
Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow are within easy reach of Carlisle. You don't have to drive either. Book in advance and you can be quickly in the heart of Edinburgh or Glasgow for less than £20 return on slick new Virgin trains.
Newcastle is about sixty miles away and is one of the top University Cities in the country. Young and old alike just love it. You'll love what the city fathers have done with the place. Just look at the Quayside. Cross the spectacular Millennium Bridge and visit The Baltic art gallery or the fabulous Sage concert hall.
One shouldn't forget Gretna Green. It's only thirteen miles north , just over the border. Gretna Green Scottish weddings are still popular, with over 1000 couples marrying every year. The Old Blacksmith's Shop and Centre is the main hub not just for superb Scottish shopping but also as a heritage site for runaway weddings since 1754. The Gretna Story exhibit within the Blacksmith's complex is well worth your time to explore Gretna Green Weddings history and why couples flocked here to get married.
While visiting Gretna don't miss the opportunity of visiting The Gretna Outlet Village. With 50 leading brand outlet stores you can always find the quality you trust for much lower prices than you are used to elsewhere.
One could go on and on. Come and see for yourself.
With Willowbeck Lodge as your base there is so much that you can see and do.