Home to the longest visible stretch of Hadrian’s Wall, the largest collection of Roman military altar stones in the UK, and the tallest surviving Roman structure in northern Britain. Cumbria is one of the best places to start exploring Roman Britain.
The scenic coastline provided a natural frontier and an essential supply route for Hadrian’s Wall. Forts, milefortlets and turrets were built to reinforce the coast. In the north Hadrian’s Wall marked the northern border, running from Bowness on Solway across the north of England.
Great museums tell the story of the Romans in Britain; visit Tullie House Museum’s Roman Frontier Gallery and discover who built Hadrian's Wall and how life changed when the Romans arrived in Carlisle, or the Senhouse Roman Museum to focus on military life and finds from the fort in Maryport.
Their legacy is all around you too, from the location of towns and villages to the stones used in local buildings. It was common for towns and villages to develop on the sites of abandoned Roman settlements because of their strategic locations and easy access to stone for building.
As well as Roman heritage there is an amazing natural environment and varied, stunning scenery. Two very different Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and a National Park will leave you spoiled for choice. The breath-taking Solway Coast AONB is renowned for its birdlife and nature based tourism and the North Pennines AONB is Britain’s first UNESCO Geopark for its outstanding geology and earth heritage. Ravenglass is the only coastal village within the Lake District National Park, and it’s easy to reach the foothills of England’s highest peak, Scafell Pike, by steam railway.
Circular day walks and cycles and iconic long distance paths and trails make it a great place for walkers and cyclists of all abilities. Spend a day exploring the peaceful countryside or coastline or plan a short break around a famous route such as The Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail, Wainwright’s Coast to Coast walk, The Hadrian’s Cycleway or the Sea 2 Sea Cycleway.
Visitor attractions for all the family, a varied and exciting programme of events and festivals, and lots of places to sample traditional Cumbrian food and drink will keep everyone entertained and leave lasting memories of this special part of the Roman Empire.