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Carlisle Cathedral

Carlisle Cathedral

Carlisle & Westward

A fascinating itinerary over two days: one day of city-based history and heritage and a second day of easy countryside cycling.

Day 1


Start your day in historic Carlisle with a visit to the medieval cathedral. With over 900 years of history, the cathedral began as an Augustinian priory, becoming a cathedral in 1133 at the hand of King Henry I. Architectural features include 14th century windows and the Policeman Gargoyle, installed in honour of PC George Russell who was shot and killed at Oxenholme railway station in 1965. The cathedral opens to visitors daily from 7:30 am. Admission is free with donations greatly appreciated.

From the Cathedral just walk up Castle Street to Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery. Tullie House features the Roman Frontier Gallery, complete with Roman artefacts and extensive mixed-media exhibits exploring the Roman occupation of Britain, and an exploration into the significance of borders then and now. Tullie House is also home to galleries containing pre-Raphaelite art and displays on the Border Reivers. There’s the award-winning Garden Restaurant, making it the ideal place to enjoy lunch.

Tullie House opens from 10am Monday - Saturday and from 11am Sundays April - October and 12pm Sundays November - March. Admission is £7 adults, £5 concession, and children 18 and under are free when with a paying adult.


Outside of Tullie House is a public walkway which links to Carlisle Castle, a must visit fortress with over 900 years of turbulent history. Be sure to visit the dungeons and see the ‘licking stones’ where prisoners found just enough moisture to stay alive while awaiting execution. The Castle is managed by English Heritage and admission is free to members, adults £5.70, children 5-15 £3.40 and concession £5.10. 

Day 2

After a day walking round Carlisle and its historic treasures, today will stretch your legs a little more!

Start by collecting your hire bikes from Bitts Park Tennis and Recreation Centre. We would recommend that you pre-book your bike. And collect a copy of the Cycling Hadrian’s Wall Country booklet which has details (including maps) on today’s route and an additional 12 to do later.

The route heads west along the River Eden and will cover 17 miles of easy biking with the occasional moderate hill. Your destination is Burgh by Sands, a small village with a huge history!

It was once the site of the Roman fort Aballava and today many of the building show old stones ‘recycled’ from Hadrian’s Wall. The village church is the resting place of medieval king Edward I (aka The Hammer of the Scots) who died close by in 1307.

For lunch try the local pub the Greyhound Inn which has a lunchtime menu of sandwiches and burgers. But don’t forget you’ve got to cycle back to Carlisle!

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