Hardknott Roman Fort in Cumbria

Hotels in Carlisle, England

Hotel, Bed and breakfast accommodation in Carlisle

Carlisle's moniker, the Great Border City, speaks a lot about itself and its history. The only Cumbrian city sitting right in the middle of "debatable lands" enjoys an influx of travellers looking for accommodation in Carlisle, England so they could be within 10 miles of the Scottish border and less than 20 miles south of the Roman Empire's northernmost outpost, Hadrian's Wall.

Long before the emperor built his namesake wall to keep out the Picts from invading England (or keep the troops busy lest they revolt), Carlisle in Cumbria was already the Iron Age domain of the Celtic tribe Brigantes who were then dominating northern England. They named the place 'Caer Luel' after their sun god, Lugh. The Celts, and many others – Roman civitas, Norman conquerors, Scottish pillagers, medieval traders – who came after them, left a huge cabinet of artefacts you can peruse at the Tullie House Museum, and at the Carlisle Castle which has stood guard at the border for more than 900 years.

Hadrian’s Wall

The greatest attraction, however, is Hadrian's Wall itself, the very symbol of Rome's overreaching ambitions to expand to the northernmost corner of the then-known world.

Guests overnight at hotels in Carlisle, England so they can join the guided walking or motoring tour of this 73-mile UNESCO-protected trail which effectively crosses northern England from coast to coast. The tour usually ends in Solway Firth, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Ramsar Site (waterfowl habitat identified at the Convention of Wetlands in Ramsar, Iran) whose sandstone cliffs, mud flats, undulating dunes and offshore waters are teeming with overwintering wildfowl, seals, dolphins and porpoises.

Viking Coast, Cumbria

The city centre itself gives off a perceptible ambience of Carlisle's industrial heritage at the height of textile boom in the 19th and 20th centuries, and functions as a corridor to motorists headed in all directions, particularly north to Glasgow and Edinburgh, east to Newcastle-upon-Tyne, south to Penrith, and west to the Cumbrian 'Viking coast.'

Alternately, from your bed and breakfast in Carlisle, England, you can retrace Viking footsteps if you do a southwest excursion from Carlisle to Barrow-in-Furness via Dalston. The trail is littered with Norse artefacts currently housed at the Gosforth Church, Ireton Viking crosses still standing on the rolling fields of Braystones and Ravenglass, and a handful of museums, castles and beacons to mark your progress as you follow the coast to the remains of 12th century Furness Abbey.