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North Cumbria Quick Guide
The North Cumbria area covers the area between the northern lakes and the border with Scotland, from Bowness-on-Solway at the mouth of the River Eden across to Longtown and Brampton. Hadrian’s Wall roughly follows this border, but there is little of the Wall to see in Cumbria other than between Lanercost and Gilsland. There is a fort and visitor centre at Birdoswald, and various remnants of wall and milecastle between here and the border with Northumberland.
Carlisle is a busy industrial and market town with a population of about 70000. It is Cumbria’s capital city and has a long and bloody history, well portrayed in the Tullie House Museum, and contains Cumbria’s only cathedral. It is a major railway junction, with routes to Scotland, London, Newcastle, West Cumbria and the famous Settle-Carlisle Railway. Other attractions in Carlisle include Carlisle Castle, the Guildhall Museum, and the old law courts in the Citadel.
Brampton is a small but interesting town, whose principal visitor attraction is St Martin’s Church. This is famous as the only church designed by the Pre-Raphaelite architect Philip Webb. George Howard of nearby Naworth Castle was an able artist and friend of the Pre-Raphaelites, and a keen patron of Philip Webb. Mr Howard’s interest in the Pre-Raphaelites led to the church windows being designed by Sir Edward Burne-Jones, and made in the William Morris workshop.
North of Brampton and alsmost on the border is Bewcastle, with its little church that contains a magnificent example of Anglian cross erected in the late 7th century.
Carlisle airport, between Brampton and Carlisle does not currently offer regular passenger flights, but is home to some flight training businesses, and also contains the Solway Aviation Museum with its fine collection of military aircraft, including a Vulcan bomber.
Lanercost Priory, between Carlisle and Birdoswald, contains the English Heritage managed priory ruins, and also within the same site the local parish church, with windows by Edward Burne-Jones/William Morris.