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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, most of the interesting remains to be seen in Cumbria are 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.
Dalston is a small 18th century village 4 miles south of the City with an attractive irregularly shaped village “square” and the red sandstone church of St Michael which has a chancel dating from the 13th Century and the graves of two bishops of Carlisle. Between the village and the city is the impressive Grade II listed castle Dalston Hall, now a luxury hotel, with its pele tower dating from the 15th century.
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 and has windows 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.