Gretna Green

Gretna is the first Scottish town as you cross the English border.  Although it is a small location, it has an incredibly romantic history. As marriage was permitted at 16 years old in Scotland without parental consent, this was the area that young couples eloped to since in  English law parental consent was required up to 18 years of age.

Gretna currently plays host to roughly 6,000 weddings a year as many people find the romance of “running away” appealing.  Weddings are a major feature of the town with related visitor attractions such as the Old Blacksmiths Shop and of course the anvil where weddings still take place today particularly popular.

 

Gretna also has a designer shopping outlet village – Gretna Gateway – with shops such as Marks & Spencer, Ralph Lauren, Reebok and Café Thorntons.  With plenty of car parking facilities, this is well worth a visit if you are in the mood for some retail therapy.

 

North Lakes

Whilst staying in the Debatable Lands, it’s an easy drive south down to the North Lakes. You can visit the picturesque and bustling market towns of Penrith and Keswick. Take a relaxing cruise on Ullswater or enjoy a stroll by Bassenthwaite Lake or Derwentwater.

 

Scottish Borders

The Scottish Borders stretches from the hills and moorland in the west, through gentler valleys to the rich agricultural plains of the east, and on to the rocky Berwickshire coastline.

Through the centre, runs the River Tweed, providing some of the best fishing in Scotland. You'll discover friendly towns and villages, while castles, abbeys stately homes and museums illustrate the exciting and often bloody history of the area

 

Carlisle

Six miles south of Longtown lies Carlisle, “The Great Border City”.  This is the main shopping, industrial and commercial centre in North Cumbria and boasts an exciting 2,000 year history with numerous places of interest.

 

Carlisle CastleOnce a Roman settlement, primarily to serve the forts on Hadrian’s Wall, Carlisle has been fought over for centuries.  It has been part of Scotland and England throughout the ages and has a fascinating legacy you can see and experience. The magnificent Carlisle Castle, founded in 1092 by William the Conquerer’s son was once the prison of Mary Queen of Scots and is now home to the Border Regiment Museum.

 

Throughout history Carlisle has been an important location and various rail companies shared the use of the Citadel Station which is an ideal place for railway enthusiasts to visit.  Carlisle is also the starting point for the picturesque 72 mile railway route down  to Settle.

 

Tulie HouseOne of Carlisle’s premier visitor attractions is Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery.  Set in beautiful gardens, it contains an impressive collection of Pre-Raphaelite art in a building with many 17th century architectural features including a Jacobean staircase.

 

There is also an interactive museum in the new section of the building which children love.  You can see the world famous cursing stone from the Border Reiver era in the underground Millennium Gallery.  Why not take a walk down the Roman replica street or climb the life-size section of Hadrian’s Wall? Tullie House takes you on an exciting travel through time, from the present day, right back to the early Romans.

 

GuildHaal HouseOther nearby buildings of historical interest include the Guildhall Medieval House Museum which is one of the oldest buildings in the city centre.  Carlisle Cathedral, with it’s beautifully decorated ceiling also helps to place Carlisle as one of the best historical visitor attractions in the area.

 

For sport and entertainment enthusiasts, the Sands Centre leisure complex also plays host to various concerts and family activities.  Nearby Bitts Park has a children’s play area, an athletics track, gym, tennis courts and even a small skatepark.  Carlisle also has an Lanes Shopping Centreindoor swimming pool and two golf courses (one 18 and one 9 hole course) both open to the public.

 

The Lanes Shopping Centre, in the heart of Carlisle,  is the premier shopping destination in Cumbria and gives you more of what you want with 75 top name retailers under one roof..