Huddled at the edge of the venerable Lake District National Park and almost within touching distance of the Scottish border, it would be easy to pass over Carlisle for its more famous neighbours. And yet you’ll find the distinguished charm of a city that relies on its local community and its proximity to some of the country’s most marked history. When it comes to what to do in Carlisle, you won’t be left disappointed, with fascinating looks into its past, the finest, freshest local produce at its markets, activities that give the incredible scenery centre stage, and stadiums which host the oldest race in the world. Factor in all the wonderful restaurants, bars, pubs, attractions and hotels in Carlisle and you have a city that has plenty to boast about.
Things to do in Carlisle
Our video guide to Carlisle
Places to eat
From fiery Thai food trucks to sumptuous Greek delis and fine-dining English restaurants to some of the best pub grub in the north of England, Carlisle’s exceptional restaurants are as good as they are varied.
Have a rummage through our picks of the best shopping in Carlisle where you can spend the afternoon leafing through your favourite high street shops, exploring modern shopping centres or picking up some fresh local Cumbrian produce at a farmers’ market.