Today we made our way over the Kirkstone Pass in the Lake District to the historic northern city of Carlisle.
After a wonderful day in the charming village of Cartmel yesterday, we woke up refreshed and ready for another day of sightseeing.
Unfortunately, we had to leave our lodge in Flookburgh to continue our journey to Carlisle. However, we thoroughly enjoyed our time there.
Kirkstone Pass and Ullswater
Leaving our lodge behind, we ascended the Kirkstone Pass.
The Kirkstone Pass, standing at over 450 metres, is one of the most picturesque drives in the Lake District.
Locally known as ‘The Struggle’, the top of the pass can pose difficulties for drivers during winter, with a few cars reportedly colliding with the dry stone walls in icy conditions.
Fortunately, the mild weather allowed us to cross the pass without any incidents.
Just north of the pass lies Ullswater, the third largest lake in the Lake District, stretching nine miles in length.
Before bidding farewell to the Lake District, we took a moment to capture some photographs along the shores of this stunning lake.
Gretna Green, Scotland
Heading north from Carlisle, we made a stop at Gretna Green. Luckily (or unluckily, just joking Hayley), I am already married, so marriage wasn’t on our agenda. Nonetheless, we decided to stretch our legs and explore the area.
Gretna Green is renowned as a destination for eloping couples, and it boasts numerous sculptures and artwork celebrating the tradition of matrimony.
The area is also filled with shops offering their products to visitors.
After a quick meal at a local pub in Gretna, we crossed back over the border into England.
Having parked the car, we ventured into the heart of Carlisle city centre.
Originally part of the historic county of Cumberland, Carlisle now stands as the largest city in Cumbria.
Carlisle was initially established as a Roman town to support the fortifications along Hadrian’s Wall.
Due to its strategic location near Scotland, Carlisle became a crucial military stronghold.
Our stroll led us to the main square in the city centre, where the Old Town Hall of Carlisle stands. Today, it serves as the city’s tourist information centre.
Next on our itinerary was Carlisle Castle, a fortress that has proudly stood for nearly 1,000 years.
This castle has witnessed numerous invasions throughout history and was the site of the final English castle siege during the 18th-century Jacobite Rising.
Carlisle Castle fascinated us, particularly with its distinctive red stonework.
As rain began to fall while leaving the castle, we hastened our steps and sought shelter within Carlisle Cathedral.
This cathedral was originally established as an Augustinian priory and later became a cathedral in the 12th century.
We were struck by the impressive Gothic architecture of the cathedral, although it is worth noting that Carlisle Cathedral is the second smallest cathedral in England, a fact not easily discernible at first glance.
Before checking into our hotel, we made a final stop at Carlisle Citadel.
Originally a medieval fort, the Citadel was constructed in the 16th century and features two Grade I listed towers.
For us, the Citadel stood out as the most impressive landmark in the city, evoking the grandeur of European city gates.
Evening Meal at the Royal Outpost
For our evening meal, we had made a reservation at the Royal Outpost, a Thai and Malaysian restaurant located in the city centre.
I chose the chilli lamb kebabs for starters and the lamb redang for the main course. The meal was absolutely sensational and easily ranks among the best Malaysian dishes I have ever had the fortune to savor.
We had a fantastic day exploring Carlisle, the Lake District, and Gretna. Tomorrow, we will be heading south to Shrewsbury.