Today we made our way over the Kirkstone Pass in the Lake District to the historic northern city of Carlisle.
We awoke after a great day in the village of Cartmel yesterday. Tired but ready for another day of sightseeing.
Unfortunately we had to leave our lodge in Flookburgh to move onto our next destination – Carlisle. But we thoroughly enjoyed our time there.
Kirkstone Pass and Ullswater
After leaving our lodge we made our way up to the Kirkstone Pass.
The Kirkstone Pass is one of the Lake District’s most scenic drives. The pass is the highest in the Lake District at over 450 metres.
The top of the Kirkstone Pass is called ‘The Struggle’ as it can be difficult vehicles to drive here in the winter. Apparently a few cars end up crashing into the dry stone walls in icy weather.
Fortunately for us the weather was quite mild so we made it over the pass unscathed.
Just to the north of the pass is Ullswater. This is the third largest lake in the Lake District at nine miles long.
We stopped along one of the lake’s shores to get some photos before we left the Lake District.
Gretna Green, Scotland
Just north of Carlisle we stopped in Gretna Green. Luckily or unluckily (only joking Hayley), I’m already married so that wasn’t on the agenda. But we just wanted to stretch our legs and have a look around.
Gretna Green, is famous for being a runaway marriage destination. Not surprisingly there are lots of sculptures and art celebrating the tradition of matrimony.
There were also lots of shops offering their wares to visiting folk.
We had a quick meal in a pub in Gretna and then made our way back over the border into England.
With the car parked we made our way into Carlisle city centre.
Originally, Carlisle was in the historic county of Cumberland, but today it is the biggest city in Cumbria.
Carlisle was first founded as a Roman town to support the fortifications at Hadrian’s Wall.
Due it’s location near Scotland, Carlisle became an important military stronghold.
We walked up to the main square in the city centre which is home to the Old Town Hall of Carlisle. It is now the location for the city’s tourist information centre.
Next on our agenda was Carlisle Castle. This fortress has stood in the city for nearly 1,000 years.
The castle has been the scene for many invasions over the years. It was also the last English castle to undergo a siege during the Jacobite Rising in the 18th century.
We thought Carlisle Castle is interesting to visit, especially with its unique red stoned exterior.
As we were leaving the castle, it started raining. We quickly made our way up to Carlisle Cathedral to avoid getting too wet.
This cathedral was originally founded as an Augustinian priory and later became a cathedral in the 12th century.
We thought that the cathedral was really impressive with its Gothic style. But it was interesting to note that Carlisle Cathedral is the second smallest in England. You certainly can’t tell from looking at it.
Our last stop of the day before checking into the hotel was Carlisle Citadel.
The Citadel was once a medieval fort and was built in the 16th century and it has two towers. Both of these towers are Grade I listed buildings.
For me, the Citadel was the most impressive landmark we saw in the city. It really looks like an imposing city gate that would not look out of place in any European city.
Evening meal at the Royal Outpost
For our evening meal we had booked at the Royal Outpost, a Thai and Malaysian restaurant in the city centre.
I opted for chilli lamb kebabs for starters and a lamb redang for main. The meal was absolutely sensational and was easily one of the best Malaysian dishes I’ve had the fortune to consume.
We had such a great day in Carlisle, Lake District and Gretna. Tomorrow we are heading back south to Shrewsbury.