Mid-March is probably one of the best times to visit Carlisle, a picturesque seaside town in the West Midlands of England. Our sample trip, for our March visit, was during the Easter breaks, when the town has been treated to the Village Marathon, a 2.1 mile (3.8 km) course around the seafront itself.
Can the UK be a world-class destination
Although not as famous as Cannes or Amsterdam, the UK rightly claims to be a world-class destination for the arts and culture, and Carlisle is a great example of this. We had a great time at the arts center, the National Exhibition Centre, located on Hilton Road, very close to the town center itself.
The center hosts a large collection of famous collections, including the Worth Wollens studio portraits of classical greats, decorative arts, and photography collections. The gallery also hosts an annual extravagance art prize that is awarded to a UK-based photographer.
Although we didn’t have the opportunity to explore the rest of the city, a casual survey of the city revealed some interesting areas: St Philips Hospital, for example, has a fascinating affiliation. The National Trust for Scotland has an open-air theatre site that has been used since the 1860s when it became the heart of the nearest areas surrounding Carlisle. Visitors can enjoy a hot cup of tea or coffee, a place to rest their legs before they step inside to explore the hospitals’ physical space.
Other places worth to visit
Also well worth a visit is the French fresco cycle in St Phillips’s church, where a cycle from 1680s France stands out boldly against the backdrop of Carlisle’s modern buildings. Church of the Holy Trinity, an Alsatian cathedral founded in 1305, has captivated visitors for centuries, making it one of the most popular attractions in the city.
Carlisle is also famed for its shopping opportunities. The Centre in the shopping center is known locally as the Victoria Centre. Once the largest in England, it is now only the second-largest outside of London. The other main shopping center in the city is Stocksbridge, which is at the opposite end of the town to the north of the cable car. Shopping in Carlisle tends to be more classic than contemporary, and although the Ellery shops do have a more modern style, they usually include a traditional range of shops such as to Ascot or jewelry stores. The ideal day here is overflight as you can watch the world go by below – great value lunches and really good wine in one of the south uplifting bars.
The superb Georgian buildings are very popular and efficient bus tours are offered throughout the day, revealing the lesser-known passages and hiding gardens. The more active can power up at the St Bernard’s Yoga Studio for some yoga, sheets to riding like the pros at the Betbury Fun Track.
For over 500 years, Carlisle was the trading center for the bordering countries of England and Ireland. The dethroned Saxon invaders landed here in AD79, and it took them nine years to build a fort here. It was a British fort until 1204 when it became the shared border between the provinces of Cambridgeshire and shire. The fort is now a picturesque ruin, but no less interesting for that. You can visit the relatives of the man who built it, wander through the ruins, and even climb a tower.
The closest dips in the water are at Hawley Bay, Pitrac Flats, and Marblehead, all around the beautiful National Trust coastline.
Visit Wales as well
Wales might never have been a nation without its own surfing culture, but there are notable examples of surfing in Wales. From monsoon-like conditions around Gower to wet weather in the dramatic Morfa Bychan, to Teaching Gorge in the Shropshire Hills, there is plenty in the way of surfing to experience while in the country.
From monsoon-like conditions around Gower to wet weather in the dramatic Morfa Bychan, to Teaching Gorge in the Shropshire Hills, there is plenty in the way of surfing to experience while in the country.
The coastal areas of Wales are well known for their spectacular and impressive shorelines. You’ll find that Cardiff, Llanddywn, and Pembrokeshire are not only scenic areas of coastline to surf but are also hugely popular places of year for surfers from all over Europe.
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