The only city within the English county of Cumbria, Carlisle is
situated just above the spectacular Lake District and ten miles
south of Scotland's border. Settled since the Iron Age, Carlisle's
location has bestowed the city with a turbulent and bloody
Deemed strategically-important and fortified by the Romans in the first century, Carlisle was repeatedly assailed over subsequent centuries by invaders including Celts, Anglo-Saxons, Danes - who burnt down the city in the ninth century - and Vikings. Following the Norman Conquest in 1066, Carlisle gained its imposing castle, built upon the original site of a Roman fortress, and joined shortly after by the city's cathedral. Both of these remarkable medieval buildings were built from Cumbria's distinctive red sandstone and are today, unmissable attractions.