Cumbria Journals

Hadrian's Wall - Days 6 and 7

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A July 2004 trip to Cumbria by Ed Hahn

Birdoswald Photo, Cumbria, England More Photos
Quote: The last 2 days of our adventure pass swiftly. While my friends hike the wall, I visit some great wall ruins; spend time in Carlisle, good and bad; visit an historical priory; find another great pub; and experience the highs and lows of saying goodbye to my friends.

Hadrian's Wall - Days 6 and 7

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Overview

Birdoswald Photo, Cumbria, England
Quote:
I first visit Birdoswald, which has some of the best wall remnants of the whole trip to say nothing of John Clayton's House. Clayton is basically responsible for transforming the wall from a stone quarry for locals to a National Heritage Trail. I bus to Carlisle, where I visit the less than impressive Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery and the more than impressive Carlisle Castle. In the museum, I do learn about the Reivers, lawless inhabitants of the border country for hundreds of years until James I ascended the thrones of both England and Scotland. I bus back to Brampton, our destination for the night and visit the architecturally interesting Moot Hall where the TI office is an...Read More

Courtfield Guest House

Hotel | "Courtfield Guesthouse"

Quote:
This is a Victorian townhouse about a half mile from the center of town on a very nice, tree-shaded street near a park and playground. It is also walking distance to a couple pubs and restaurants, including the Beehive, where we ate dinner. Rooms are comfortable but small. We had to schlep the bags up three flights of stairs. Bedrooms are advertised as ensuite, but are actually off a hallway, and we had to share with people in another room on the same floor. It turns out that these "people" were our traveling companions, but what happened to "truth in advertising?" The woman managing the facility was helpful in getting a taxi. She was, however, somewhat difficult to track down whe...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 28, 2005

Courtfield Guest House
169 Warwick Road
Carlisle, United Kingdom CA1 1LP
+44 (0)1228 522 767

Centurion Inn

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Restaurant | "The Centurion Inn"

Centurion Inn Photo, Brampton, Cumbria
Quote:
When I catch up with them, my companions announce that we will be eating at a local pub called The Centurion Inn. They had stopped there for a late lunch at the end of their walk. The owner makes his own sausages under the Border County Foods label, so it's pretty clear what we will be eating. Cumberland sausage, featured in this part of England, is a special kind of English sausage, and the more I hear about it, the hungrier I get. The pub is another of those truly friendly places where in minutes you feel at home. The owner, who I only know as Austen, is happy to recommend different versions of his sausage. Evidently his son had been running the place but had not done well, s...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 28, 2005

Centurion Inn
Walton
Brampton, England CA8 2DH
+44 016977 2438

Birdoswald Roman Fort

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Attraction

Birdoswald Roman Fort Photo, Cumbria, England
Quote:
I walk the mile or so to the Birdoswald Roman Fort and Visitor Centre. The visitor centre is interesting primarily because its housed in the ancestral home of John Clayton, the man acknowledged as being responsible for first recognizing the historical and cultural importance of the wall. He started some of the archeological uncovering of the forts and towns, as well as reconstructing stretches of the wall. This fort was one of 16 forts situated along the Hadrian’s Wall frontier system, now designated as a World Heritage Site. The site is comparable to Vindolanda, and you can see remains of all the components of the Roman frontier system within the area. The three ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 27, 2005

Birdoswald Roman Fort
Cumbri
Cumbria, England

Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery

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Attraction | "Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery"

Quote:
The museum is interesting and has an incredible reputation but does not live up to my expectations. The museum contains archeological and historical exhibits, plus wildlife and geology as well as fine and decorative Art displays. Most of these are permanent. they also feature special art exhibits. the one I saw featured modern art, which doesn't turn me on. I do learn quite a bit about the lawlessness of the border country for the more than 300 years between the 14th and 17th centuries, up to the accession of James I as King of both England and Scotland. The people who lived in this part of the British Isles were called Reivers, and they stole from each other, as well as harassin...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 27, 2005

Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery
Castle Street
Cumbria, England CA3 8TP
+44 (0)1228 618718

Carlisle Castle

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Attraction

Carlisle Castle Photo, Cumbria, England
Quote:
I decide to visit Carlisle Castle and am just in time for one of the daily guided tours. The tour guide is quite good, and I learn more than I ever wanted to about a number of things, including what a medieval toilet was like. Let’s just say that you wouldn't want to go swimming in the moat in those days. The guide also gets into talking about peoples’ personal hygiene. Baths were not popular. He quotes Queen Victoria, who said, "I bathe four times a year, and that is quite enough." The guide takes us to other buildings within the Inner Bailey, including the Captain’s Tower, a typical 12th-century structure with heavy wooden doors, a portcullis, and the gruesome "murder holes." ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 28, 2005

Carlisle Castle
Near ruins of Hadrian's Wall
Cumbria, England CA3 8UR
+44 (0)1228 591922

Lanercost Church and Priory

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Attraction

Lanercost Priory Photo, Cumbria, England
Quote:
This morning, I intend to visit the Lanercost Priory, an incredible place. I had seen it from the AD122 Bus yesterday and vowed to return. It was founded by Robert de Veaux during the reign of Henry II in 1166, built with stones from the nearby Hadrian’s Wall, and completed in 1220. Being near the Scottish border, it was ransacked a number of times in the English-Scottish conflict including William Wallace (Braveheart) in 1296. Edward Longstockings stayed here while pursuing him later in the year. The nave is still used as a parish church. The rest is in ruins dating from the 12th century. The priory itself was finally dissolved in 1538 by Henry VIII. ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 28, 2005

Quote:
The bus ride to Bowness-on-Solway is interesting, but not exciting. We do have to wait for cows and sheep to cross our one-lane road and pull over for cars coming the other way. I'm sure my friends are going to be happy to learn they didn't miss much by ending the walk in Carlisle. Since I must wait for an hour for the bus to start its return journey, I go to the nearest pub for a bite to eat. Since its past 2pm, they have a little trouble coming up with a sandwich, but finally it's served. Chips cost extra. While I am enjoying my lunch, an older couple who are sitting in the same area and haven't said a word to one another for the first 30 minutes I am there suddenly ...Read More