Carlisle probably isn't everyone's first choice in England or maybe not even near the top of one's list. But we'd been to England many times and really wanted to visit Hadrian's Wall. We were lucky enough to find a one week home exchange to Carlisle, an interesting town in itself and near one end of the Wall and also close enough to The Lake District to explore there. We had an easy (Easyjet) flight from Nice to Newcastle and a pleasant train ride across England to Carlisle. Our exchanger had left us the keys to her car, so we were set.
Much of Carlisle is a pedestrian zone, particularly around the lovely Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, started in 1092; services have been held here for over 900 years! The doors lead to a sort of large vestibule. To the left is the Nave, where some of the oldest parts, the early 12th century bays, remain. To the right one enters the choir area, lined with beautiful wood Canons' Stalls dating from the 14th century. The ceiling is a heavenly gold star-studded blue. The tracery on the main stained glass window is also 14th century. The church, like so many other buildings in the entire area, is built of a beautiful brownstone.
Next, we found our way up to the massive Castle, started in 1093, where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned in 1568. There was an interesting display of the history of this border town.
We looked at the Tullie Mansion and the beautiful gardens with pink flowering Japanese cherry trees which are stunning, with their mitt-sized clusters of blossoms. Another walk through town, searching for a restaurant that was open for lunch on Sunday and finally found the Gilded Lily. We settled down to a well-deserved meal, a wonderful hamburger with chips for me and chicken in gravy with chips for David, each with a delicious glass of wine.