Trains to Carlisle

How to get there, what to do and how to get home with Avanti West Coast.

Things to do in Carlisle

When you arrive in Carlisle, your first port of call should be to Carlisle Castle. It’s one of the most active castles in British history due to the Anglo-Saxon war, and walking through the passageways and dungeons gives you a real insight into life during this era.

Hadrians WallCarlisle Castle

Conveniently, you’ll find the Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery across from the Castle. This is home to a variety of artefacts from the Roman era as well as several other collections that cover the Anglo-Saxon period and Carlisle’s rich social history. From here, carry on down Castle Street to Carlisle Cathedral, where you can admire the stained glass windows and gothic-style architecture from the 13th and 14th centuries.

Tullie House Museum and Art GalleryCarlisle Cathedral

If you’re only in Carlisle for a day trip, you can still manage to fit in a trip to Hadrian’s Wall, there are plenty of ruins that are easily accessible from the city to give you a sense of adventure. If you’re there for a bit longer, you can set out on a walk of the full stretch of wall to dive deep into a rich part of British history.

For the smaller adventurers in your group, Walby Farm Park is an award-winning family attraction where kids can meet a range of animals including rabbits, sheep and even ponies. There are lots of activities throughout the city for all ages, so it’s not just a destination for those interested in medieval times.

Carlisle is a unique place to visit and you can get there from across the UK with Avanti West Coast, so get your walking boots on and join us for an adventure you won’t forget.

Set amidst beautifully landscaped gardens, Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery is home to fine and decorative art, human history and natural sciences. As well as fantastic permanent collections, there are also temporary exhibitions to enjoy.

If it’s live music and comedy you’re after, Carlisle has plenty to delight. Gigs and concerts take place throughout the year, in venues like The Old Fire Station and Bitts Park Carlisle, where Sir Tom Jones is set to perform in July.

Tullier House Carlisle

Carlisle is packed with history: the city has witnessed a number of important events across the years, with its location on the border between England and Scotland placing it in the path of sieges and conflicts. Visit Carlisle Castle and discover the tower where Mary Queen of Scots was once held prisoner; admire the Gothic architecture of Carlisle Cathedral; and explore nearby Hadrian’s Wall - once the north-western frontier of the Roman empire.

Hadrian's Wall

With fantastic restaurants, cafes, and a lively bar scene, Carlisle is a brilliant place for foodies. By day, the pedestrianised city centre is packed with great cafes serving up locally roasted coffee and home baked cakes. Come night, it’s time to head out for a meal followed by drinks in one of the city’s many bars and pubs.

Carlisle City Centre

East of Carlisle’s city centre lies a hidden gem for nature lovers. Talkin Tarn Country Park is a natural haven spread across 120 acres of farmland and woodland, with its own tarn which is perfect for watersports. In the summer months, there’s outdoor theatre and events to enjoy.

To the west, the Hadrian’s Wall National Trail carries on towards the Solway Coast: a stunning Area of Natural Beauty which is perfect for wildlife spotting and walking.

Talkin Tarn Country Park

If it’s a spot of retail therapy you’re after, Carlisle is the place to be! Its streets are lined with independent and national names. The Lanes shopping centre houses over 60 stores under one roof; while the Market Hall is one of England’s few covered Victorian Markets, and is home to a great variety of local shops.

Carlisle City Centre

What's on in Carlisle?

  • Until 20 February 2022: Paddington - The Story of a Bear - a British Library exhibition at Tullie House
  • 24 January 2022 - 23 December 2023: Hadrian's Wall 1900 - a celebration of Hadrian’s Wall’s 1900th year. Events include a photography exhibition at Tullie House; and Roman artefacts on display at Carlisle Castle.
  • 2022: Carlisle Cathedral 900 - Carlisle Cathedral turns 900 years old. Events include “The English Cathedral” photography exhibition; and craft activities during the school holidays.
  • 20 - 22 October: Carlisle City of Lights - a magical event, with lights displays on Carlisle Castle & Cathedral

February is the month of love, and Carlisle is the place to celebrate. There are beautiful places to stay, from luxurious hotels to modern self catering accommodation. Take a romantic stroll with your beloved, admiring historic architecture and dipping in and out of shops and cafes as you wander through the city centre. Come evening, wine and dine at sophisticated restaurants or cosy pubs, before enjoying a cocktail or two at one of the city’s cosmopolitan bars. Plus, it’s only 11 miles from Gretna Green - so you can get married, before celebrating your nuptials with a night on the town.

Carlisle for Valentines' Day

2022 sees Hadrian’s Wall celebrate its 1900th birthday - and it’ll be doing so in style! A series of events are taking place along the iconic Roman frontier, including many either in or within easy reach of Carlisle. Discover the story of Carlisle’s Roman bathhouse, see Roman artefacts on display, and experience the city lit up for a Roman themed Carlisle City of Lights.

Carlisle-Hadrian's Wall

Fastest journey times

Travelling from...

Fastest time

Glasgow to Carlisle

1 hour 8 mins

Penrith to Carlisle

15 mins

Edinburgh to Carlisle

1 hour 14 mins

Preston to Carlisle

1 hour 6 mins

London to Carlisle

3 hours 17 mins

Lancaster to Carlisle

50 mins

Oxenholme Lake District to Carlisle

37 mins

Wigan to Carlisle

1 hour 21 mins

Crewe to Carlisle

1 hour 49 mins

Warrington to Carlisle

1 hour 32 mins

How far away is Carlisle from London? 

Carlisle is around 300 miles north of London, which is a journey of about five and a half hours on a good traffic day, not taking into account stops for snacks! However, by train, you can travel from London to Carlisle in just over three and a half hours on one of our Avanti West Coast services.

Carlisle Station Information

Carlisle Train Station is also known as Carlisle Citadel, thanks to its location next to the city’s citadel. It is a Garde II listed railway station, built in the 1840s and featuring Tudor and Gothic architecture. Located in the south of the city centre, it offers easy access to many of Carlisle’s attractions. Carlisle Cathedral is a nine minute walk away, while Carlisle Castle can be reached in 15 minutes on foot. Taxis are available at the station.

Carlisle station information

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