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Carlisle

Travel Guide Europe United Kingdom England North West England Carlisle

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Introduction

Carlisle is a frontier city. Formerly the site of Roman and Norman garrison towns, its ownership has rotated between the English, trying to hold back the Reivers from the North, and the Scots, fighting against English invasion. The centre is notable for imposing red sandstone buildings, including the huge Norman-built castle, and a fine cathedral.

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Sights and Activities

  • Carlisle Castle - a huge sandstone fortress, originally constructed in 1092.
  • Carlisle Cathedral - small, but perfectly formed, with one of the finest stained glass windows in Europe, and a well preserved 16th century Friary building opposite.
  • Tullie House museum - a particularly good local museum showcasing the history of Carlise and the Borders, regional natural history and work by local artists.

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Getting There

By Plane

There are currently no scheduled flights to Carlisle Airport (CAX). A planned expansion should increase availability. The closest realistic option is Newcastle International Airport (NCL).

By Train

Carlisle is on the main West Coast line between London and Scotland. Direct trains run to destinations including Manchester, Preston, Glasgow, Lancaster, Penrith and Oxenholme. A trans-pennine service runs across Northern Cumbria and Northumberland to Newcastle.

Carlisle is also the starting point of the picturesque Settle-Carlisle Railway, England's most scenic rail journey which skirts the Lake District before crossing the Cumbrian Pennines and Yorkshire Dales to Settle - the line finally terminates in Leeds.

By Car

Carlisle is easily accessible via the M6 motorway.

By Bus

National Express and regional operators run direct services between Lancaster and a range of major cities. There are particularly regular services to Newcastle.

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Eat

Teza on Bishopsgate is a highly recommended modern Indian restaurant.

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet caf├ęs can be found in many cities and towns. All UK public libraries provide access, often branded as "People's Network", usually at no or little charge, though there is usually a time limit. Some hotels/hostels also offer internet access, including wifi, but most times at a cost. Using the internet on your personal phone can become expensive very quickly, with carriers charging 100's of times the local rate for data. To avoid these expensive roaming charges, you can hunt for wifi at a local cafe or hotel, or rent a mobile hotspot via several providers including DATAPiXY, and XCOM Global.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to the United Kingdom is: 44. To make an international call from the United Kingdom, the code is: 00

In case of emergency, call 999 or 112 from any phone. Such calls are free and will be answered by an emergency services operator who will ask you for your location, and the service(s) you need (police, fire, ambulance, coastguard or mountain rescue). You can call this number from any mobile telephone as well, even if you do not have roaming.

Although the number is declining, you can still find payphones in many public areas, especially stations, airports etc. You can usually pay with cash and sometimes by creditcard or, for international calls, special phonecards are still available.

Mobile phones are heavily used. The main networks are T-Mobile, Vodafone, Orange and O2. 3G data services are available, usually priced per megabyte and coverage is usually very good in the UK, however it may lack in rural areas. Roaming on your personal phone plan can be expensive. To manage costs, consider purchasing a local UK SIM card for your phone. Several companies offer local SIM cards including Telestial, and CellularAbroad.

Post

The Royal Mail provides postal services in the United Kingdom. The Royal Mail's store fronts are called Post Office and offer services ranging from sending letters and packages to foreign currency exchange. Use the branch locator to find the nearest Post Office branch. There will be at least one post office in any town/city and there are quite often post offices in larger villages. It's common for a post office to be incorporated into a grocery store, where there will be a small counter located at the back of the store for dealing with post related matters. All post offices are marked with signs that say 'post office' in red lettering. Post boxes can be found at any post office and standalone large red post boxes on the streets or red boxes in the sides of public buildings.
For sending packages overseas, it might be a good idea to check prices and services with international companies like TNT, UPS or DHL.

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This is version 8. Last edited at 8:14 on Aug 27, 13 by Utrecht. 11 articles link to this page.

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