So much to see on both sides of the England-Scotland border
You can sample the best of life in two countries when you live close to a border - which is precisely what we enjoy at Scalesceugh Hall & Villas, being on the edge of the Lake District National Park in England, and also only 15 miles from Scotland. In Roman times the border was marked by the still impressive Hadrian's Wall, which today welcomes many visitors to its battlements and is a popular west coast to east coast route for walkers. Hadrian's Wall is one of two UNESCO World Heritage Sites on our doorstep - the other being the Lake District National Park - so we are very fortunate. In looking at the wonders of both northern England and southern Scotland, first let's look at how easy it is to get around, then look at a few places you'll want to visit. People may think of Cumbria as a remote location, because it has so much rural beauty, but in fact the county, and the border, has always been at the heart of Britain's transport network, so reaching all areas of both England and Scotland from our location is extremely easy. We can partly thank the Hadrian's Wall builders, the Romans, for this, as some of their original routes became the road network we use today - including the A6, off which the Scalesceugh Hall & Villas community nestles above a lush nature reserve. The A6 continues south through Penrith and Kendal to Lancaster, Preston and beyond, while the M6 motorway travels almost parallel for much of the journey, with junctions at Penrith and three at Carlisle. Heading north, the M6 joins the M74 at the border to continue to Glasgow. You can take an even more scenic route from Carlisle to Edinburgh. The A7 links both cities and is endless rolling countryside. Or take the M74 up until the A702 and then travel to Edinburgh through Biggar and Dolphinton. Both Glasgow and Edinburgh are only an hour and a half away by car. Two cross-country routes, similar to Hadrian's Wall, are the A66 and A69. The A66 stretches from Workington on the Cumbrian coast to Middlesbrough on the north-east coast, passing through or near to Cockermouth, Keswick, Penrith and Appleby. The A69 travels east from Carlisle to Newcastle, and you can travel west via the A596 to Workington, or the A595, passing through Whitehaven and Workington, then down the coast to the south of the county. Then the A590 links Barrow-in-Furness with the M6 motorway, travelling through Ulverston, Newby Bridge and Grange-over-Sands. Through the heart of the Lake District, the stunning A591 route links Keswick in the north to Grasmere, Ambleside, Windermere and Kendal, giving you the opportunity to see a few gorgeous lakes along the way - Thirlmere, Grasmere, Rydal Water and Windermere are all on route. On the A689, six miles from Carlisle city centre, you will find Carlisle Lake District Airport. There is a free minibus service between the two. You can fly to and from Dublin, Belfast and London Southend with Scottish airline, Loganair. Road, rail and air routes across the UK So that's road and air, but the Great Border City of Carlisle, just five miles from Scalesceugh, has always been a rail hub, too, and is on the West Coast Main Line from London Euston up to Glasgow and on to Edinburgh. There are nearby stops at Penrith and Oxenholme The Lake District to the south, and Lockerbie to the north. Other main rail routes within the county include the picturesque Cumbrian coastal route, while the Settle-Carlisle line is a famously spectacular journey, especially when steam trains travel on it. Of course you can travel in all directions across England and Scotland, to all the major cities, towns, resorts and attractions. Here at Scalesceugh Villas, we are also on the main Carlisle-Penrith bus route, and the bus network in Cumbria and The Lake District, and across the border region, is extensive. A number of bus companies operate routes to even the most remote locations - be sure to check their timetables. Stagecoach is the main carrier of bus passengers. Useful special services include the AD122 Hadrian’s Wall Bus, taking you along the route and dropping you off wherever you want, and the 522 Cross Lakes service, taking in Hawkshead, Windermere and Coniston. Mountain Goat Tours are famous and their mini-coaches think nothing of steep gradients while touring through the stunning scenery. To see an interactive bus and train map of Cumbria, visit here Carlisle Lake District Airport fares start from £39.99 to Belfast, and £44.99 to Dublin and London Southend. Full details here Must Visit Places In The Lake District and Cumbria There are literally too many must-visit places in this region to mention, but we are going to list a number of our favourites, with links, so you can discover more... Obviously, many of these attractions are opening gradually as Covid-19 restrictions ease, so please check our links before visiting.
As we've mentioned, the 73-mile-long coast-to-coast Hadrian’s Wall was built by the Romans nearly 2,000 years ago. Much of the wall can still be seen in Cumbria, notably at Birdoswald Roman Fort, where the longest remaining stretch of the wall stretches far into the distance. Senhouse Roman Museum at Maryport has an outstanding collection of Roman objects from the nearby fort, Alauna. The other nearby UNESCO World Heritage Site is the Lake District National Park. Plan your tours around the area at Brockhole on Windermere, the region’s main visitor centre and a superb family day out in its own right.
The grand, historic house, containing a cafe and exhibitions, overlooks acres of stunning gardens and activities alongside Lake Windermere. Windermere Lake Cruises have been popular since the Victorian era and today the vessels carry well over a million people each year. Windermere is the largest natural lake in England, more than 11 miles in length. Cruises can also be enjoyed on Derwentwater, and Ullswater. Sample how the Victorians enjoyed Lake Coniston by cruising on the luxurious Steam Yacht Gondola. Or take a Swallows and Amazons launch to see the locations that author Arthur Ransome used as inspiration for his famous books. Ransome also inspired us when we chose the names of our villas, as did some of Cumbria's other famous writers. Wordsworth House in Cockermouth is the birthplace and childhood home of arguably Britain’s greatest poet, William Wordsworth, and his sister Dorothy. Beatrix Potter was another famous Lakeland author. Hill Top, in Sawrey, was Beatrix Potter’s house and is now owned by The National Trust. The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction in nearby Bowness-on-Windermere is an interactive visitor centre bringing all 23 of Potter’s tales to life. The award-winning Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery in Carlisle chronicles the fascinating history of the region while looking out on to Carlisle Castle, a fortress which for many years swapped ownership through battles between the English and the Scots. Yes, Carlisle has in its time belonged to both countries! Cumbria’s Museum of Military Life is another fascinating place to visit, within the walls of the castle, and within sight is the imposing Carlisle Cathedral. Rheged, just outside Penrith, has three cafes featuring local produce, an art gallery, exhibitions, play area and the largest 3D cinema in the region. If you're looking for grandeur from days gone by, Lowther Castle and Dalemain Historic House and Gardens are both popular visitor attractions. Hutton in the Forest is an historic house based on a medieval tower, containing collections of furniture, ceramics, tapestry and portraits. Cumbria Crystal is the last working lead crystal glassware factory in England, while guided mine tours are offered at England’s oldest working slate mine at Honister. The Derwent Pencil Museum in Keswick is home of the first and the world’s largest pencils; and the Laurel and Hardy Museum is in Ulverston, the birthplace of Stan Laurel. Whitehaven was the last mainland place in Britain to be attacked by American naval forces, in 1778. The Rum Story transports you back in time. Cumbria Wildlife Trust manages 44 nature reserves across the county, including Wreay Woods, right next to Scalesceugh Hall & Villas, with the beautiful River Petteril safely down in the valley below. Must Visit Places In Southern Scotland Dumfries and Galloway, its spectacular coastline and rolling hills, has a natural beauty and fascinating history with a wealth of attractions to visit. Here are some of them... Galloway Forest Park covers a stunning 300 square miles for walking or driving through. Spectacular scenery is home for an abundance of wildlife, so look out for red deer, red squirrels, otters, black grouse and maybe even a golden eagle or pine marten. Visitor centres at Kirroughtree, Glentrool and Clatteringshaws are the best places to start. The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust reserve at Caerlaverock is open all-year-round, and from October to April is alive with the noise of tens of thousands of barnacle geese, whooper swans and other visiting birds. Logan Botanic Garden on the Rhins of Galloway, near Stranraer, is Scotland’s most exotic garden with plants rarely seen in the UK.
Mossburn Animal Rescue Centre and Community Farm at Hightae, near Lockerbie rescues and shelters unwanted and neglected animals, and is a popular family day out.
Upper Senwick Farm near Kirkcudbright is home to Senwick Alpaca Trekking, where you can join a guided trek across 320 acres. Gretna Green Famous Blacksmiths Shop is where runaway couples have gone to marry since 1754. Audio-visual displays bring the story to life. Dumfries Museum tells the story of the land and people of the region through fossil footprints, tools, weapons and stone carvings. The Camera Obscura is on the top floor and offers a panoramic view of Dumfries and the surrounding countryside. Creetown Gem Rock Museum at Newton Stewart is renowned worldwide for its collections.