Carlisle is the only city in Cumbria, and therefore the county town. Historically in Cumberland, it is also the administrative centre of the City of Carlisle borough in North West England. Carlisle is located at the confluence of the rivers Eden, Caldew and Petteril, 10 miles (16 km) south of the Scottish border. It is the largest settlement in the county of Cumbria, and serves as the administrative centre for both Carlisle City Council and Cumbria County Council.
Carlisle has a compact historic centre with a castle, museum, cathedral and semi-intact city walls. The former law courts or citadel towers which now serve as offices for Cumbria County Council were designed by Thomas Telford.
The Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery was opened in 1893 by the Carlisle Corporation. The museum features resident exhibits detailing the history of Roman occupancy of the region, Hadrian's Wall and the Border Reivers. Tullie House, named after the Jacobean mansion in which it is located, hosts travelling exhibitions. The museum has received many awards and was expanded in 1990 and 2000. The city's Guildhall Museum is based in a 14th-century house and the Border Regiment Military Museum is in the castle.
Every August the Carlisle Food Fair is held in the pedestrianised area of the city centre. It plays host to produce from across the continent and features local produce including Cumberland sausage, Cumberland sauce and Cumberland Mustard.
Carlisle is linked to the rest of England via the M6 motorway to the south, and to Scotland via the M74/A74 towards Glasgow and the north. Many trunk roads begin or terminate in Carlisle, including the A6 to Penrith and Luton (historically the main road to the south), the A595 to western Cumbria, the A69 to Newcastle-upon-Tyne and the A7 to Edinburgh. The City of Carlisle is the only city in Great Britain other than London and Edinburgh with more than one single numbered 'A' road - A6 and A7 (although at one time the A5 and A6 met in St Albans).
Carlisle is a principal railway station on the West Coast Main Line. Other lines go to Newcastle, Leeds, Glasgow via Dumfries, and west Cumbria. Kingmoor Traction Maintenance Depot is a major facility north of Carlisle. Visit www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times and prices.
Local bus services are run by Stagecoach North West, Reays and Arriva. Buses to other major cities leave regularly - for prices and times visit www.nationalexpress.com