Waterside shepherd's huts near Carlisle

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100% (22 reviews)

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Waterside shepherd's huts near Carlisle guide


Explore mediaeval and Roman history before setting out for a night under the stars.

In the heart of Cumbria, the cathedral city of Carlisle attracts visitors with its 12th-century cathedral and its massive keep castle, first built under William II, the son of William the Conqueror. It also makes a good base for exploring bits of what remains of Hadrian’s Wall, and while the city itself is better suited to picking up gear and groceries, there are plenty of places to camp nearby. The National Trust manages four different campsites in the nearby Lake District National Park, south of Carlisle, and there are plenty of privately run Hipcamps due east of the city, toward the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Where to go

Lake District National Park

Spread out over 912 square miles, the Lake District National Park is characterized by low-lying mountains and soaring mountains that are ideal for challenging treks and climbs. Along with 16 large lakes—including the deepest lake in England (Wastwater) and the country's longest (Windermere)—the park features a handful of tarns, a type of small mountain pool. Popular activities include cycling, stargazing, boating, and swimming.

North Pennines AONB

East of Carlisle, the North Pennies AONB is a UNESCO Global Geopark characterized by moors, dales, rivers, and forests, with plenty to explore on foot, by bicycle, or on horseback. The park is home to 16 Dark Sky Discovery Sites, ideal for nighttime stargazing, along with dozens of hiking and biking trails. You can get all the information you need to start your adventure at the Bowlees Visitor Centre, just over an hour’s drive from Carlisle.

Northumberland National Park

The most remote (and least-visited) national park in England and Wales, Northumberland National Park is the place to go if you've had it with people and want a bit of peace and solitude. It's a great place for hikes and cycling trips, and there are loads of caravan sites and campsites throughout the park, a few of which are right by Hadrian's Wall.

When to go

Carlisle gets rain throughout the year, though autumn and winter tend to get more days of rainfall than spring and summer. The climate is cool, but mild, and while temperatures rarely drop below freezing, Carlisle rarely sees temperatures higher than 20 degrees, even in the peak of summer. If you're a fan of the performing arts, consider visiting in March to attend the Carlisle and District Music and Drama Festival, a festival of music, speech, and drama founded in 1896.

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