Carlisle's Hidden Treasure

Carlisle is a very Historic City and for it's size, boasts many big city features that are all compressed into an easy walk.

Most will visit the Castle, the Cathedral, the Citadel and the shops that surround the Greenmarket and think that they've seen everything... yet there's so much more...

On nice days, sauntering around the cobbled streets of the Historic Quarter, visiting the West Walls and the Parks that sit alongside the River Eden will keep you away from the commercialised areas where you will likely pass near Carlisle's famous, Victorian Market Hall.

Built near the end of the 19th century (1887-89), it remains as one of the few Victorian covered Markets still open in the UK. The imposing structure sits at the Northern end of the city, in sight of the Castle, at the edge of the Historic Quarter itself and houses a number of stall based businesses and Public Toilets - something always worth knowing? ;-)

Nowadays, the majority of stalls are food related, so grabbing something hot that is freshly cooked and well-priced at lunchtime, without having to stand or brave whatever the weather is doing (being Victorian, it's actually a great place to avoid extremely hot/sunny weather as well as the rain/sleet/snow, etc) is an enormous plus!

It's worth noting that, since Wilko closed it's doors, the entrance from Fisher Street (the Historic Quarter) has become somewhat truncated, with access from that side being through TK Max that sits at mezzanine level over the Southern half of the building. The entrance from/to West Tower Street (where the old City Walls used to run) on the Northern side now serves as the main entrance. However, there is a quaint side entrance from Scotch Street that is often overlooked due to the lack of advertisement, that takes you in via a covered courtyard/square.

So, other than being Victorian, a great place to find food, avoid the weather and find toilet facilities, what else is there?... Mostly, the sense of History.. you can sit and look up at the amazing roof structure knowing that this wonderful space was also once a live music venue, filled with people, noise and some of the best bands of their time. Thin Lizzy, Gillan, Status Quo, Uriah Heep, Motörhead, Rory Gallagher, Iron Maiden, Genesis, AC/DC, The Who and Gene Vincent all played here, with the Beatles relegated to playing in the ABC Cinema (now gone sadly) on Warwick Street (next door to where the Halston is now).

If you are visiting Carlisle (by Train, Bus, Car, Bike or on foot), the Market Hall should be on your list of places to visit. It's easy to find (literally just off Hadrian's Wall path and Cycle Route) at the North end of the city near the river and most importantly, it's free, no charge, take all the pictures you want and stay as long as you want - that's Victorian value for you! :-)