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Carlisle Guide

Car Hire

Peacefully nestled on the Eden River's banks, Carlisle is Cumbria county's administrative centre while also being famous for its nearby countryside that is laden with pristine areas of wilderness. Tourists visit the town in droves, mainly to see the historical magnificence of Hadrian's Wall – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Having a rental vehicle to get around Carlisle means that northeastern England, and even some destinations north of the border in Scotland, can be navigated easily.

Who to Book With
The majority of car hire companies in Carlisle are based on the Kingstown Industrial Estate or at key town centre locations such as Citadel Railway Station. The likes of Europcar, Enterprise and Hertz all have a presence in Carlisle and compete for customers with locally-run outfits such as Go Green Car & Van Rental. Booking online guarantees reservation of a vehicle before heading to Carlisle.

Best Time to go
Higher rental rates are usually experienced in summer, part of which sees families heading to the area with children during the summer holidays. Attractions such as Hadrian’s Wall can be visited the whole of the year round, however weather conditions might not always be fit for all.

Need to Know Essentials
Drivers must be sure to bring the following with them in order to collect a rental car:

- Valid driving license or International Driving Permit
- A form of photo ID other than a driving license
- Credit card used to make a booking
- Printed rental confirmation if possible

For more info read our FAQ's.

Driving
Although it is an old town, Carlisle isn't difficult for drivers to navigate. As is common practice in most UK towns and cities, though, parking illegally will result in a driver being hit with a fine or having their vehicle towed. Both private car parks and council-owned parking spots can be found easily.

See our guide to the UK for more information on driving in this country.

Transport

While the ideal way to navigate Carlisle is by car, several taxi firms can also help transport visitors around the town while the bus is also another option. The town centre is small enough to be navigated on foot.

Trains
The West Coast Main Line connects London and Glasgow while stopping in Carlisle. Virgin Trains, TransPennine Express, ScotRail and Northern Rail are the main firms that pass through and fares are often a lot cheaper if tickets are arranged well in advance. Trains provided by these companies usually connect London to Scotland or Scotland to northeastern England.

Taxis
Radio Taxis and AAA Taxis Carlisle are the two main companies offering taxi transport in the area. Fares are usually agreed before pick-up if vehicles don't have meters. On the other hand, council-owned cabs will always come with metres fitted in them.

Buses
Buses are supplied by the likes of Stagecoach, Reays, Fellrunner and Wright Bros. Transport is possible between Carlisle and destinations such as Barrow and Penrith. West Cumbrian destinations are the most travelled to with Workington, Cockermouth and Whitehaven being the most popular choices.

Exploring

Carlisle is particularly popular with history buffs who mainly flock to the town to spend time at Hadrian’s Wall, which is located a short distance from the centre. Still in town, however, Carlisle Castle, Carlisle Cathedral, and Tullie House – which is famous for its museum and art gallery – can all be located easily.

Recommended Drives

Kendal - Reachable from Carlisle by driving along the scenic old A6. Along the way, stops can be made at Abbot Hall, which has an art gallery, the Brewery Arts Centre and quaint, traditional pubs that serve outstanding food. By heading east of Kendal, drivers can also enjoy the Yorkshire Dales if they have time.

Newcastle - This is the northeast's largest city and is reached by a peaceful drive across the A69. Time in the great outdoors can be enjoyed by making time for the southern tip of Northumberland National Park, which is roughly half-way through the journey.

The Lake District - This is among the UK's most desired locations and is only a short drive south of Carlisle down the M6. Before the town of Kendal is Windermere, which is close enough to Carlisle for day trips to be enjoyed before heading back to accommodation.

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