Written March 25, 2023 at Carlisle, England.

With two pleasant days in Manchester under our belts we awoke this morning fresh and ready to go. No backpacks on this trip, our two bags are packed heavier than typical for us, and each is larger than our usual “carryons”. The challenge was to accommodate a wide range of weather conditions and activities. Ahead of us is a truly multidimensional experience.

We taxied to the Oxford Road Train Station to catch the 11:35 Transpennine Express to Carlisle in the northwest of England.

Manchester‘s Oxford Road train station. This has been a train station since the 1840’s.

Susan was working at her ticket window but upon seeing us rushed out to gift us with hugs and warm wishes for safe travel.

Susan and Christine at the Oxford Road Train Station

We have grown accustomed to the fast friendships of travel, however Susan’s warmth and graciousness are in a league all their own. We will miss her!

The journey to Carlisle took two hours and included only five stops.

The Transpennine Express to Carlisle.

The ride was smooth enough to allow pictures of the countryside. Unfortunately, the intermittent heavy showers limited the photo opportunities, drops on the windows marring what could have been some stunning images.

Dense briar fencing.
Look close and you will see an old country bridge. There were also miles upon miles of dry stacked stone walls dividing fields.
Beautiful, even through the train window and rain.

Speaking of stunning, Carlisle is wonderful! From the delightfully classic rail station…

Arrival at the Carlisle train station.
The outside main entrance of the Carlisle train station.

…to the old central city which is accessed by walking through ancient fortification towers.

Carlisle’s city gates.
The pedestrian area in front of our hotel.
A side street near our hotel.

Our hotel, The Crown and Mitre, absolutely oozes 19th century Edwardian charm.

The Crown and Mitre Hotel has hosted many dignitaries over the years. In 1918 United States President Woodrow Wilson was one of them.

It features an elegant dining room, bar, and even an indoor swimming pool! Stained glass and polished wood abound. Perhaps most remarkable is the price, $135 a night.

Hotel reception area and main staircase.
One of the interior staircases in the hotel. There are many of them. At times we feel like we are rats in a maze.
Christine in the hotel lounge.
Our hotel room.

Not more than 100 yards around the corner from the hotel is the historic Carlisle Cathedral.

Carlisle Cathedral.
A side view of the cathedral.
12th-century ruins from the Carlisle Cathedral Abbey.

The use of the grounds as an abbey and Cathedral date back to the early 12th-century. In holding to my promise to Christine, I will let the images and brief captions speak for me.

A side aisle (ambulatory) in the cathedral.
A beautiful side altar and stained glass windows in the cathedral.
This is the “celestial ceiling“ of Carlisle Cathedral.
The main aisle (nave) of the cathedral.
The cathedrals magnificent pipe organ. The organist was playing as this picture was taken. He is in the small lighted area immediately beneath the pipes.
A view of the cathedral choir chairs.

Our plans for Carlisle seem to be evolving on their own. I received a communication from Garry and Kathleen Clifford of Glasgow Scotland. We met them while traveling through their city in 2018 and have stayed in touch ever since. They are driving the one hour down to join us tomorrow afternoon for dining, drinks, and to just catch up.

This picture is from May 2018 when we first met Garry and Kathleen along with son Sean, daughter-in-law Julie, and friends Mr. and Mrs. John Curran in Glasgow Scotland. Garry stands to the left of me and Kathleen is seated to the left of Christine.

On Monday I plan to hire a cab to Bowness-on-Solway in Cumbria on the west coast. This is the western extreme of Hadrian’s Wall. I will hike the 15 miles back to join Christine in Carlisle. In total we will be at the Crown and Mitre for four nights before continuing on our eastward trek.

Peace Everyone. Pete

PS. Two weeks ago we adjusted our clocks in the United States for daylight savings time. I assumed that everyone did it then. Wrong! We get to “spring forward” again tonight in the UK. Here I thought I was done messing with time zones and “jetlag”.

20 thoughts on “On to Carlisle England!

  1. We have one thing in common with you today. The weather here in KC has been bone-chill cool and wet. That makes those green hills and streams of merry old England very beautiful. Stay warm and dry, else you will catch a rare cold. I have. Damn it!

  2. Love this hotel pictures! The dense hedges and stone fences interest me. I’m amazed at all your world-wide friends. What fun.

  3. Gosh, the cathedral is beautiful! Everything is so green there! We’re to have 3-5” snow in next 24 hours – we’ll see! Still trying to adjust to DST! Wish they would leave the clocks alone!

  4. I do love the Cathedral. I also like the hotel you were staying at. Great pictures of the rolling hills. It is so nice to see familiar surroundings. Have fun and stay safe.

  5. Oh my word Pete – your pictures were stunning – I loved them all. It makes my backpack rattle in hopes of strapping that on and walking …somewhere soon. I look forward to your continued adventures! Hugs to Christine!

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