Places to visit
As you pass through the village of Gilsland, you can see Britain’s greatest Roman monument, Hadrian’s Wall. The Wall was built in AD122 by order of Emperor Hadrian and took three legions just over six years to build.
The Wall is 73 miles long and spans England’s peninsula between Wallsend, near Newcastle upon Tyne in the east and Bowness on Solway on the west coast.
Birdoswald Roman Fort
Just 2 miles west of Gilsland, Birdoswald Roman Fort overlooks the River Irthing. It was an important base for upwards of 1,000 soldiers and has probably the best-preserved defences of any Wall fort. Three of the four main gateways of the fort have been unearthed, as have the outside walls, two granary buildings, workshops and a unique drill hall.
The Visitor Centre tells the intriguing story of the Fort and its inhabitants for the last 2,000 years. The Fort continued to be occupied after the Romans left and in the 5th century a large timber hall was built over the collapsed granaries.
Roman Army Museum
3 miles from the Hotel, you can be transported into the ‘land of the legionnaires’ at the Roman Army Museum near Walltown.
Lanercost Priory is set in a beautiful and tranquil site in the valley of the River Irthing, 5 miles downstream from Gilsland Hall Hotel and in the shadow of Hadrian's Wall. The Augustinian priory was very much involved in the Anglo-Scottish wars.
The town of Brampton is 8 miles from the Hotel and has a population of some 4000. Wednesday is market day in Brampton.
The town is built of local sandstone, and situated in a hollow formed by glacial action which took place during the ice-age.
Talkin Tarn Country Park
Talkin Tarn Country Park is two miles south-east of Brampton on the B6413 Castle Carrock road. There is a 65 acre lake set amid 120 acres of farmland and woodland. The tarn is an ideal place for active recreation or a quiet stroll through the mature woodlands.
Gelt Woods Nature Reserve
About two miles south of Brampton is the RSPB nature reserve in Gelt Woods. The walk through the woods is delightful. You can see the Roman quarries and a rock with an inscription carved by a Roman soldier in the 3rd Century. You can stop for a while in one of the hides to watch for birds and red squirrels.
Carlisle Castle is a great medieval fortress that has watched over the City of Carlisle for over nine centuries. Visitors can explore fascinating and ancient chambers, stairways and dungeons and find the legendary 'licking stones'.
The Castle is also home to the Border Regiment Museum which relates the history of Cumbria's County Infantry Regiment, the Border Regiment and the King's Own Royal Border Regiment and local Militia.
Tullie House Museum
Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery is Carlisle's finest visitor attraction, and houses considerable collections of fine and decorative art, human history and natural sciences. It also boasts a wide range of exhibitions and events, brought together in one impressive museum and art gallery.
The town of Hexham is 18 miles east of the Hotel and has its market day each Tuesday. A must for your visit is Hexham Abbey. There has been a church on the site over for 1300 years - since Queen Etheldreda made a grant of lands to Wilfrid, Bishop of York c.674. Since the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1537 the Abbey has been the parish church of Hexham and today is still a centre for worship and witness to the Christian faith.
Kielder Water & Forest Park
Kielder Water and Forest Park is the largest forest in England and includes the largest man-made lake in Europe. Only 35 miles from Gilsland, it offers a wide range of activities including:
- Bird of prey centre
- Cycling on 13 way marked trails
- Lake cruises
- Pony Trekking