Near the Scottish border, the ancient city of Carlisle, England, merits a short visit to see Hadrian's Wall. Built by the Romans around AD 120, the wall stretches some 80 mi/130 km from Carlisle toward Newcastle-upon-Tyne. You can walk the wall's entire length in eight days, stopping overnight at bed-and-breakfasts along the way, or take the Tyne Valley rail line between the two cities.

Other attractions include medieval Carlisle Castle (there are better examples in England) and the Tullie House Museum, with displays about the city's eventful history. If possible, take time to ride the 70-mi/115-km track of the Settle-to-Carlisle railroad, which passes through stunning scenery of the Yorkshire Dales and over the Victorian Ribblehead Viaduct.

South of Carlisle in Wreay is a fascinating church designed by a woman as a memorial to her sister. If you're just interested in seeing Hadrian's Wall, the pretty market town of Hexham is a more central base.

Carlisle is 100 mi/160 km northwest of York.

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