10 things to see and do during your stay at The Sally

There’s plenty to see and do in the local area. We’ve hand-picked 10 things to see and do within an easy 30-minute drive time.

10. Watchtree Nature Reserve, Great Orton
Explore this fantastic nature reserve with miles and miles of accessible tracks. Marvel at the breath-taking view, follow a nature trail, hire a bike or simply relax in the visitor’s centre. There are orienteering trails to tackle, wildlife to spot, birds to watch and acres of outdoor space to enjoy – whatever your age or ability. Run by a team of volunteers the reserve is open every day with slightly longer hours in the summer months. Visitors need to check in and out at the centre. Café and toilet facilities available.
Distance from The Sally: 29 minutes

9. The Cumberland Bird of Prey Centre, Thurstonfield
This fascinating facility provides hawk walks and falconry courses, as well as a host of other activities and displays. You need to make an appointment if you want to visit so you’ll need to plan ahead. The site sits in the Solway basin and is home to woodpeckers, red squirrels and roe deer, as well as numerous other birds and mammals. For a quick visit, try an hour-long hawk walk, where Gary (your host and resident expert) will astound you with his knowledge and experience. Suitable for all ages and abilities.
Distance from The Sally: 23 minutes

8. Carlisle Castle, Carlisle City Centre
This Norman style castle was built 900 years ago by William II, son of William the Conqueror. Due to its strategic position on the English – Scottish border it has long been the subject of many disputes and battles. Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned here in 1567 and it was besieged by Parliamentary forces during the English Civil War. Owned by English Heritage, it was the administrative headquarters of the former King’s Own Border Regiment, until recently. Take a walk around the battlements for impressive views of the city or search the dungeons for the prisoners’ infamous ‘licking stone’. A fascinating slice of local history and a site of national importance. Open daily for most of the year but only at weekends in deepest darkest Winter.
Distance from The Sally: 18 minutes

7. Cumbria’s Museum of Military Life, Carlisle City Centre
Housed in Carlisle Castle, this fascinating museum shares over 300 years of military history and the local stories of the 34th and 55th Regiment of foot, the Border Regiment, the King’s Own Border Regiment and the present day serving Regiment, the Duke of Lancaster’s. Plenty of interactive exhibits and activities. Try your hand at morse code or see if you can carry the weight of a soldier’s pack. Open daily but closed on Fridays during the winter months.
Distance from The Sally: 18 minutes

6. Carlisle Cathedral, Carlisle City Centre
This medieval cathedral is 900 years old and well worth a visit. Set in its own grounds, it has a stunning interior with impressive stained-glass windows and a beautiful starred ceiling. Check out the gargoyles and ceiling bosses that reflect the fascinating local history and famous characters. Open daily.
Distance: 18 minutes

5. Tullie House & Art Gallery, Carlisle City Centre
Allow plenty of time to explore this award-winning family friendly museum and art gallery. Packed to the rafters with extensive collections of fine and decorative art, natural sciences and centuries of human history. Fascinating, interactive exhibitions and activities providing entertainment for visitors of all ages, abilities and interests, year-round. One visit won’t be enough. City centre based and close to other amenities. Café facilities available. You might even get lucky and witness a wedding. As well as the permanent exhibits, the museum has a rolling calendar of touring exhibitions too. Check their website to see what’s on during your stay.
Distance: 16 minutes

4. A World in Miniature Museum, Houghton Hall Garden Centre
A tiny museum filled with tiny things. Tucked away in the basement of the garden centre you’ll find exquisite craftmanship at every turn. A vast collection of miniature art, crafts and furniture design including miniature shops, tiny drawers with locking mechanisms and the world’s smallest stitched teddy bear. Magnifying glasses are provided – and with good reason. Suitable for all ages with a modest price attached.
Distance from The Sally: 11 minutes

3. Scaleby Hill Vintage Motorbike Museum
Owned by Mike Barry, this little museum is a must for anyone who likes bikes. Exhibits include a collection of vintage bikes dating back to the 1920s, a huge range of other motorcycles and associated memorabilia, as well as juke boxes, radio-controlled aeroplanes and small-scale models. This informal setting is hosted by a racing enthusiast with a lot of knowledge and experience. Opening hours aren’t always regular so worth phoning ahead.
Distance from The Sally: 11 minutes

2. Solway Aviation Museum
A must-see for any aircraft enthusiast (but you don’t have to be in to aviation to enjoy it) this great little museum is packed with local flight history, fascinating exhibits and a range of aircraft to discover and explore. There’s a helicopter outside too but the star of the show is the Vulcan bomber. Visitors can climb the steep steps and actually sit in the cockpit. Run by knowledgeable volunteers with a wealth of stories and information, you’ll be bowled over by their passion. You might even get lucky and meet a pilot or two, past or present. Suitable for all ages but only open Friday to Sunday and UK Bank Holidays between March and October. Chocks Away!
Distance from The Sally: 3 minutes

1. Hadrian’s Wall, various sites
Stretching across the country, there’s 84 miles of Hadrian’s Wall to explore but the nearest bit is only about half a mile from The Sally, just northwest of Irthington village. Thousands of years of history, beautiful scenery and a collection of archaeological sites, visitors’ centres, museums and fantastic facilities all combine to bring the Roman world to life. A truly unique experience. If you can’t make it to the wall, make sure you check out Tullie House with its wealth of Roman history and artefacts.
Distance from The Sally: about half a mile away!

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