As if trampled flat by all the armies who have passed this way over the centuries, Cumbria opens up and levels out north of Penrith as it heads towards the Scottish border and the Solway coast.

Of all the peoples who invaded this part of England, it was the Romans who left the most visible legacy, the 74 miles (119km) of Hadrian’s Wall which stretches across the neck of northern England, a much walked World Heritage site.

Towards the western end of the Wall stands the city of Carlisle, bruised and battered over the centuries because of its proximity to the Scottish border but today the county’s biggest centre of population, the ‘capital’ of Cumbria.

To the west of Carlisle is the Solway coast, part of which is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, famed for its birdlife and plantlife.

Further down the coast, a rich maritime and industrial heritage is embedded in the towns of Maryport, Workington and Whitehaven. And from Whitehaven it’s a relatively short hop - heading south west - to the glories of the western Lake District.

The Lake District

The Lake District

The Lake District

The Lake District

The Lake District

The Lake District

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