Just over the border from Carlisle is Gretna Green, renowned for runaway marriages over the centuries.
Back in the mid-18th century, England had strict marriage laws. Couples under the age of 21 could not marry without parental consent and all weddings had to take place in a church with a priest. In Scotland, the law was different. The legal age for marriage was 16 and anyone could perform the ceremony. Thousands of young couples eloped to Scotland and the Old Blacksmith's Shop at Gretna was the first place where marriages could be legally sanctioned. Gretna is still a magnet for wedding parties and the world-famous Old Blacksmith's Shop blesses hundreds of marriages every year.
A little further west is the pleasant Scottish town of Dumfries where Robert Burns, Scotland's national poet, died in 1796 at the age of 37. Dumfries is less than an hour's drive from Carlisle, and with Gretna even closer still, the two Border towns are an ideal way to spend a day out from Carlisle.