22 – 26 July 2019
Roman Cumbria and Hadrian’s Wall – LRAC Tour


This tour combines the best of Hadrian’s Wall with Roman Cumbria.

When the Romans had finished building Hadrian’s Wall, they built a series of forts along the Cumbrian Coast and in the mountains of Cumbria.

We explore Hadrian’s Wall at Gilsland, a charming Cumbrian village with the Hadrianic fort of Banna on its doorstep. Banna has an excellent museum and the short walk from Gilsland is stunning. We also explore mile castles and the bridge took Hadrian’s Wall over the River Irthing.

On the Cumbrian Coast, we explore Maryport and its stunning museum of Roman altars and the charming villages of Ravenglass and Boot, the former with a Roman bath-house and the latter boasting some of the best waterfalls in Cumbria, as well as excellent pubs – we travel to Boot by steam train.

Our trip is designed to take in the best of these sites and scenery – rivers, mountains, forts and abbeys – and explore how the Cumbrian continuation to Hadrian’s Wall may have worked. There is also time to relax and enjoy the sites and scenery in good company over good food.



Other Details


We stay in the Crown & Mitre Hotel***, a lovely Edwardian hotel with a beautiful dining room, right next to the cathedral in the centre of Carlisle. Bed and breakfast tariff in twin-share room with private facilities – group dinner on first evening is included. Good bar meals in hotel and lots of good restaurants nearby for other evenings.


Course Cost

£455 inclusive of tuition, accommodation, breakfast and dinner at the Crown & Mitre Hotel on the first evening


Single Room Supplement




Out: Cathy is planning to travel on the 10.30 train out of London Euston, taking in stunning Lakeland scenery and due in Carlisle about 13:44.  The hotel is 5 minutes walk from the train station.

You can book yourself onto the same train (costs ca. £100 return – book early for cheaper fares, reductions for railcard holders), or meet her at Carlisle station, or directly at the Crown & Mitre Hotel (you may of course be travelling in your own car).

Back: After a morning of sight-seeing, Cathy is planning to take the 14.49 train to London Euston, due at 18:10.


Local Transport

Local travel on the Eskdale Steam Railway and Cumbria Coast train is at own expense and very good value.


Group Size

Limited to 18 people plus the tutor and the LRAC assistant



Cathy Mercer, MA, is an experienced teacher, lecturer and tour manager.  She has taught in London schools and for the Open University, Birkbeck College, LRAC, City Lit and the WEA.   She has led numerous study tours to Italy, Holland, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Tunisia, Turkey and in the UK.



Related OU Courses

General Interest/A340 Roman Empire, A219 Introduction to the Classical World



Itinerary / Study Programme


Day 1, Monday, 22 July 2019

pm   arrival in Carlisle – tour of the cathedral with tea and scones

Group dinner in hotel included

 Note: Cathy is planning to travel on the 10.30 train out of London Euston, taking in stunning Lakeland scenery and due in Carlisle about 13:44.


Day 2, Tuesday, 23 July 2019

am Morning train to Maryport and visit to Senhouse Roman Museum and site of Roman fort and vicus (civilian settlement).



pm free time in Maryport to explore the pretty town, aquarium and maritime museum or stroll the English Coast Path, taking in the magnificent views across the Solway Firth to Scotland

Several cafes and pubs to choose from for supper


Day 3, Wednesday, 24 July 2019

am Cumbria Coast train to pretty fishing village of Ravenglass by Cumbrian Coast train. Visit Roman bath-house, then steam train to charming hamlet of Boot for lunch and delightful way-marked waterfall walks





pm  late afternoon return to Carlisle by steam train and coast railway; supper in Carlisle


Day 4, Thursday, 25 July 2019

am Tyne Valley train from Carlisle to Haltwhistle and then local bus to the pretty village of Gilsland, on the border of Cumbria and Northumberland, for excellent Hadrian’s Wall sections, including the Poltross Burn Milecastle, with surviving staircase, giving a possible height for the Wall. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milecastle_48

We then visit the point where the Wall crossed the River Irthing and take a delightful stroll through Cumbrian countryside to the nearby fort of Birdoswald for fort remains and excellent museum.

pm  late afternoon return to Carlisle and supper


Day 3, Wednesday, 24 July 2019 – alternative in case of bad weather

am  Hadrian’s Wall 122 bus to Lanercost Priory, delightful medieval church and monastery remains built of stone from Hadrian’s Wall (English Heritage).



Good café, shop, lovely walks taking in Hadrian’s Wall

pm  late afternoon return to Carlisle and supper


Day 5, Friday 26th July 2019

am  morning in Carlisle to explore castle, cathedral and Tullie House Museum

pm  lunch and departure

 Note: Cathy is planning to take the 14.49 train to London Euston, due at 18:10.


This itinerary and study programme is provisional and may be subject to change in response to local conditions