Things to see and Do

Things to see and do

Welcome to Carlisle Castle

We have introduced limits on visitor numbers to help keep everyone safe, and you won’t be able to visit without your booking confirmation. If you’re a Member, your ticket will be free, but you still need to book in advance. To book your visit, click the button below. Your ticket also includes entry to Cumbria's Museum of Military Life.

Although things might be a little different when you visit, you’ll still be able to enjoy exploring the places where history really happened. And you’ll still be given a warm and safe welcome by our friendly – if socially distant – staff and volunteers.

Please click here for more information about the safety measures you can expect when visiting as well as our FAQs

  • Castle - The Captain's Tower, inner and outer ward and 2 floors of the Keep castle will be open. There will be some restricted access to other arts of the castle including the De'Ireby tower. The militia store exhibition will be closed. 
  • Cumbria's Museum of Military Life - The main exhibition will be open as usual.
  • Café - The museum café will serve take away refreshments.
  • Shop - The shop will be open.
  • Toilets - Our toilets are open as usual. Additional hand sanitising stations will be available.
  • Face coverings - Face coverings must be worn in Carlisle Castle's indoor shop, café and all other indoor spaces. We won't be able to give you a face covering so please come prepared so you don't miss out.
Book your visit
Illustration from exhibition at Carlisle Castle


Step into the rich and turbulent past of Carlisle Castle in the exhibition that brings the castle’s most famous inhabitants to life.  Discover their stories, from Mary Queen of Scots, and Bonnie Prince Charlie, to notorious Border Reivers such as Kinmont Willie Armstrong. Hear about his dramatic rescue in the exhibition.

Discover how the castle was occupied by the Scottish King, David I, during a long period of turbulent border conflicts between Scotland and England.

Easily accessible in the Old Militia Store, the exhibition includes a 3D virtual tour of the keep and Captain's Tower.

Prisoners' Carvings at Carlisle Castle

Prisoners’ Carvings

Uncover the truth behind the mysterious stone carvings found in the castle keep.  The beautifully crafted pieces of grafitti include images of a knight, a mermaid and many animals. See if you can spot a stag, a fish, and a boar…

Originally thought to have been carved by prisoners, recent research suggests that they may be the work of bored prison guards. Probably dating back to the 15th century they show support for the ruling family of the time, the Dacres, and include images of their crests.

View of the Warden's Apartments at Carlisle Castle

Warden’s Apartment

Step into this suite of rooms, once the bedroom of the King of England, Richard III. It's now known as the Warden's Apartments. Carlisle Castle was the seat of the Lord Warden of the West March, and Richard, Duke of Gloucester, later King Richard IIl filled this role.

Don't forget to visit the Captain's Tower, which is one of the best preserved gatehouses in the country.

Cumbria's Museum of Military Life

Cumbria's Museum of Military Life

Carlisle’s newest visitor attraction tells the 300-year story of Cumbria’s County Infantry Regiment and its soldiers past and present. Cumbria’s Museum of Military Life features a state of the art exhibition including a First World War trench environment, immersive audio/visual displays and an interactive trail for young people, as well as a huge variety of uniforms, medals, weapons and silver.

The museum is located in Alma building in the Outer Ward of Carlisle Castle. Separate admission applies, however a joint tickets for both the museum and the castle are available. For more information visit their website

'step into englands story