/ What's Carlisle like as a place to live?

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on a far off mountain - on 24 Feb 2013
I've got an opportunity to apply for a good job in Carlisle but not sure whether I'd actually like to live there. I've only ever been in Carlisle to get to the train station so haven't got a handle on what it is really like. Obviously I would visit before committing to living there but I'm not sure whether to spend time sticking in an application when my to do list is rather lengthy!

Advantages as I see it are:
- close to Scotland
- nice countryside on doorstep
- easy to get out of
- ummm......

Has it got some quirky things to do/nice shops/cafes/theatre? Other options include Kendal and Lancaster....better/worse/don't touch any of them with a bargepole? I'm not a fan of big cities but it would be nice to live somewhere which feels thriving. Any insights would be gratefully received :)
biped - on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to on a far off mountain:

I work there now and again. I quite like it, but thriving isn't a word that come to mind... It is as you say close to some nice countryside, and very handy for the Lakes which has got to be a major draw, but I'd go and have a long weekend there if you can to get the feel of the place.

If Kendal is an option then that is a no-brainer, assuming you aren't after city life.
redsonja - on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to on a far off mountain: carlisle isnt a bad place to live, with lots of positives as you say. lancaster isnt very nice and i would prefer carlisle to kendal. im living in windermere now but im from the carlisle area and prefer it to the south lakes. my romanian friend recently moved there for work and really likes it. if you have a chance of a good job, i would just go for it. there are a lot worse places to live! good luck
Ghastly Rubberfeet on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to on a far off mountain:

Just watch the latest series of "Police Interceptors".

That'll give you an idea.
peas65 - on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to heidi123:

Ah the north/south cumbria divide!!

I am from Kendal, still live here and love it, i can see the good points of carlisle such as being further north, great location, bigger city but every time i go there it looks run down and reminds me not of a thriving city but some of the poorer outskirts of liverpool.

Having said that, the villages around carlisle are beautiful, house prices are much more reasonable etc leaving you more money for playing and you are closer to borrowdale :)
redsonja - on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to peas65: you will kill me for saying it, but the people in carlisle are nicer than those from the south lakes (generally speaking!). im sure the OP would find them friendly anyway
coinneach - on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to heidi123:

I work in Carlisle
but live 25 miles............ish away in the countryside.

The city itself is nothing special but as a previous poster indicated lots of lovely villages / hamlets not far away.

Location is great for access to Lakes / Northumberland / Galloway and not too far from the Highlands.

coinneach - on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to coinneach:

I also work in Kendal / Lancaster on occasions and I wouldn't swap!
Skyfall - on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to on a far off mountain:

I lived in Carlisle for about a year (about ten years ago) and really liked it. Nice friendly people - and I'm a southerner! Much prefer it to Kendal as a place to live. Mind it is a fair drive down to the Lakes proper; 40 mins?
The New NickB - on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to on a far off mountain:

Lancaster is a lovely little city.
BelleVedere on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to on a far off mountain:

There's a new climbing wall i hear. i'd probably rather live in penrith though - neater, good little lesuire centre - nearer the lakes (like cycleable near) and still just up the road to carlisle.
Bella - on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to on a far off mountain: I've not lived in Carlisle, only visited occasionally for work. The advantages are as you've listed them. I wouldn't describe Carlisle as thriving. Lancaster's a nice small city, and Kendal's great. It depends what you're wanting in the way of lifestyle, and whether things like house prices influence your decision.

Kendal to Carlisle every day is a long commute though, and Lancaster to Carlisle would take a big chunk out of each day. Have you thought of Penrith?

I don't think anyone can reasonably make statements like 'people in Carlisle are friendlier than those in the south lakes'. I've met loads of really friendly people in Kendal.
Martymo - on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to on a far off mountain: I've lived in Kendal for 7 years and spent a lot of time in Lancaster. I love Kendal, friendly folk, awesome outdoor scene with loads and loads of like minded folk.....its kinda a big outdoors family! We've got a pretty good wall too.

Lancaster is good too, but the outdoors crew is a bit smaller. I've heard good things about Penrith and its probably a better bet for doorstep adventures than Carlisle.

Good luck! I'm excited for your new adventures!
Lord of Starkness - on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to on a far off mountain:

At various times I've lived in Carlisle, Penrith and near Workington. Like all towns / cities they've got their good points and bad ones. I'm a Geordie so am used to northern friendliness, and whilst the folks in Carlisle were friendly enough, I found them a bit more 'stand offish' than either Penrith of West Cumbria. Carlisle is a town that's very much divided by the railway and the river. If anything the west side is nicer to live, however getting in to the city centre could be a bit of a pain in the @rse.

If I had the opportunity ( and could afford) to move back to Cumbria I'd be looking at the Penrith area - but then again I've a lot of old friends there, going back almost 40 years!
on a far off mountain - on 24 Feb 2013
Thanks for the feedback everyone, some mixed reviews of Carlisle! I'm not looking to buy a house as I'm seeing this job as a step on the way to moving back to Scotland for 2 years or so. I'm hugely flexible as to where I live as long as it's in the North, near something hilly and with fairly good communications to other parts of the country....oh and there is a job! I think on balance I'd prefer to be more in the Lakes if I'm right up there. Since no one has really said that Carlisle is the best place ever so I'm going to hold my horses on applying for the job in Carlisle and wait for more jobs to advertised which will hopefully be more Penrith/Kendal/Dales direction. It's always difficult to not apply for every job you see! But indeed very exciting times as I could end up living anywhere (that's also pretty scary!)
Carolyn - on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to on a far off mountain:

I'd say they're all pretty good places to live, although Carlisle itself would probably be bottom of my list - bit big for me, although living a bit out (possibly even Penrith) and commuting in might be OK. Penrith strikes me as having some nice quirky bits.

But depending on what kind of job, you might find other places in the Lakes that fit the bill, too (Ulverston? Cockermouth?)
mockerkin on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to on a far off mountain:

I must also say Penrith. It is only 18 miles from Carlisle down the A6 and for a town of only 15,000 it has a lot going for it. Two cycle shops, a Sainsbury's, a Morrison's, two Co-ops, a Booth's which is the northern version of Waitrose, an Aldi, Deli shops, Shooting and fishing shops (green wellies only 100) climbing wall and more. The supermarket overkill is because of the many outlying villages. A few good places to eat, many good pubs.It is a route focus. It's on the Euston /Glasgow west coast line and has trains to Manchester, Edinburgh and a few more places. The A66 and M6 are one mile out of town, the A6 runs through it but is quiet. Close to the Lakes, Ullswater twenty minutes away by bus, Borrowdale 17 miles.A ruined castle, typical traditional market town with award winning chip shops and butchers. Usual friendly north folk, when you leave the bus you say thank you to the driver.
mockerkin on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to mockerkin:

>> I forgot the MacDonalds and KFC
Neil Williams - on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to heidi123:

" lancaster isnt very nice"

Eh? Lancaster is a lovely little city, I'd very happily live there if I had cause to, and it's quite near larger cities (Liverpool/Manchester/Preston), Manchester Airport etc. Morecambe (attached to it) is crap though.

Neil
Skyfall - on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to Carolyn:

> I'd say they're all pretty good places to live, although Carlisle itself would probably be bottom of my list - bit big

If you have a family in tow I'd agree; as a single bloke I quite liked it as a starting point.
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mockerkin on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to mockerkin:
> (In reply to mockerkin)
>
> >> I forgot the MacDonalds and KFC

>> I also forgot the library, cinema and clubs for every hobby/interest, few of which you may have an interest in but they are cohesive elements for the local people.
Also you can go to the foot the hill in Penrith called Beacon Hill and you can see 19 Lakes fells from Blencathra, past Helvellyn and St.Sunday crag to Swarth fell.
Beacon Hill by the way has a beacon tower on it to be lit when the Scots approach to sack the town, so perhaps you should be careful on that approach.
Yes, I may work for Penrith tourist office.

goose299 - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to on a far off mountain:
Lived in Penrith for a year. Heard from a police officer there that it's easier to get heroin than marijuana. That can't bode well for the town.
New POD - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to goose299:
> (In reply to on a far off mountain)
> Lived in Penrith for a year. Heard from a police officer there that it's easier to get heroin than marijuana. That can't bode well for the town.

I Lived Near Settle for a year, and parents of teenagers assumed that because it was a nice town there would be no drugs. Oh the nieveiety of the middle classes.

Lord_ash2000 - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to on a far off mountain: It's got a pretty good Bouldering centre called Eden Rock to train at.

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