While you are in Brampton town centre look out for the blue plaque on the wall of Hamilton’s Shoe Shop: the building was Bonnie Prince Charlie’s campaign base for a while, and some of his followers were hanged at the Capon Tree on Capon Tree Road (so called as the judges used to sit under the tree to eat their capons).
Edward I, tired and ill from his Scottish campaigns, stayed at nearby Lanercost Priory for 6 months before he moved to Burgh by Sands where he died. Lanercost was also a base for Robert the Bruce’s army, and the medieval Dacre Hall is reputed to be the oldest village hall in England. From Lanercost it’s a short climb up the hill to Banks Turret on Hadrian’s Wall, with superb views across to the northern Pennines, including Cold Fell: on a winter’s day you can see how it got its name.
Just 9 miles to the west in the other direction lies the border city of Carlisle. Here you can visit the sturdy castle, used as a prison for many a Reiver as well as for Mary Queen of Scots. The nearby cathedral with its gorgeous bright blue and gold ceiling has on show a replica of the sword used by Sir Hugh de Morville, a knight of Westmorland and one of the murderers of Thomas Becket.