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Hallmark Hotel Carlisle

Many hotels boast an intriguing history but few can claim they were actually built for a monarch. The Hallmark Hotel Carlisle can. It’s rather special. Opened for the visit of Queen Victoria in 1853, it was linked to the neighbouring train station by a tunnel so her majesty could hop straight from her carriage into the bespoke suite. No royal walkabouts in those days!

Unsurprisingly, the striking building with echoes of a Northern European palace, has more than a little architectural flair. It was designed by Anthony Salvin, a pupil of the eminent town planner John Nash, and a man considered a ‘hot ticket’ in his day having recently refurbished Windsor Castle. In 1890 William Gladstone addressed crowds from one of its windows en route to becoming Prime Minister for a record fourth term.

While the Hallmark Hotel Carlisle has moved with the times, it still sports evidence of these elite Victorian roots from the initials GHH on its crest – they stand for George Head Head, the city’s mayor, magistrate and banker – to the ground floor’s ribbed plaster ceilings and the incredible ballroom, created as part of an 1866 refurbishment.

Indeed, our 70 ensuite bedrooms have high 19th century ceilings and are flooded with daylight through large period  windows. Naturally, the hotel also displays more recent features from the tasteful contemporary wallpaper drizzled with harmonious artworks, juxtaposed with warm wood and bold splashes of colour to superfast WiFi, flat screen TVs and 24-hour room service.

There’s one thing you definitely wouldn’t have seen in Queen Victoria’s day, however: our richly coloured brasserie with glass-fronted wine store. It offers an acclaimed mix of modern British and European dishes from beer battered fish to homemade pies to bouillabaisse, arancini and pork schnitzel, along with occasional spicy favourites from further afield including Goan prawn curry.

Our afternoon tea – served every day in the bar or brasserie – is a real treat. The selection of homemade scones and freshly whipped cream, tray bakes and finger sandwiches is one of Carlisle’s great culinary experiences.

Our Victorian Ballroom is magnificent. It has capacity for up to 180 guests for a sit-down meal, making it the perfect venue for your wedding reception, special celebration, club dinner or ball in Carlisle.

Guests at the hotel have special access to the DW Sports Fitness Club, just 10 minutes’ walk away (for only £10.00 per person). The club has luxury facilities including a 20-metre swimming pool, a large air-conditioned gymnasium, steam-room, spa baths and exercise studio.

But the Hallmark Hotel Carlisle serves more than fine food and wonderfully deep sleep. Tucked into the heart of the city a mere ticket toss from the train station and within walking distance of the Lanes Shopping Centre, Cathedral and Tullie House Museum and Gallery, it’s also a hotspot for weddings, private parties and major corporate functions. It’s partly down to our five superbly versatile event suites including the majestic ballroom with its pastel, purple and gilt décor, towering ceiling and beautiful sprung wooden dance floor that can host up to 200 guests for a breathtaking evening reception. And it’s also thanks to our brilliant event coordinators: dedicated experienced experts with trusted local contacts for everything from photography to cake making.

Add in our arrangement with a cracking local health and fitness club so you have access to a 20m pool, hot tubs and a fibre-optic steam room along with a state-of-the-art gym, and the Hallmark Hotel Carlisle has the best of old and new. And we haven’t even mentioned our stellar location that lets you chose between a day out on Hadrian’s Wall to the north and the Lake District to the south. We’re certain her majesty, were she to drop in on her way to Balmoral, would approve. As in 1853 we’re ready and waiting.


Hotel highlights

  • 70 bedrooms including family rooms and singles
  • Brasserie and wine bar
  • Stunning Victorian ballroom for up to 180 guests
  • 5 meeting rooms with capacity for up to 220 delegates
  • Free WiFi throughout the Hotel
  • 26 car parking spaces, with charges payable directly to the hotel
  • Special offer for guests to use DW Sports Fitness Club (10 minutes’ walk)
  • BT Sport is now available in the bar/lounge area


Guest Reviews

My wife and I have travelled the USA extensively and spent time in some of the best hotels...and must tell you that your establishment is up there with the very best of them. 

James Askew

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