As England's most northwesterly county, the weather in Cumbria is not always something to be proud of. But even British clouds cannot hide the extraordinary landscape of the Pennines which run along the eastern border of the county.
In fact, these natural features are Cumbria's strongest asset. Though fewer than 50,000 people actually live in the Lake District, each year the Lake District National Park alone receives 15.8 visitors. Tourism is the biggest industry by far in Cumbria, employing some 36,000 people in the county and adding £1.1 billion to the county's economy every year.
The county town Carlisle is located just 10 miles south of the Scottish border, at the confluence of three rivers: Caldew, Petteril, and Eden. In 1525 the Archbishop Dunbar of Glasgow is famed for placing a curse against the 'Border Reivers' who made a living by raiding and pillaging towns along the Anglo-Scottish border. This 1,069-word diatribe, which has now come to be known as the Curse of Carlisle, still raises fervour in the local population, and some-either superstitious or onto something-believe the town to be under its influence today.