Gilsland village is unique in that it straddles the county border, half the village is in Northumberland and the other half is in Cumbria.
Gilsland lies at the sunny confluence of the River Irthing and the Poltross Burn, where the remains of a Roman milecastle can still be seen. The sulphur waters brought tourists here 250 years ago and the railway confirmed its prosperity as a holiday destination. The Spa evolved into a convalescent home for Cooperative Society workers and became the maternity home for the Newcastle and Tyneside during the Second World War.
Gilsland Spa Hotel now offers 94 en suite rooms and is an excellent venue for Conferences and is also licenced to hold civil ceremonies. It caters for both residents and non-residents in Galloways Bar and Hadrian’s Coffee shop. Sitting in 140 acres of manicured garden and natural woodland it is in an idyllic countryside location with spectacular views over the Cumbrian and Northumberland countryside and an ideal base for exploring the Heart of Hadrian’s Wall, as well as for visiting Carlisle, Hexham and Newcastle.
Situated in the heart of the village is House of Meg tearooms, which offers a wide range of food and refreshments. The tea house has historic connections with a notorious seventeenth-century landlady called Meg Teasdale and her story was written in a novel by Sir Walter Scott. John Keat's well-known poem, Meg Merrilies, is painted on the wall inside the House of Meg
At Upper Denton, not far from Gilsland you'll find a tiny church with a fine Roman arch and Roman stones. This Anglo-Saxon church was built in 826 using a lot of Roman stones from Nether Denton Fort. This church is well worth a visit and the key is available from the house opposite.
High above the River Irthing. Birdoswald Roman Fort is the perfect place to stop for a family day out or if you're walking or cycling along Hadrian's Wall near Gilsland. The visitor centre gives an insight into the way of life from Roman times onwards and has interesting interactive displays and artefacts as well as a model representation of the Wall at its full height. Enjoy delicious locally made cakes and treats in the tearoom while outside wildlife is in abundance as this site is a real nature haven. Birdoswald also offers farmhouse style accommodation available for those wishing to stay within this historic site.