Gilsland is a small village that straddles the border between Cumbria and Northumberland, with most of its houses in Northumberland. It is situated on Hadrian’s Wall, and is ideal for exploring the North Pennines, Eden Valley and the Scottish Borders.
The River Irthing rises in the hills around Paddaburn Moor in Border Forest Park, and for the first 15 miles of its journey south it defines the border between Northumberland and Cumbria. At Butterburn, the river flows over the ten-metre high Crammell Linn waterfall and into a sandstone gorge. After flowing through Gilsland, its course as it turns west is lined with sites from Roman Britain, including Birdoswald Fort, at the top of the steep gorge carved out by the river.
Just north of the village is Gilsland Hall Hotel, much frequented in the summer on account of its beautiful scenery, and the chalybeate and sulphur springs that issue from the rocks. The building, originally known as the Shaws, was rebuilt by George Gill Mounsey in 1865.