Penrith is a large town acting as a regional centre for the eastern Lake District, lying just outside the National Park. Its position on the strategic route to and from Scotland has resulted, since Roman times, in its development as a military centre. Penrith was once the capital of Cumbria. The attractive town is the hub of the Eden Valley. It is an important shopping centre, with a good mix of traditional shops and sophisticated arcades. Leading off Penrith’s main streets are many old yard entrances with interesting inscriptions on the lintels.