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Nearby, is the border with Scotland and to the east lie the remains of the famous Roman wall, now a World Heritage Site.
Carlisle is also a major transport hub with links to Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, via the well known Settle & Carlisle Railway, Manchester, Birmingham and London.
Consequently, a superficial layer of Romano-British remains, remarkable chiefly for their quantity, is strewn across the surrounding landscape and dominates archaeological writings on the region, no doubt due to the classicist thrall under which early (and some later) archaeologists worked, the ease with which Roman artefacts can be found and the relative lack of original research since 1900.
Prominent remains of military structures form tourist attractions, the focus being almost entirely on their stone-built phases, most having been repeatedly re-constructed in turf & timber.
The evident antiquity of the civil parish boundaries may also be traceable to the Iron Age.
Gilsland is situated upon Hadrian's Wall, a noted monument constructed by the Roman army in the early part of the second century AD and lately dignified by inclusion as a World Heritage Site.
As in most areas of Britain, Bronze-Age and Iron-Age settlement in Northumberland is represented by cup and ring marked stones, standing stones and hill forts, though few such monuments, with the possible exception of the Popping Stone, have been found near Gilsland.
Recent field walking activities by a local archaeology group have produced flint artefacts dated to the Bronze Age and Neolithic.
The only rules for competitors are age limits and the requirement to wear a wetsuit (there are no exceptions to this rule) The age categories are a minimum age of 14 years for the 1600 metres swim and 17years for the 3.8 kilometre event, and, all entrants should be capable of swimming 1 mile in a swimming pool without stopping. Near Ullswater Steamers/St Patrick's Boat Landings. Competitors, who may enter as a member of a team or go solo, have a choice of either the Fell Yomp of 23 miles; the Half Yomp of 11.5 miles or the 6.5 mile Short Yomp.