1950–1983: The Urban District of Penrith, and the Rural Districts of Alston with Garrigill, Border, Penrith, and Wigton.
1983–1997: The District of Eden wards of Alston Moor, Appleby, Appleby Bongate, Askham, Brough, Crosby Ravensworth, Dacre, Eamont, Greystoke, Hartside, Hesket, Kirkby Thore, Kirkoswald, Langwathby, Lazonby, Long Marton, Lowther, Penrith East, Penrith North, Penrith South, Penrith West, Skelton, Ullswater, and Warcop, the City of Carlisle wards of Arthuret, Brampton, Burgh, Dalston, Great Corby and Geltsdale, Hayton, Irthing, Lyne, St Cuthbert Without, Stanwix Rural, and Wetheral, and the District of Allerdale wards of Aspatria, Boltons, Marsh, Silloth, Tarns, Wampool, Warnell, Waver, and Wigton.
1997–2010: The District of Eden, the City of Carlisle wards of Arthuret, Brampton, Great Corby and Geltsdale, Hayton, Irthing, Lyne, Stanwix Rural, and Wetheral, and the District of Allerdale wards of Marsh, Wampool, Warnell, and Wigton.
2010–present: The District of Eden, the City of Carlisle wards of Brampton, Great Corby and Geltsdale, Hayton, Irthing, Longtown and Rockcliffe, Lyne, and Stanwix Rural, and the District of Allerdale wards of Warnell and Wigton.
The constituency was created in 1950 by merging part of Penrith and Cockermouth with North Cumberland. It was redrawn in 1983 by taking in most of the northern part of the old Westmorland constituency and in 1997 by taking in the Kirkby Stephen and Tebay areas of the pre-1997 Westmorland and Lonsdale constituency by doing so the constituency covered the entire district of Eden. The constituency also includes parts of Allerdale and Carlisle districts but has been losing parts of these areas to other seats at each boundary review.
A heavily undulating, mostly farmed terrain dotted by market towns and historic villages, with wooded mountainsides and heath-covered tops, the constituency is focused on the Eden Valley between the Pennines and the Lake District, with the vale of the River Irthing above Carlisle. In the north towards Scotland are 8 of its 42 wards all beside or in the market town of Brampton which sits beside Hadrian's Wall.
The constituency tends to have modest incomes, low unemployment and a rate of dependency on social housing lower than urban centres.
Members of Parliament
Despite its location, Penrith and the Border has been continuously represented by Scottish MPs for the last sixty-six years. The seat was represented for nearly three decades by William Whitelaw, who served as a cabinet minister in various capacities during Conservative governments of the 1970s and 1980s and later joined the House of Lords. His successor the former Conservative Chief Whip and junior minister, David Maclean sat as MP from 1983 to 2010 when he stood down due to the state of his health; he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1996. He was succeeded by Rory Stewart. In September 2019 Rory Stewart was removed from the Conservative party and became an Independent MP. At the December 2019 election Neil Hudson of the Conservative party became the new member.