The district is located in the southernmost parts of the Lüneburg Heath (Lüneburger Heide). The Aller River enters the district in the east, runs through the town of Celle and leaves the district in the northwest. It is joined by many tributaries coming from the south.
The lion and the heart were part of the arms of the Lüneburg, a subdivision of the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg. The Principality was occasionally (but incorrectly) also known as Brunswick-Celle, since Celle was its capital for some time. The only difference is the number of hearts (the original coat of arms included more than one heart).