“Hadrian’s Wall follows in the footsteps of Roman Centurions tracing 2000 years along the battlement across beautiful countryside. Admire far-reaching views of the Wall from Wallsend, Cawfields, Walltown Crags and Gilsland. And encounter milecastles, Segedunum, Chesters, Housesteads, Vindolanda and Birdoswald Roman Forts.” ~ Contours Walking Holidays
In AD 122 Emperor Hadrian was well known for many of his building projects, but possibly best known for Hadrian’s Wall. He ordered the construction of the wall across northern England to hold back the advancing Barbarians. Despite the ransacking of the centuries, Hadrian’s Wall remains the largest ancient monument in northern Europe, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Walking it is the best way to appreciate it, and the ruggedly beautiful surrounding countryside, following in the footsteps of these Legionnaires.
Hadrian’s Wall Path
Hadrian’s Wall Path is one of the 15 National Trails in England and Wales. The Trail is 84 miles (135km) from coast to coast and most walkers allow around 7 days to walk the trail, also taking time to visit the many attractions along the way.
Hadrian’s Wall Path begins at Segedunum Fort, the most easterly outpost on Hadrian’s Wall, which stands on the banks of the River Tyne at Wallsend. From Segedunum, Hadrian’s Wall Path runs along the banks of the Tyne to Heddon-on-the-Wall, where a fine section of Hadrian’s Wall still remains. From here, the walk continues to Planetrees, the point where the initial 10-foot thick Broad Wall changes to an 8-foot thick Narrow Wall. Soon after, Hadrian’s Wall Path arrives at the impressive remains of Brunton Turret, which rises to a maximum of eleven courses high. It then takes in the extensive remains of a series of Roman bridges over the River Tyne before arriving at Chesters Fort on the outskirts of Chollerford. Here outstanding remains include an ornate headquarters building, commanding officer’s house, barracks and the military bathhouse nestling against the bank of the river.
After Chollerford, Hadrian’s Wall Path passes a wonderful section of Wall at Black Carts and then reaches Limestone Corner. This is an interesting spot littered with boulders displaying evidence of having been worked on by the legionnaires building the Wall. Soon after passing Brocolita, with its temple dedicated to the sun God Mithras, Hadrian’s Wall Path arrives at the most dramatic stretch of the Wall. Here it snakes along an undulating ridge above sheer cliffs and lonely lakes. The trail passes milecastles, turrets, Saxon burial cists, medieval shields, a Roman bridge and the ruin of a medieval castle. Also to be seen are the impressive forts of Housesteads, with its remarkable latrines and hospital; Vindolanda, with its superb bathhouse and inn for travellers; and Birdoswald, with its fine gateways and granaries.
Beyond Birdoswold Hadrian’s Wall Path continues past Pike Hill Signal Tower, with distant views of the mountains of the Lake District, to Haytongate. Here a track leads down to the picturesque ruin of Lanercost Priory, which was built from stone plundered from Hadrian’s Wall. From here, Hadrian’s Wall Path meanders through quiet farmland to Carlisle, a city dominated by its magnificent Norman castle, before following the River Eden through sleepy hamlets to the village of Bowness-on-Solway on the shores of the Solway Firth.
For further information contact Contours Walking Holidays
B&B accommodation is arranged prior to departure and you are provided maps and a guidebook describing the route. Luggage is transported between overnight stops.
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