Hadrian’s Wall is recognised as being one of the UK’s finest and most popular heritage sites. Surrounded in lush countryside and immersed in history, Hadrian’s Wall lends itself beautifully as a destination for explorers and enthusiasts of the great outdoors.
As a World Heritage Site, Hadrian’s Wall stretches 73 miles across the country, from coast to coast. The site is an exceptional area to explore Roman history and revel in some of the UK’s most rugged and stunning land.
In 120 AD, Emperor Hadrian ordered the building of the wall by way of securing and marking the Roman’s northern frontier. Within 8 years the wall was completed and proved to be an imposing and impressive site. The stretch was also home to 14 forts, reflective of the Roman need to protect and secure.
In subsequent centuries, Hadrian’s Wall was abandoned, re-secured, renovated and repaired when needed. Such repairs continue today when necessary and highlight the need for the site to remain well preserved for the thousands of visitors each year.
In 1987, the site was granted the status of a World Heritage Site, recognising the importance of the history and the need to secure preservation of the wall.
Hadrian’s Wall is an exceptional destination for visitors who have an interest in outdoor activities and history. The stretch is home to multiple attractions and activities, guaranteeing to interest and entertain all ages. Hadrian’s Wall can be tracked through a variety of trails, each of varying difficulty and each with remarkable views and historical content.
The Birdoswald Trail offers visitors wonderful access to the remains of the Roman frontier and is located close by to a river, making it a wonderful area for families. The Chesters Trail offers visitors a more relaxed area, that is less busy than other parts of the wall.
This trail provides excellent ruin access, whilst providing ideal valley settings for photographs and tranquil walks.
Those with a taste for archaeology will find Hadrian’s Wall to be a treasure trove of artefacts. With several excavations having been completed in the area, Hadrian’s Wall has been the finding site of military artefacts, social pieces, jewellery and glassware.
Housed at Housesteads, the most important UK collection of Roman artefacts is varied, intricate and fascinating.
Children are readily entertained with exhibitions tailored for younger minds and refreshments are available on site. The staff at the Housesteads are experts in their field and keen to support any guest’s understanding of Roman life and the history of the wall.
A must-see is also the fort at Vindolanda, sections of which have been reconstructed. The museum and site also features an amazing array of artefact that give a very human insight into day-to-day Roman life at the wall, with tablets and diaries on display that show the thoughts and worries of the inhabitants.
Unsurprisingly, the 73 mile stretch of Hadrian’s Wall provides ample offerings for accommodation. There are a variety of youth hostels and budget lodgings, as well as campsites for those who can brave the winds and chill.
Alternatively, chain hotels and luxury independent accommodation are spaced throughout the route, enabling visitors to enjoy some relaxation and comfort following a day outdoors.
Internet searches reveal hidden gems of accommodation that are run independently by locals. The managers of such sites offer a warm welcome and expert knowledge on routes, things to see and potential seasonal dangers of the area.
Local pubs are also available in the villages that run alongside the wall. These pubs welcome walkers and often their dogs. Most provide hearty meals and open fires, allowing visitors to escape from potential hostile weather and make new friends with locals and guests from across the world.
Image 1 Roman Soldiers: CanvaKala
Image 2 Map of Hadrian's Wall: Source: Celtic Trails – www.celtic-trails.com
Image 3 Section of Wall Reconstruction: Source: Ancient Vine – www.ancientvine.com
Image 4 Wall Ruin: CanvaKala
Image 5 Wall Remains: CanvaKala
Image 6 Housesteads Ruins: Source: English Heritage – www.englishheritage.org.uk
Image 7 Housesteads Reconstruction: Source: Houseteads Reconstruction – www.englishheritage.org.uk
Image 8 Vindolanda Tablets: Source: Vindolanda Tablets – Wikiepedia & www.history.org.uk
Image 9 Temple of Mithras Stones: Source: www.english-heritage.org.uk