Hadrian's Wall

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Hadrian's Wall ran from Wallsend in the northeast of England to Bowness-on-Solway in the northwest, about 84 miles long. Some people claim it may have ran from Tynemouth to Silloth.

The main attractions to be seen today are the remains of Roman artifacts, forts, towns, and sections of the wall, mainly in the area between the towns of Brampton and Corbridge, alongside the B6318 road.

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Lanercost Priory, Thirwall Castle, and Aydon Castle are the other top attractions in the area. Visit the Photo Pages for the forts, towns and wall at:

Birdoswald Fort & Wall

Roman Army Museum / Quarry & Wall

Cawfield Quarry & Wall

Once Brewed Visitor Centre / Sycamore Gap & Wall

Vindolanda Fort & Large Museum

Housesteads Fort & Wall

Chesters Fort

Corbridge Roman Town

Wallsend Fort

The main towns in the area to visit are Corbridge , Hexham , Haltwhistle and Brampton, all historic towns good for meals and accommodation.

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Roman Army Museum image
Roman Army Museum

Housesteads image
Hadrian's Wall at Housesteads

Hexham Abbey image
Hexham Abbey

Vindolanda Museum image
Vindolanda Museum

Vindolanda Roman Fort image
Vindolanda Fort

Hadrians Wall Map image

Carlisle and Newcastle are also good bases for visiting Hadrian's Wall, with regular buses and trains running to Hexham and Haltwhistle, from where the Hadrian's Wall Bus runs to the Roman forts and main sections of the wall.

The main sections when walking the full route are from Wallsend to Heddon-on-the-Wall 16 miles . Heddon-on-the-Wall to Humshaugh by Chesters 18 miles . Humshaugh by Chesters to Gilsland 24 miles . Gilsland to Carlisle 21 miles . Carlisle to Bowness-on-Solway 17 miles.

Full Walking Route Guide . Bunkhouses on the Route .

Small villages often used as stopovers and holidays for visiting the wall are: Greenhead . Gilsland . Banks . Chollerford / Humshaugh . Heddon on the Wall .

Bowness on Solway is also often used as a stopover.

Hadrians Wall History

The first invasions of Britain by the Romans were led by Julius Caesar in 55 and 54 BC, only short campaigns, with one substantial battle where they defeated the Cassivellaunus in the south of England. Caesar then began trading with many of the other tribes in Briton.

The Roman conquest of Britain began in AD 43 by Emperor Claudius, said to be as a result of many of the tribes in Briton fighting amongst themselves.

The Roman take-over of Briton was a slow process, trying to gain support from the many tribes throughout the country. Some tribes welcomed the Romans, other rebelled.

The most famous rebellion was that of Queen Boudica of the Iceni Tribe in around AD 60, where her followers killed about 70,000 Romans and their British followers in the London area.

The Roman defeat of Boudica allowed them to press on taking over areas further north.

By AD 84, the Romans had reached the north of Scotland, building a road network and a number of forts.

By 122, under Emperor Hadrian, the Romans pulled out fo Scotland and began building Hadrian's Wall along the north of England between Newcastle and Carlisle, about 73 miles long. The many Scottish tribes and mountainous landscape, made Scotland too difficult to control.

Eighteen thousand soldiers built Hadrian's Wall, abouth 15 feet high and 7 to 8 feet wide.

There were 16 forts along the wall, normaly a milecastle evry mile, and two turrets between each milecastle. In the central section, the remains of these can be seen today.

In front of many sections of the wall was a 27 feet wide, 9 feet deep ditch.

In 142, the Romans built a similar wall between Edinburgh and Glasgow, the narrowest point in Scotland, 39 miles long, known as the Antonine Wall.

In 162, the Romans abandoned the Antonine Wall, pulling back to Hadrian's Wall.

By 410, the last Romans had withdrawn from Briton as the Roman Empire began to fall apart, this being the result of sustained attacks by Europen tribes, ending almost 300 years of Romans living along Hadrian's Wall, the furthest outpost of the Roman Empire.

The Saxons, a Germanic people moved into England after the Romans departed, becomming the main influence in England from the 400s to 1000s.

The best preserved sections of the wall and forts are in the middle section, over the highest and most remote points, where there is little agriculture and few buildings.

John Clayton of Chesters House and Estate, began excavations in the 1840s, and fought to preserve the central section of Hadrians Wall. A museum was opened at Chesters 1896, attracting the first tourists to the area.

Today, Hadrian's Wall attracts visitors from all around the world, with the central section of the wall being one of the top walking / hiking routes in the UK.