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Holidays in Hadrians Wall

Hadrian’s Wall is one of the largest examples of Roman architecture in the British Isles

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Hadrian's Wall

Hadrian’s Wall is a mighty World Heritage Site. As the name suggests, it’s a wall 73 miles long that stretches from Wallsend in Newcastle on the east coast to the shores of Solway Firth in the west. Once a defensive fortification, it still carves an incredible path across the landscape, popular with walkers and historians alike. It is also one of the largest remaining Roman structures in the world.

Built by 15,000 Romans, it’s an ancient feat of engineering that still impresses today. It took 6 years to complete, starting in AD122. Significant sections of the wall still exist along with the remnants of forts, bath houses, mile forts, shrines, turrets and castles. There are also several museums along the wall where you can learn all about the discoveries made and the battles that took place 2000 years ago.

The landscape is sparse and beautifully bleak, attracting long distance walkers from all around the world. With North East Guides, you can enjoy a guided walk along this ancient boundary for either part or all of the distance. For most of the journey, the A69 loosely follows the course of the wall for those that want to drive coast to coast and take in the highlights. There are various inroads up to the wall along the length of the structure from the main road and some secondary routes. There’s also the AD122 Hadrian’s Wall bus which offers a ‘hop on, hop off’ service for visitors to the area.

Hadrian's Wall signpost

Starting in the west, at Maryport on the Solway Coast, is the Senhouse Roman Museum. It was here that Hadrian’s Wall met the coast to join with a line of coastal defences that extended as a far as Ravenglass. The Senhouse collection features Roman artefacts excavated at the ancient fort of Alauna, close by. At the museum is a large and important collection of Roman Altars to the god Zeus. The first commander of Alauna was the infamous Marcus Agrippa who was a long term associate of Emperor Hadrian.

Also visit the eight standing Roman forts still visible today. The best known and most excavated sites are Vindolanda, Housesteads and Epiacum. Vindolanda has a visitor centre, facilities, and a collection of invaluable ancient items on display. It is also a live archaeological site, so artefacts are still being discovered occasionally and the public can view the dig sites.

“The landscape is sparse and beautifully bleak, attracting long distance walkers from all around the world.”

People visit from far and wide because Vindolanda is considered to be an important archaeological resource. One of the most prized findings so far are the VIndolanda Tablets, which are the oldest surviving handwritten documents in the UK. Another place to stop at in Vindolanda is the Roman Army Museum. Be sure to visit to see some interactive and 3D displays and lots of interesting artefacts from Roman times.

Carlisle and the large city of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne are the main places to stock up on provisions and enjoy some nightlife. However, there are plenty of smaller towns and villages along the A69 to buy essentials.

We have a number of lovely cottages close to Hadrian’s Wall. Why not visit our collection to feel inspired?

While you’re there

AD122 Bus

Take the AD122 bus along the wall, which stops at all the main attractions. You can hop on and hop off to your heart’s content.

Vindolanda

A working excavation site, this museum at Hadrian’s Wall is a brilliant immersive experience. Also find out how Roman soldiers lived nearly 2000 years ago.

Senhouse Museum

Maryport’s Senhouse Museum houses some important Roman artefacts and a recreation of an ancient water tower.

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