Hadrian Wall: An exciting Roman tour in England

Amazing Europe | | November 29, 2010 at 12:58 am


Accessible within 3.5 hours from London via the railway network, the Hadrian’s Wall is an ancient as well as the most famous landmark of the Roman Empire in northern England. This defensive fortification was named so after the emperor of the same name during whose era it was made (from 122 AD until probably 128 AD). Marking the northernmost Roman border, this Wall of Hadrian is today one of the main historical highlights in England gaining much importance as Stonehenge. More popularly, the entire region is known as the Hadrian Wall Country in which this Hadrian’s Wall has become the Roman pride. To add to your excitement, this wall is now no longer a wall, but has been transformed into a National Trail of 84 miles also known as the Coast to coast path. So, this time, I planned to visit this exciting fortification where there were a myriad of other attractions.

Built to isolate the Romans from the Barbarians, the Wall of Hadrian stretched between the Tyne River in East and Solway Firth in the West and was the most loftily built frontier in the Roman kingdom. In those early days, it was among the initial two buttresses erected across Great Britain of which the other was the Antonine Wall that is not that famous due to its fewer remains today. It is interesting to know that besides playing a major role of military fortification, the Hadrian’s Wall also acted as customs posts via its gates, which facilitated trade and taxation.

What is the most special aspect of this Hadrian’s Wall is its extent and continuity along with the array of citadels as well as garrison points adorning the trail. Tourists really wonder at its construction as much of its stonework is yet in its original look and style. Today, an important section of the wall is yet intact, especially its mid-section. As much of its stretch is well preserved, one can take up some adventure of walking by the Hadrian’s Wall Path or take up cycling on its National Cycle Route 72. However, many tourists like to take up the Hadrian’s Path or the Coast to Coast Path that make up a memorable long distance walk. Also known as the Roman Wall, the Hadrian Wall Country is certainly the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The government organization called the English Heritage describes the Wall of Hadrian as the most significant monument in Britain erected built by the Romans.

The Hadrian’s Wall in the Hadrian Wall Country is actually a part of a protective Roman system that include the following from north to south – a line of forts (there were 30 originally) that is located at 5 to 10 miles utilized for survey and intelligence, a deep ditch, a berm holding pits with entanglements, a curtain wall, a military road (the Military Way), and Vallum earthwork. You can visit most of these attractions by passing through the Coast to Coast Path that takes you by the side of the river route in Tyneside, the grazing ground overlooked by the Whin Sill escarpment, and farmland in Tynedale after which it goes down to meet the verdant pastures of Cumbria as well as the salt swamp of the Solway Estuary. Today, you will really enjoy this trail as you pass through a series of stunning forts and museums across the Northern England. Following is the list of amazing forts and museums to see here where many artifacts of the Roman era are still intact.

  • Segedunum (Wallsend)

  • Pons Aelius (Newcastle)
  • Condercum (Benwell Hill)
  • Vindobala (Rudchester)
  • Hunnum (Halton Chesters)
  • Cilurnum (Chesters)
  • Procolita (Carrowburgh)
  • Vercovicium (Housesteads)
  • Aesica (Great Chesters)
  • Magnis (Carvoran)

  • Banna (Birdoswald)
  • Camboglanna (Castlesteads)
  • Uxelodunum (Stanwix)
  • Aballava (Burgh-by-Sands)
  • Coggabata (Drumburgh)
  • Mais (Bowness-on-Solway)
  • Leahill Turret
  • Senhouse Roman Museum
  • Roman Army Museum
  • Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery

  • Great North Museum
  • Arbeia Roman Fort and Museum

Just grasp the maximum excitement and surprises along the National Trail that is connected to more than 80 short walks. It is simply apt for the people of all ages and that even a physically impaired person can explore the several stretches of the Wall. Besides a day visit, you can also think of spending a week in the Hadrian Wall Country. Check it out!

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