Explore Hadrian's Wall

"He set out for Britain where he put many things straight and was the first to build a wall, eighty miles in length, by which Romans and barbarians should be divided."

This is how the Roman chronicles describe the Emperors Hadrian's visit to Britain in AD 122. Hadrian's Wall marked the far north western frontier of the Roman Empire and stood as a grim reminder of the might of Rome to the tribes living outside the Empire's borders and remains as one of the greatest monuments to the Romans.

Picture of Hadrian's wall

Hadrian's Wall cuts right across Britain from the Roman fort of Segedenum at the mouth of the Tyne in the east to the Solway Firth in the west. On its way through Northumberland and Cumbria the Wall crosses through some of England's wildest and most beautiful countryside. But it is not just a journey through Britain, it is also a journey through time. From the vibrant busy streets of Newcastle, with its brilliant night-life of bars, pubs, clubs, theatre and music right back through time to the ancient Roman fort at Vindolanda, where fragments of letters give glimpses of life in Roman Britain. On the way you will pass the remains of the regions Industrial heritage, such as the shipyards at Wallsend as well as old medieval castlesand peel towers where you will hear echoes of the Border Reivers who raided and terrorised the border between Scotland and England.

Hadrian's Wall is a world heritage site, and is part of the international "Frontiers of the Roman Empire" world heritage site, which consists of Hadrian's wall and the Upper German Raetian Limes. The eighty four mile long Hadrian's Wall path allows people to walk the full length of the Wall and provides some great facilities for visiting Hadrian's Wall. The trail has bought a great increase in the number of campsites and hotels, excellent visitor information, good public transport and new museums and art galleries. The changes aren't limited to the Wall however, the quayside in Newcastle and Gateshead has been totally transformed over the last few decades to an exciting arena full of bars and restaurants, along with the amazing Sage Concert hall and Baltic art gallery. However for many visitors the high-light of their visit won't be the towns and cities but the magnificent countryside and scenery, especially awe inspiring where the Wall snakes along the dramatic crags past Housesteads.

In recent years there have been many developments, with one of the biggest being the opening of the Great North museum. It's outstanding displays on Hadrian's Wall, along with big improvements to the Tullie House museum in Carlisle really help to bring the wall to life. However developments continue all along the wall with the latest developments including a new museum and visitor centre at Housesteads Roman fort and further developments to the displays at Vindolana. Vindolanda also has continuing archaeological excavations, where you can watch Roman remains literally being unearthed in front of you.

Hadrian's Wall can also be explored by bike, with many good cycle routes in the area. For anyone up for the challenge and wanting to bike the Wall, Hadrian's Wall cycle Way covers 174 miles from Ravenglass in Cumbria to the Roman fort of Arbeia in South Shields. The route follows the whole northern frontier of Roman Britain, as Roman forts covered the Cumbrian coast as well as the Wall itself. In some parts (especially between Hexham and South Shields), the cycle Way veers from the Wall in order to pick a more interesting route along minor roads, on it's way passing through Vindolanda and Corbridge (both of which are just to the South of the line of the Wall).

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