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  • Writer's pictureClaire

A Week in Northumberland Part 2: Hadrian's Wall and the Roman Army

Updated: Feb 25, 2023

As long as I can remember I have wanted to see Hadrian's wall. We had earmarked the best weather day for this walk, so the day before when the weather wasn't so good I had to change our plans as we needed something that was indoor.

This is when I found the Roman Army Museum. This museum was great and it immerses the children into the life of a Roman soldier, and actually goes hand in hand with another attraction, Vindolanda which resides next to Hadrian's Wall; it therefore pays to have the discounted joint ticket. We also went to Housesteads Roman Fort. It is an amazing location for a Roman barracks and the scenery brings what this would have been like to defend England at the time, coupled with the Wall that stretches on for miles.

I am pleased we did this as it really brought the value of Hadrian's Wall to life so we clearly had the narrative set in our minds when we will walk the wall tomorrow. Tomorrow we picked the most famous section of Hadrian's wall to walk, from Steel Rigg. The walk starts with the wall stretching as far as the eye can see and you need to start the decent to the top of the Crag on Hadrian's Wall Path and Pennine Way. The panoramic views here are vast and helps you understand exactly why the wall was built here. The walk dips up and down with various castle forts and the iconic Sycamore Gap, made famous by Kevin Costner in Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves. Continue on past Crag Lough which is in fact a glacial lake, then on to a farm before coming out of the wall and walking into fields circling back on yourself so you can see the whole walk you have just navigated on the Crag; from a distance, still marvelling at the Roman handiwork and scale of Hadrian's Wall.

The end of this walk deserves refreshment and it just so happens nearby is the Twice Brewed Inn that has its own brewhouse, where it does brewery tours and tap room tasting. I had the Sycamore Gap and it was delicious. To walk this route you can find it in this OS Pathfinders book.

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