- Location: Northern England from Wallsend on Tyne to Solway Firth originally. Now remains can only be found at Wallsend and a few other places.
- Attraction Type: Fortification
- Significance: The wall was once the northern limit of the Roman Empire. Was an Engineering wonder as well as an important relic from antiquity.
- Best time to Visit: Summer
- Visiting Hours: Throughout the day
- How to Reach: Start from Newcastle upon Tyne. Newcastle is connected by air, road, and train with London.
- Nearest Airport: Newcastle Airport in case you would like to make it your base and move eastwards.
Built by Emperor Hadrian in and around AD123, the Hadrian Wall was once the northern limit of the Roman Empire. Although most of the wall has been destroyed over the ages, some part of the wall still exist and have been termed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The wall extends from Wallsend ( then known as Segedunum)to Solway firth. The wall had a number of forts, a number of which has been excavated at the following places:
- Newcastle upon Tyne
- Benwell Hill
There are a host of other places to visit as well, all the way up to Solway. The wall was built to protect the northern reaches of the Roman empire from Celtic tribes living up north. At least 3 legions were pressed to make it in under 6 years. The wall was only part of an elaborate fortification system that was designed to include a ditch, a berm, a curtain wall, military road, and a mound to slow down advancing invasions. The walls were manned by the Auxiliary Army of the Romans (non-citizens who were not legionaries). On an average around 9000 men manned the different parts. Through the ages, many parts of the wall have been destroyed and used for construction in houses. Interest was revived in preserving the wall when John Clayton tried to buy up land adjoining the wall in order to preserve it. Over the years many parts of the wall( including forts) have been excavated.
Things to Do
A lot of sites make up Hadrian’s Wall. Take your time to reach each of the excavations. Major excavations are at Wallsend, Housesteads, Newcastle upon Tyne and other places. Masonry structures still exist at Great Chesters and Birdoswald
If you do not care to cover large distances, visit the British Museum where you will find the Staffordshire cup which was excavated from the ruins of the wall. This remarkably well-preserved cup gives historians vital clues on the reaches of the wall. Other relics will also take up much of your time.
Many hotels, inns and bread and breakfasts dot the trail of Hadrian’s Wall. Some are given below…
1.Ashcroft Guest House
2.Best Western Beaumont Hotel
Phone: (01434) 602331