Hadrian's Wall

Hadrian's Wall was built by the Roman Empire to protect their colony in England from the Pictish tribes in Scotland. It stretches for 87 miles across the north of England from the Irish Sea to the North Sea in the counties of Cumbria, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear.

Sections of Hadrian's Wall remain along the route, though much has been dismantled over the years to use the stones for various nearby construction projects.
The location of Hadrian's Wall and the Antonine Wall in Scotland and Northern England
Hadrian's Wall facing East towards Crag Lough

Built by Roman soldiers in the 2nd century A.D., only stretches of the wall are still visible, but the wealth of archaeological research has resulted in an almost unparalleled cluster of museums and excavations. Hadrian's Wall is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Cities & Towns

All these towns are near to the Wall, but the Wall itself is strung out in the countryside.


Hadrian's Wall was one of Ancient Rome's fortified borders, which gave the late Roman Empire security against the barbarians at its gates. Constructed and later garrisoned by soldiers drawn from all over the Roman world, the wall preserves an immense amount of military and civilian day-to-day life.

Get in

By road (perhaps bus) from main roads or transport hubs at Carlisle or Newcastle. Part of the wall is also on the Pennine Way long-distance footpath.

Get around

There is now a recognised National Trail that follows (with slight deviations) the whole length of the wall from Wallsend to the Solway Firth. The path is relatively easy going for most of its route, with the notable exception of the middle section around Steel Rigg. Here the path rises and falls steeply as it follows the escarpment. This section is however regarded as the most beautiful.

The region is well served by road and a railway runs parallel to the wall from Newcastle to Carlisle. A single ticket is approximately £13 (as of April 2010). There is a bus that runs the length of the wall from Bowness in Soloway to Newcastle (both ways) 7 days a week. Bus number AD122. Ideal for linear walking allowing return to a vehicle or lodging.


There are several excavated Roman forts. Most of the Roman remains are in the open air: dress for the weather and wear sensible shoes.

There are numerous smaller forts, milecastles, temples and other buildings. While many are little more than lumps in the ground, many of the better-preserved are now under the care of English Heritage and are listed on the Hadrian's Wall section of their website.

The museums are rounded out by the Roman Army Museum.

Look out for military jets training in the skies above Kielder Forest. There is a (relatively) secret RAF base within the forest that serves as an electronic warfare training base.


Eat & Drink

Most of the larger attractions on the forts serve refreshments of some description. There are also hotels and public houses in most of the villages dotted around the area.


There is a range of accommodation from hotels to B&Bs, to Bunk barns to camp sites.

Stay safe

There is a very slight risk of thieves looking for easy pickings at ill-attended tourist car parks. A locked car is precaution enough. Otherwise, the worst hazard is a sharp rain shower.

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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, December 13, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.