Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail:
Well, yes and no. But more about that later….
If there’s one walk you want to do in Northern England that will take you back to the Roman era, then Hadrian’s wall is for you.
We had long thought about walking the wall and an opportunity came up last year. So we packed our bags, booked in on one of the self-guided itineraries (you can tailor-make your own) and spent 12 days along the route of the wall.
In many ways this walk takes in the best aspects of walking in England. You get to visit and stay in quaint villages, walk through farmland and explore regional centres such as Newcastle and Carlisle.
History abounds and you get to visit Lanercost Abbey and Burgh-by-Sands, two places that Edward I stayed at just before he died.
Britain’s Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail
The trail is open to walkers, cyclists and horse riders. It runs for about 135 km between Newcastle-on-Tyne and Bowness-on-Solway. The route follows the wall that Hadrian had built in 122 AD.
MARK RICHARDS wrote one of the original guidebooks ‘Hadrian’s Wall Path’, which is a useful illustrated booklet, with line-drawings, detailed maps and route directions.
For those contemplating this hiking trail for their walking holiday in England, a certain amount of planning is required. Although the path is well marked, always take a guidebook, map and compass with you. The English weather is unpredictable and needs to be catered for.
In 122AD Roman Emperor Hadrian initiated the construction of a massive wall. According to Historia Augusta the wall was built “to separate Romans from barbarians”. It deterred attacks on Roman territory and controlled cross border trade and immigration. Unlike the Germanic limes, built of wood palisades, the lack of suitable wood in the area required a stone construction. The western third of the wall, from modern-day Carlisle to the River Irthing, was built of turf because of the lack of suitable building stone. The lack of suitable stone in the area also led to the narrowing of the width of the wall, from the original 12 feet to 7.
General Information About The Hadrian’s Wall Walk:
Hadrian’s Wall Path: Starting from Roman and medieval Newcastle, the 135 km trail wends its way westwards and ends at Bowness-on-Solway, the site of the Roman fort of Maia, the most remote of the forts. Most of the hiking trail provides fairly easy walking, there are some stiffer sections across Sewingshields Crags. Hadrian’s Wall Path attracts walkers and visitors from around the globe seeking to experience Roman life on the edge of the Empire.
Oh, and Hadrian did build the wall, but the ruins we see belong to 198-208 AD, the period of Severus’ rebuilding program, and not to Hadrian’s 121-128 AD. See more walking journeys information at www.goodwalkingbooks.com