The main towns in the area to visit are
Corbridge , Hexham , Haltwhistle
and Brampton, all historic towns good for
meals and accommodation.
Carlisle and Newcastle are also good bases
for visiting Hadrian's Wall, with regular buses
and trains running to Hexham and Haltwhistle,
from where the Hadrian's Wall
Bus runs to the Roman forts and main
sections of the wall.
The main sections when walking the full
route are from Wallsend to Heddon-on-the-Wall
16 miles . Heddon-on-the-Wall to Humshaugh by
Chesters 18 miles . Humshaugh by Chesters to
Gilsland 24 miles . Gilsland to Carlisle 21
miles . Carlisle to Bowness-on-Solway 17
Full Walking Route
Guide . Bunkhouses on the
Small villages often used as stopovers and
holidays for visiting the wall are: Greenhead . Gilsland . Banks .
Chollerford / Humshaugh . Heddon on
the Wall .
Bowness on Solway is also often used
as a stopover.
Hadrians Wall History
The first invasions of Britain by the Romans
were led by Julius Caesar in 55 and 54 BC, only
short campaigns, with one substantial battle
where they defeated the Cassivellaunus in the
south of England. Caesar then began trading
with many of the other tribes in Briton.
The Roman conquest of Britain began in AD 43
by Emperor Claudius, said to be as a result of
many of the tribes in Briton fighting amongst
The Roman take-over of Briton was a slow
process, trying to gain support from the many
tribes throughout the country. Some tribes
welcomed the Romans, other rebelled.
The most famous rebellion was that of Queen
Boudica of the Iceni Tribe in around AD 60,
where her followers killed about 70,000 Romans
and their British followers in the London
The Roman defeat of Boudica allowed them to
press on taking over areas further north.
By AD 84, the Romans had reached the north
of Scotland, building a road network and a
number of forts.
By 122, under Emperor Hadrian, the Romans
pulled out fo Scotland and began building
Hadrian's Wall along the north of England
between Newcastle and Carlisle, about 73 miles
long. The many Scottish tribes and mountainous
landscape, made Scotland too difficult to
Eighteen thousand soldiers built Hadrian's
Wall, abouth 15 feet high and 7 to 8 feet
There were 16 forts along the wall, normaly
a milecastle evry mile, and two turrets between
each milecastle. In the central section, the
remains of these can be seen today.
In front of many sections of the wall was a
27 feet wide, 9 feet deep ditch.
In 142, the Romans built a similar wall
between Edinburgh and Glasgow, the narrowest
point in Scotland, 39 miles long, known as the
In 162, the Romans abandoned the Antonine
Wall, pulling back to Hadrian's Wall.
By 410, the last Romans had withdrawn from
Briton as the Roman Empire began to fall apart,
this being the result of sustained attacks by
Europen tribes, ending almost 300 years of
Romans living along Hadrian's Wall, the
furthest outpost of the Roman Empire.
The Saxons, a Germanic people moved into
England after the Romans departed, becomming
the main influence in England from the 400s to
The best preserved sections of the wall and
forts are in the middle section, over the
highest and most remote points, where there is
little agriculture and few buildings.
John Clayton of Chesters House and Estate,
began excavations in the 1840s, and fought to
preserve the central section of Hadrians Wall.
A museum was opened at Chesters 1896,
attracting the first tourists to the area.
Today, Hadrian's Wall attracts visitors from
all around the world, with the central section
of the wall being one of the top walking /
hiking routes in the UK.